Midrand, South Africa – Alongside the “African-European Parliamentary Dialogue on Migration and Development” held at the Pan African Parliament in Midrand, S.A. on 2 and 3 October 2014 the AWEPA leadership bodies held their annual meetings and the AWEPA Executive Committee their third meeting of 2014. They reviewed finances, methodology, structures, programmes and the upcoming seminar and side meetings as well as casting an eye to the future.
On Saturday 4th the AWEPA Partnership Council met to dialogue on the Future cooperation of AWEPA with Africa. The chair of the AWEPA Eminent Advisory Board Ms. Graça Machel and the President of AWEPA Minister of State Ms. Miet Smet chaired this lively and open discussion. At the end of the meeting it was agreed that for AWEPA to know more about the parliaments in Africa we need to know more about the way the political parties work. AWEPA director Dr. Jeff Balch was tasked with making a report on this subject.
During the afternoon of Saturday 4th the AWEPA Governing Council met. There were two main highlights to this meeting. The first was the election of the AWEPA President and Executive Committee for the period January 1st 2015-31 December 2019. We would like to congratulate Minister of State Ms. Miet Smet for her reelection as President of AWEPA and the new members, seven effective and three observer, of the Executive Committee 2015-2019 for their (re)election.
The Governing Council discussed and approved the annual and financial reports for 2013 before the President opened the floor to a dialogue around the AU agenda2063 and the role of parliamentarians and Europe in particular might have in its realisation.
We were highly honoured that Ms. Graça Machel joined us on three occasions during these activities, the third being for a dinner on the evening of Friday 3rd where we celebrated 30 years of AWEPA and Ms. Machel spoke with great enthusiasm about some of the importance of what AWEPA has done over the years. Alongside this Minister Lindiwe Zulu spoke about how much the investment of AWEPA in the early years helped her in her political career. Veterans of AWEPA’s early days Mr. Pär Grandstedt and Dr. Luc Dhoore spoke of some of their experiences, Mr. Grandstedt speaking on behalf of AWEPA’s founder Dr. Jan Nico Scholten who was unable to be present.