At the 13th annual General Assembly of the Africa Liberal Network, Africa’s largest political network met in Nairobi, Kenya. The local ALN full member party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), co-hosted the General Assembly.
At this gathering, the network adopted a historic document, the Nairobi Declaration on Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women. Delegates also elected a new Executive Committee, to be led by President Stevens Mokgalapa. Additionally, the General Assembly provided a number of workshops on the theme of coalitions.
The first day of the General Assembly started with the outgoing Executive Committee holding its last meeting, chaired by the outgoing President, Olivier Kamitatu. The day closed with a welcome dinner, hosted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, which presented an opportunity for delegates to engage with the ODM leader, former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Liberals in Cooperation: Coalitions, Negotiations, and Democratic Collaboration
The second day centred around workshops on the General Assembly’s theme: coalitions. The delegates shared and learned from each other’s experiences, and also had a chance to acquire new skills from external coalition and negotiations experts. Four different sessions took place throughout the day, covering several aspects of coalitions, including the different cycles of coalition-building.
The liberal delegates from the ALN member parties across the continent together forged new best practices on the topic, which can now be used to increase the significance of their parties in upcoming elections and beyond. Liberalism is on the rise in Africa, and with better electoral results and more political responsibility, that also inevitably means a bigger need for skills related to coalitions.
The Nairobi Declaration on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women
The General Assembly’s final day saw the adoption of the flagship Nairobi Declaration, condemning the widespread practice of violence against women on the continent. The Declaration, supported and endorsed by Liberal International’s Human Rights Committee, commits the Network’s members to working stringently to eliminate gender-based violence in their home countries. Additionally, the declaration calls on all member parties to actively work together to promote gender equality and gender balance in all aspects of social and political life. The declaration also commits the ALN members to working to support the removal of barriers preventing women from entering politics and public life.
In addition to the Declaration, the General Assembly adopted following resolutions:
- Resolution on the Political and Social Crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Resolution of Liberals against Political Exclusion
- Resolution on the Newly Elected President of Somalia
- Resolution on the International Criminal Court
- Resolution on the State of Emergency in Ethiopia
- Resolution on the ECOWAS intervention in the Gambia
- Resolution on Respecting Constitutionalism and the Democratic Process
- Resolution on the Nullified 2015 Zanzibar Elections
- Resolution on Freedom of Speech and Media in Tanzania
These resolutions were welcomed by the General Assembly and the Executive Committee is committed to follow-up on the resolutions throughout its term.
The Executive Committee
On the final day of the General Assembly, the delegates elected a new Executive Committee, under the leadership of President Stevens Mokgalapa (MP). Mr Mokgalapa also serves as the Shadow Minister for International Relations and Cooperation for the Democratic Alliance in South Africa.
The new delegates of the Executive Committee, elected by the General Assembly, are the following:
- President: Stevens Mokgalapa (South Africa, Democratic Alliance)
- Treasurer: Darren Bergman (South Africa, Democratic Alliance)
- North Africa Vice President: Ahmadou El Baz (Morocco, Union Constitutionnelle)
- West Africa Vice President: Zephirin Diabre (Burkina-Faso, Union pour le Progrès et Changement)
- Central Africa Vice President: Medard Mulangala (DRC, Union pour la Majorité Républicaine)
- East Africa Vice President: Rosemary Machua (Kenya, Orange Democratic Movement)
- Southern Africa Vice President: Mulondwe Muzungu (Zambia, United Party for National Development)
The new Executive Committee is stronger and more dedicated than ever, and stands united in its view of a prosperous and integrated Africa for the benefit of all its people.
The Africa Liberal Network has grown in size and strength, both in terms of membership and capacity.
The network is now also pleased to announce that the following political parties were accepted into the family of African liberals as observer members:
- Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD), Mali
- Parti pour le Développement Economique et la Solidarité (PDES), Mali
- People’s Alliance for Change (PAC), Zambia
- Rassemblement Pour la Mauritanie (RPM-Temam), Mauritania
Two existing observer members also transferred from observer status to full member status:
- Alliance pour la République (APR-Yaakaar), Senegal
- Union pour le Progrès et Changement (UPC), Burkina Faso