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Capacity Building

 Activity no. 1: Build policy, managerial and technical skills in parliaments

Activity 1.1 Support  “Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network” (APKN) activities related to capacity building
1.1.1 Support coordination activities of the “Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network
1.1.2 Support the organisation of the annual “Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network” conference.


The APKN is meant to promote and enhance the sharing of ideas, experiences and good practices among parliamentary administrations in the areas of legislation, information, research, documentation and ICTs. These Thematic Networks will promote at a continental level the training and capacity development of parliamentary staff through the organization of seminars and training sessions, the establishment of online fora and shared services, the promotion of thematic working groups and information portals, etc.

The Project will support the operationalization of the “Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network”,  endorsed by the Pan African Parliament and several national parliaments at the International Workshop held in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2007. The APKN Charter and Plan of Action were finalised at the conference “Africa Parliamentary Knowledge Network - Building Together Open and Learning Parliaments in Africa”, hosted by the People’s Assembly of Egypt on 4-5 June 2008 under the auspices of the Pan African Parliament.

The Network will operate under the aegis of the Pan African Parliament and it will seek the membership of all Parliamentary Assemblies of Africa.

The APKN will provide a forum for exchanging ideas and experiences among parliamentary officials and managers, will be instrumental in fostering greater professionalism, and in promoting training and research and studies on current issues of concern to African parliamentary officials and managers.

The Networks will seek, among others, the advice and collaboration of the “European Centre for Parliamentary Research and Documentation” (ECPRD) and “National Conference of State Legislatures” in the USA. Their experiences have confirmed the importance and potentialities that initiatives like the Network can bring in improving the capacities of the parliamentary staff, services and members alike.

APKN will focus its activities in the following the thematic areas:

  • Legislative Process
  • Information and Research
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

APKN activities in the three thematic areas will be carried out at the following levels: 

Legislation and policy: deals with information, data and analytical tools required to exercise informed oversight and to translate policies into effective legislation. Intended primarily for members, although some staff may also be interested.
Management deals with skills required to effectively deal with the management of parliamentary services (e.g legislative; information & research; ICT). Intended primarily for staff, although members may also be interested.
Professional expertise: deals with professional and technical skills required to effectively support the delivery of parliamentary services (e.g legislative; information & research; ICT). Intended primarily for staff, although members may also be interested.
Information services: deals with tools and applications to support information creation, dissemination and management in parliaments. Of interest to both members and staff.


The Project will support APKN capacity building activities through a range of initiatives that are detailed in “Activity no. 2: Develop information portals and e-services to support the capacity building initiatives of APKN ”.

The Project will also promote the creation of partnerships and develop joint activities with African and non African research and academic institutes, parliamentary organisations, development partners, etc. to support APKN capacity building activities. In order to promote the modernisation of parliaments in a sustainable fashion the collaboration of universities and other institutions that could provide the required support and expertise is vital and the Project will actively pursue these kind of engagements. Research and academic institutes, parliamentary organisations, and development partners will also be invited to attend the APKN Conference, and their participation may be supported by the Project.