The PAP was established in March 2004, by the Article 17 of The Constitutive Act of the African Union. PAP is one the nine organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria in 1991.

The establishment of PAP is informed by a vision to provide a common platform for African people and their grass-root organisations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent. PAP Parliamentarians represents all the people of Africa. The ultimate aim of PAP is to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, with members elected by universal adult suffrage.