Welcome event, CPA Residency, 24 October 2022: Hon Deputy Speaker Beverley Schäfer, CPA General-Secretary Stephen Twigg, Hon Speaker Masizole Mnqasela, Hon Nontombeko Boyce, Speaker of the KZN Legislature and Deputy British Consul-General Josh Reid

Delegates attending the 2022 Commonwealth Residency Programme in Cape Town from 24 to 28 October 2022, were welcomed during a function hosted by the Western Cape Provincial Parliament last night.

 

The programme, which is attended by 35 Members of Parliament, representing parliaments from across the Commonwealth, is intended to enhance the professional development skills of Parliamentarians.

 

In her word of welcome to the delegates, Honourable Deputy Speaker Beverley Schäfer expressed that the Western Cape Provincial Parliament is both excited and privileged to host this important programme with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). She also provided delegates with information on Cape Town and the many tourist attractions the beautiful city holds.

 

In his keynote address, Honourable Speaker Masizole Mnqasela highlighted the importance of the programme. “For governments to succeed they need strong, effective, and efficient Parliaments. It is therefore crucially important that the Members of Parliament, as the representatives of their people upon which their hope and aspirations rely, are equipped with the necessary skills to function optimally”.

 

Speaker Mnqasela, by using the example of the successful public participation progamme of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP), Thetha Nathi, emphasised the importance of public participation in the work of Parliaments. “Public participation improves the quality of policy and legislation, strengthens accountability, and enhances overall governance,” he said.

 

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg thanked the WCPP for co-hosting the event. He also expressed his gratitude for the active role of the WCPP in the CPA. One of the highlights was the amendment proposed by the WCPP to allow for more women participation in the CPA. This amendment was tabled and adopted at the General Assembly of the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Halifax, Canada, in August this year.

 

This CPA programme is the second of two CPA Parliamentary Academy residency programmes being held in 2022 and will examine how Members of Parliament can enhance their soft skills on topics ranging from leadership and strategic thinking to communication and team management. Over five days, the delegates will develop universal skills that are applicable both in parliaments and in many different spheres.

 

Delegates will be mentored throughout the programme by current and former parliamentarians from across the CPA’s membership, including Speakers and Presiding Officers from the Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Alberta, Canada, as well as experts in professional development.

 

The CPA is an international community of 180 parliaments and legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Founded in 1911, the CPA brings together Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. It offers a vast opportunity for parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and to share good practice.

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