The Africa Liberal Network (ALN) is pleased to share the outcomes of the 11th annual General Assembly. Hosted in mystic Marrakech from 27-29 November 2014, this was the largest and most ambitious General Assembly in the ALN’s history, with over 90 delegate attending from across the world.
“This year, the ALN accomplished a number of historic firsts including the election of a gender representative executive committee, the adoption of a robust new constitution and the acceptance of 9 new observer member parties, taking the total number of members to the largest in the Network’s history, with 44 parties” stated the ALN President, Olivier Kamitatu, who was re-elected in Marrakech to serve a second 2-year term.
After a full day of contributions from external experts and deliberations by delegates, the General Assembly also crafted a 12 point Human Rights Framework which was adopted by all members present. Aptly named the Marrakech Declaration, the document sets out the liberal perspective on human rights in Africa and commits both the ALN and its 44 members to champion interventions with respect to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child slavery and freedom of political association, among many other human rights issues.
Drafting of the Declaration was facilitated by Rt. Hon. Andrew Stunell MP, Governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, who commented:
“Many member parties gave first-hand testimony to the serious lack of basic political and human rights in their own countries. This land-mark Declaration can now be the reference point for future action and campaigning for justice for all, regardless of status or power.”
Most notably, the declaration commits all members to actively challenge discrimination on any grounds including gender, sexuality, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age or disability. This is the first declaration of its kind in Africa that commits contemporary political parties to fight discrimination in such a broad manner, particularly with respect to sexual orientation.
The 2014 General Assembly also presented an opportunity to share best practice with fellow liberals from the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, with whom the ALN signed a cooperation agreement with a view to strengthening liberalism across the MENA region.
The Africa Liberal Network would like to convey its sincere thanks to its key partners the UK Liberal Democrats, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, without who’s support it would not have been possible to achieve these exceptional outcomes.
Commenting on the event, Iain Gill, the Head of the UK Liberal Democrats International Office stated, “ The UK Liberal Democrats are immensely proud to sponsor the Africa Liberal Network. Over the last five years we have watched it develop exponentially and beyond expectations. The ALN is now has the largest regional network in the Liberal International family outside of ALDE with a total membership of 44 parties and we are growing in both quality and quantity. Our 2018 objective is to surpass the European network and become the dominant force in international liberal politics.”