ALN welcomes new members from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Southern Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Uganda
The Africa Liberal Network concluded a successful meeting of its General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, on Saturday 13 November 2010. Re-elected as ALN President, Senegalese Minister of Humanitarian and International Affairs, Dr Lamine Bâ, explained that the organisation “will play a more decisive role in spreading liberal values and ideas, and will do all it can to bring liberal political parties to power in their respective countries”.
The ALN was formed in 2002 to promote liberal democratic ideals in politics and to build solidarity among parties adhering to liberal principles. It has since grown to 27 parties, and welcomed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to the network at this meeting. Other parties joining the ALN for the first time at the General Assembly were the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP); the Forum for Democratic Devolution (FDD) from Malawi; People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) of Sierra Leone; and Liberal Democratic Transparency (LDT) of Uganda. South Sudan Liberal Party (SSLP), a new initiative launched by existing ALN members, Liberal Democratic Party of Sudan, was admitted as an observer pending the resolution of the referendum scheduled to decide the fate of that region in January 2011. Three existing member parties, PLD Angola, UDENA Equatorial Guinea, and UDP Tanzania were disaffiliated from the network for not having participated in recent events or contributed their membership fees.
The ALN meeting coincided with the Executive Committee meeting of Liberal International (LI), the worldwide association of liberal parties, which was held in the South African Parliament buildings in Cape Town. This enabled ALN delegates to interact with important politicians from across the globe such as LI President, Hans van Baalen MEP, and for LI to demonstrate its support for resolutions adopted by the General Assembly. Both events were kindly hosted by the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party in South Africa, and ruling party in Western Cape Province. The leader of the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille, welcomed the ALN to Cape Town, and hosted a reception for ALN delegates at her private residence, Leeuwenhof, following the conclusion of their meeting.
ALN delegates were also fortunate enough to meet with DA founding member, Colin Eglin; DA Parliamentary Caucus Leader, Athol Trollip MP; and DA spokesperson, Lindiwe Mazibuko MP.
MEC Robin Carlisle delivered the keynote address focusing on implementing liberal ideals in Government, in light of his experience as Minister for Transport and Public Works in Western Cape. The ALN would like to thank DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Kenneth Mubu MP; DA Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Stevens Mokgalapa MP, and DA International Officer, Tim Harris MP, for their valuable contribution to the programme and their participation in the events.
We would like to congratulate all members of the new ALN Executive Committee, but especially those serving for the firs time: Mme Alice Nzomukunda, Présidente of the Alliance Démocratique pour le Renouveau, former Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi; and Mr Clement Stambuli, Director of Campaigns of the United Democratic Front, and former Minister in Malawi.