Accredited delegates of the Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World (ASSECAA) assembled in Sana’a in the Republic of Yemen from the 25th to 27th of April 2004 in a Conference and unanimously adopted the Resolution that established the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World. The Conference by resolution adopted the Rules of Procedure and the Statute of the Association. The idea of establishing the Association had been approved in an earlier meeting held in Rabat in the Kingdom of Morocco from 6th to 7th of June 2002.The Rabat meeting was attended by member countries in Africa and the Arab world. Secretary General of ASSECAA, Abdulwasie Yusuf discussed the activities of his organization and an upcoming event scheduled to be held in August in Addis Ababa.
What can you tell us about ASSECAA?
ASECCAA stands for the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab world. The association works to strengthen parliamentary democracy in African and Arab countries to facilitate African-Arab parliamentary dialogue.
The founders of ASSECAA were convinced that the two regions have abundant natural resources and the required capital to enhance economic development for mutual benefit of their people. They also believed that this in turn cannot be achieved unless democracy is installed and respect for the rule of law, good governance, and human rights are fostered, and women are empowered and engaged to be a productive force in all spheres of life.
So it’s a young association, an ambitious association and with huge work awaiting it.
What, if any, are its achievements?
We at ASSECAA have achieved a lot, but we have in front of us much bigger challenges. The fact that we came together to a dialogue in using the ASSECAA platform was in itself a promising start. We also help instigate major parliamentary advocacy forum around issues such as poverty reduction, investment, security, good governance and current issues.
What is the Legislators and Business Summit all about?
The Africa-Arab legislators and Business Summit is an international event organized jointly with the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A sort of private public dialogue forum to achieve peace, social sustainability for all people in Arab and African countries to enjoy their rights.
The meeting takes place at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 1st and 2nd 2015, it brings together over 150 members of parliaments from Africa and Arab countries and senior figures from businesses and international and UN organisations. This time the theme is INVESTING IN AFRICA MAKES SENSE and will feature one and half days of discussion on the importance of trade and commerce relations between African and Arab countries.
What are your expectations from this Summit?
The Summit brings together members of the senate and the Shoora together with business to engage in policy debates on how to increase trade – three to five times the existing trade volume – between Africa and the Arab world. Issues identified at the Conference will be submitted to national parliaments and will be followed up through the Africa-Arab Legislators and Business Forum.
How will this Summit help improve trade relations between Africa and the Arab World?
The Africa-Arab Business Summit is a unique forum for business professionals to share experiences, discuss common concerns. It is expected to engage the different stakeholders from various backgrounds to engage in discussions and debates that will develop the debate on how to bring about improved policies to increase trade and investment in Africa. This dialogue by participants from African-Arab countries’ will be a great opportunity to create closer relations between business and politicians from the two regions to exchange ideas and maximize the drivers for growth.
How will Ethiopian/African Businesses profit from this Summit?
The overall aim of the Africa-Arab Legislators and Business Summit is to foster a better understanding between the private sector and government of African and Arab countries while at the same time making it easier for business owners make connections that really matter. During this one and half days of discussion, businesses will be able to find business partners, show case investment opportunities, or discuss their requirements. On the other hand, this is a great opportunity to get informed and have a better understanding of what the future Arab and African countries’ economies hold; which is, I believe, crucial to the development of any business company. It will also be a great occasion to learn how to capture the Arab and African markets.