Dear members, dear colleagues
Greetings to all and my wishes of good health for you, your families and loved ones.
I would like to first, express my gratitude to all for the confidence placed upon me and the board members during the 16th General Assembly of the Africa Liberal Network held in Ouagadougou from 13 to 15 February 2020, under the theme “Peace and Stability for Social and Economic Development in Africa”. I would like to reiterate my commitment to work tirelessly, with the current board members, and the support of all, to continually deserve this confidence and achieve a successful mandate.
I would like to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy month of Ramadan. May Allah the merciful in his grace answer our prayers. On this commemorative date, I would also like to wish to all the workers in our network, a happy Labor Day.
The beginning of our mandate was impacted by the current health crisis faced by our countries, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My sincere condolences to the members who have lost their loved ones and wish everyone who is suffering a quick recovery.
As you know, this unexpected health crisis has impacted the launch of our activities. However, we successfully reorganized and adapted to this new context. As a result, a decision was made to hold our meetings via video conference. We continue to assess the possibility to take advantage of the new technologies for the implementation of our activities and remain open to any ideas and suggestions. We continue to regularly assess the situation and follow the development of the pandemic, its consequences on our daily lives and its impact on freedoms across the continent. In this regard, a survey was launched in collaboration with our traditional partner the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Africa (FNF), whom we thank for the continuous support. We also signed with the President of the Liberal International, a note on the contribution of telephone operators in the fight against Covid-19.
Let us not forget the abduction case of one of our members, the Leader of the Malian Opposition, Mr. Soumaïla Cisse, President of the party Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD). In order to combine efforts for a solution, we discussed with the Liberal International Human Rights Committee, as well as the European Union. We continue to hope for his return soon.
Regarding the political situation in Guinea, we have published several statements denouncing cases of human rights violations as well as the combined constitutional and legislative election which was boycotted by the opposition. We continue to follow the developments in this country.
The challenges which we are facing due to the ongoing situation must inspire us to work for a more united Africa. Thank you for your commitment to liberalism and the promotion of good governance in our countries.
Maître Gilbert Noël Ouédraogo
President, Africa Liberal Network