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stop resource and repository centres for the facilities and processes to develop and enhance the capacity of the honourable Members and staff of Parliament to execute their individual and corporate roles and functions in a manner that meets the expectations of a highly enlightened and expectant electorate”. The existence of The CPSTs would ease administration, funding and reference. The quality of the products of The CPSTs will be propelled into perfection as they seek to “ the expectations of a highly enlightened and expectant electorate”.

Already evidence abounds of how even erstwhile well-grounded systems have had to curve in in the face of the pressures for change by the electorate.

Hence, good prospects exist for The CPSTs to function as centres of excellence that would meet the requirements for capacity development, research, training,

and knowledge and information management.

Africa is ripe for what it takes to design and develop viable CPSTs. Given the commonness of the legacy flowing from our history, found in virtually all spheres of society, we should be able to weave that into organizations that respond to our needs. Often, expositions of the perceived “best practices” may put off people from putting into place an idea that would eventually resolve the challenge of the day.

Our societies are dynamic and resilient, and are capable of responding to any challenge as others have done. Africa is no less endowed with what it takes to pull people from the shackles of poverty, ignorance, disease, bad governance, poor infrastructure, etc. Reading of world history is instructive of how other peoples, who a while ago were in circumstances similar to ours, have done it. Parliaments in African

countries should pool their resources together to overcome the effects of meagre and lack of resources to develop home-grown institutions/ organizations to address challenges that tie into their development agenda. Africa should take comfort in the fact that they can produce best practices. In The Parliamentarian, Issue One, 2012, it reported: “The CPA recognizes that no single Parliament is a source of “best practice” in all areas; that all Parliaments can be sources of valuable innovations regardless of their size and age and that in fact there are many forms of “best practice”.

Furthermore, the parliamentary system is a dynamic one so that “best practice” today will be surpassed tomorrow as institutions, Members, officials and citizens alike seek ever higher standards.”

Challenges ahead The enormity of the challenges to

The CPSTs growing into centres of excellence is no less than those faced by governments in their efforts to formulate and translate policies into tangible development. Virtually all African governments have to contend with traditional ills of corruption, misplaced priorities, lack of local funding and resourceful entrepreneurship and the high cost of technology and general know how.

Perhaps the greatest drawback is in entertaining the notion that the best practice of other societies can and should be transferred and applied lock, stock and barrel to our needs. Indeed, the fact that one need not reinvent the wheel has been reiterated so often that it is a cliché that has to be put to rest. What Africa needs is not to reinvent the wheel, but to learn how the wheel was invented and then mould one that would serve its needs.

The Parliamentarian | 2013: Issue Three | 205

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