President John Mahama has been invited to Midrand, South Africa, as a Special Guest of Honour to deliver a special address to open the 2nd Ordinary Session of the 3rd Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on Monday.
His invitation follows a tradition of the PAP to invite prominent African leaders like former South African Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, and former Mozambican leader, Joaquim Chissano to open the House.
President Mahama is accompanied by the Majority Leader in Parliament and Minister in charge of Government Business in Parliament, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor.
The House is commencing sitting weeks away from the gathering of Heads of State and Governments in Addis Ababa for the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU).
The Pan-African Parliament, is the legislative body of the AU. The Pan African Parliament held its inaugural session on 18 March 2004.
Its 235 Parliamentary representatives are elected by the legislatures of 47 of the 54 AU Member States rather than being directly elected in their own capacity.
Initially the seat of the Pan African Parliament was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but it was later moved to Midrand, South Africa. The first President of the Parliament was Hon. Amb. Gertrude I. Mongella from Tanzania.
The Bureau of the Parliament is composed of the President and four Vice-Presidents.
A statement signed by the Minister for Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga, said this will be the second time President Mahama will be joining his former colleagues to open their annual session.
The first was in 2009, shortly after he became Vice President. He is expected home on Monday May 06, 2013.