The Commonwealth Hansard Editors Association (Africa Region) Conference
I. BACKGROUND / HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Commonwealth Hansard Editors Association (CHEA) was founded at Westminster in 1984. The idea of an association that would bring together all Hansard Editors in Commonwealth countries was suggested by the then Hansard Editor of the House of Commons, Mr. Ken Morgan. A similar association had already been formed in Canada and Australia. This association would later be referred to as CHEA-International, to differentiate it from similar associations at regional levels.
The association is divided into six regions; Africa, Canada, Asian-Indian Ocean, Caribbean-South Atlantic, Australia-Pacific and Europe.
II. INFORMATION ON CHEA – AR
The Commonwealth Hansard Editors Association – Africa Region (CHEA -AR), as explained above, is a regional subsidiary of CHEA-International. It was established in 1999 in Ulundi, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The then Hansard Editor, Parliament of Kenya (Mr. Machanje) was one of the founding members of the association.
III. OBJECTIVES OF CHEA – AR
The object of the association is to serve the interests of Parliamentary democracy by enhancing the quality of Parliamentary reports through the regular exchange of technical and other information and, if possible, by the mutually acceptable exchange of personnel.
The association is also committed to exchanging ideas and information in an effort to develop members professionally, thus ensuring that parliaments receive Hansard services of the highest standard possible.
Conferences of the association provide forums for the exchange of ideas and information, enabling editors around the world to better serve their parliaments. A major aim at these conferences is to pool the expertise and experiences about rapidly evolving Hansard production techniques and technology.
IV. MEMBERSHIP OF CHEA – AR
Membership to CHEA-AR is open to the Hansard Editor(s) in all Commonwealth Parliaments within Africa. Currently, some of the active member parliaments of CHEA–AR include: - Botswana, Cameroon, EALA, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sudan, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zanzibar. Some provincial legislatures from South Africa are also members in their own right; these are: - Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape.
CHEA–AR is made up of four sub-regions: East, Central, West and Southern Africa Regions. At every conference, members of these regions usually elect a representative to the governing body to represent their interests.
V. GOVERNING BODY OF CHEA - AR
The association is governed by an executive committee which is made up of the following officials: - The president, the secretary/treasurer, Assistant secretary, four sub-regional representatives and two ex-officio members. In 2010, the positions of secretary and treasurer were merged to facilitate financial and administrative transactions of the association.
VI. SECRETARIAT OF CHEA - AR
The National Parliament of the Republic of South Africa is the headquarters of the association. The Hansard Editor in the National Parliament of South Africa is the designated secretary/treasurer. Appointed staff from within the office of the Hansard Editor provide secretariat services to the association to ensure continuity.
VIII. HOSTING OF CHEA – AR 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
At its meeting held in October 2017 at Ezulwini, Swaziland, the Executive Committee of CHEA-AR made the following resolution, among others:
That the Parliament of Kenya hosts the next conference of CHEA- AR in 2019, which coincides with the 20th Anniversary of CHEA-AR.
This resolution of the Executive Committee was endorsed by the conference held in January 2018, at the same venue, as follows:
That the Parliament of Kenya be requested to host the next conference in 2019, which will be the 20th Anniversary of the formation of CHEA–AR.
The last time Kenya hosted a CHEA–AR conference was in 2001. It will be a great honor for Kenya to host the 20th Anniversary celebration of CHEA–AR.
Hansard Editors from the 47 county assemblies will participate in the event.
X. DATE AND VENUE OF THE CONFERENCE
The Conference will be held from 8th to 12th December, 2019 in Nairobi City County.
XI. BENEFITS OF THE CONFERENCE TO PARLIAMENT AND KENYA IN GENERAL
- Conferences such as this serve as a form of parliamentary diplomacy. This particular conference will provide an opportunity for the Parliament of Kenya to diplomatically engage with other Parliaments within the African region and provide first hand information on its operations for the strenghting of regional ties.
- The Conference will provide a forum for exchange of ideas and information and enable Hansard staff working within Commonwealth Parliaments in the Africa Region to serve their legislatures better.
- It will allow pooling of expertise and experiences about rapidly evolving reporting and editing techniques, and technology in Hansard production.
- It will impact positively on the economy of the country and particularly Nairobi City County through provision of basic services to the delegates like shelter, food, shopping etc.
- Enhance the capacity of staff to effectively play their roles in strengthening the capacity of Members to make laws through sharing of information on provision of timely and accurate verbatim reports of the proceedings of the House and its Committees.
- Equip Hansard staff with necessary skills to better deal with complex issues involved in Hansard production process like House style/format, application of procedures using Hansard Manual, etc.