Deputy Speaker Tayebwa; I will be a strong voice for Africa in OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly

ANGOLA- The newly elected East African Representative to the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), has promised to be a strong voice for Africa and called for urgent reforms needed to transform Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, who is also Ruhinda North representative in the 11th Parliament of Uganda, was on Friday elected unopposed to one of the coveted positions at OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Luanda, Angola.

Mr Tayebwa was nominated by Seychelles and Kenya. The Deputy Speaker will be representing a total of nine countries including Mauritius, Seychelles, Djibouti, Comoros, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

“I will be a voice of the Global South on issues of climate change, gender parity, energy transition, human rights, democracy, peace and conflict resolution which are cornerstones of international framework,” Mr Tayebwa said after his election.

“We shall ensure that unfair trade practices and restrictions which are coming from our big brothers in European Union are negotiated properly and on fair terms. The voice of the Global South must take center stage at the European Parliament.”

He added: “We must be able to exploit our resources without damaging the environment, but also Africa, which is contributing only 3% of global emissions cannot be the one paying the price and receiving the heaviest penalties, when it comes to energy transition.”

More than 500 delegates are in Angola to participate in the 64th Session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the 1st constitutive meeting of the OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. It is a historic session for the OACPS, hosted by the President of the 10th OACPS Summit of Heads of State and Government. This session is expected to launch the new Parliamentary Assemblies under the Samoa Agreement.

The Deputy Speaker, has been an indomitable voice in the OACPS, rallying developing countries to jointly reject what he recently described as “unfair trade and deceitful practices” orchestrated by the European Union against other countries.

Speaking at a previous OACPS-EU Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels last year, Mr Tayebwa, without mincing words condemned what he called the double standards, unfair taxes on African coffee and exporting EU-banned pesticides and products to developing countries like Uganda.

Speaker Anita Among and Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja were among the notable leaders who congratulated and thanked the Deputy Speaker for accepting the task and raising Uganda’s flag high.

The Speaker wrote on her official X handle: “Congratulations my brother Rt. Hon.@Thomas Tayebwa on your significant election as East Africa’s Representative to the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries Parliamentary Group in Luanda, Angola. This is a confirmation of your firm Pan African credentials. The trust colleagues in the region and continent have shown in you is a true reflection of your commitment to the African cause. Thank you again for hoisting the Parliament and National flag high in Parliamentary Diplomacy.”

The Prime Minister also wrote on her X handle: Congratulations my brother Rt. Hon. @Thomas_Tayebwa on your election as East Africa’s Representative to the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries Parliamentary Group. Your election is a vote of confidence in your ability and I have no doubt you will effectively represent our region. Best wishes @OPMUganda
@Parliament_Ug.”

The OACPS-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a unique and permanent democratic institution which brings together an equal number of elected Members of Parliament from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and Members of the European Parliament. The Organization comprises of 79 Member States. The body strives to achieve the sustainable development of its members and their progressive integration into the world economy.