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Young African liberals at the International Academy for Leadership: Leadership for Young Leaders

From 17-29 April 2016, a promising group of young liberal leaders from across the globe gathered at the International Academy for Leadership (IAF) in Germany. Amongst them were two of the Africa Liberal Network’s own young leaders, Jawad Chafil (Morocco) and Stenah Shampile (Zambia).
Thanks to the long-standing support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, the ALN cites this as one example of its commitment to developing young African leaders and empowering them to take on the world stage of liberalism.

An experiment in world liberalism

Both Jawad and Stenah are passionate about politics at home in Morocco and Zambia, respectively, and without doubt, they hold that their time at the IAF taught them new skills to take back and use in their own political lives.
Jawad summarises the seminar for us:
13234549_10156932978985284_1825227779_o “The IAF Leadership for Young Leaders was an open experiment. It offered us a framework, set up by the IAF, to evaluate all the contents, methods, and objectives ourselves.”
“We learned that although training and developing young leaders is a difficult task, it is incredibly worthwhile because it leads to a better moral standing of liberalism. This takes place through the need to always increase the capacity and capabilities of young people everywhere – in democratic institutions and organisations at all levels”.
For Stenah, her time at the IAF proved important for self-reflection, “There was one particularly mind-blowing session where we were asked why we lead. I must confess, I have never asked myself why I do what I do! It was a question that was difficult to answer but with the guidance of our wonderful and great facilitators, we managed to get to know why we are involved in leadership ourselves.”
As for the learning environment, Jawad sees the IAF as “a dynamic process influenced by the design and structure of the program as well as the environment in which it occurred. We had a supportive environment of deep thinking; which itself represented the culture of IAF”.

Lessons in leadership

“We also learned a great deal about personality types and how that relates to leadership. A good leader will recognise these personality types and come up with a strategy on how to handle each personality type for the good of the organisation. I learned a valuable lesson here in that there is much value in every personality type; there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ones,” says Stenah.DSC_0237 (1)
Closely related to this is the concept of personal branding. Jawad and Stenah were given the opportunity to think about their own brand, what they want it to be, and how their brands are perceived by other people. A key realisation here is that their brands have a very strong impact on how they lead others.
The seminar held a special focus on some critical tools for leadership, amongst them, communication, active listening, the power of imagination and open space technology.

Leadership from theory to reality

The participants were exposed to some examples of best practice in leadership. In their engagements with liberal leaders, Stenah and Jawad had the opportunity to attend the Federal Congress of our German sister-party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and engage with the party’s leadership.13241495_10156932981090284_1861596312_o

The ultimate lesson

Both our young Zambian and Moroccan leaders have one important piece of advice to share as a result of their experiences at the IAF. Stenah leaves us on this note:
“We had powerful presentations from various speakers; from politicians to business persons, all made it clear that what made them successful is that they have stayed true to themselves. They are honest with themselves, and we must do just the same.”


Opportunity: IFLRY Programme Managers

The ALN is excited to extend an invitation to all young African liberals to apply for a position as a Programme Manager at the International Federation of Liberal Youth!
Seven programmes are available, including Free Trade, Human Rights, and Gender Equality. All positions are part-time and voluntary, accommodating your work and studies. Where travel is involved, such as to IFLRY statutory meetings, the organisation will manage your travel and accommodation.
For full details, please read the  Call for Programme Managers document here.
Instructions for application are found in this document. Remember to include the ALN Secretariat in your application email (


ALN at the London Youth Political Academy 2016

From 24-29 March, the ALN participated in a Youth Political Academy with the Liberal Democrats in the UK.


From left: Jawad Chafil (Union Constitutionelle, Morocco), Nomzamo Kheswa (Democratic Alliance, South Africa), Iain Gill (Liberal Democrats UK, Head of International Office), Rodrick Mogotsi (Botswana Movement for Democracy, Botswana), Rosemary Machua (ALN East Africa Vice President, Kenya), Berlinda Bulley (Progressive People’s Party, Ghana), Luke Akal (ALN Coordinator, South Africa)

This opportunity provided our delegates with direct experience in campaigning on the ground within a variety of constituencies. Part of the Academy strengthened the knowledge and skills of delegates through training on door-to-door voter outreach, whilst also providing a platform for the sharing of our best practices from across Africa and Europe.

Jawad and Berlinda campaigning door-to-door!

On the fringes of the event, the African participants formed a steering group of the Network’s Advisory Youth Council (AYC). During these meetings, the delegation, led by East Africa Vice President Rosemary Machua, strategised the structure, setting and tasks of the AYC.
The ALN is thankful to our long-standing partners at the Liberal Democrats for their valuable input during the course of the Academy. We are glad to have played a small part in their campaign, and wish our sister party the greatest success in the upcoming London Mayoral Elections and the EU Referendum.

The AYC steering group

The ALN Secretariat will soon release a first-hand account of the Academy from Jawad Chafil, a participant from Morocco’s Union Constitutionelle party.
For a full gallery of images from the Youth Political Academy 2016, please see here


[MEDIA NOTICE] ALN Vice President to tell UN Human Rights Council Burundi needs "rapid deployment of peace-keeping troops"

Media Notice
London/ Cape Town, 23rd March 2016
Embargo: Immediate
Contact: Tamara Dancheva, Head of Human Rights Programme, Liberal International, +44 20 7839 5905 Luke Akal, ALN Coordinator +27 81 481 3754
ALN Vice President to address UN Human Rights Council: Burundi needs “rapid deployment of peace-keeping troops”
Vice President of the Africa Liberal Network Médard Mulangala – a former contender for the presidency of the Democratic Republic of Congo* – will address the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 on behalf of the Liberal International and the Africa Liberal Network to draw attention to the escalating humanitarian and political crisis unfolding in neighbouring Burundi.
Mr. Mulangala will tell the UN member states that they must:
exert all of their diplomatic, logistical and financial influence for the rapid deployment of peace-keeping troops to Burundi. The African and international community cannot, and must not, sit by and allow for more violence to take place.”
The statement follows the African Union (AU) High Level Delegation of African heads of state to Burundi. The ALN and LI remain highly concerned regarding the lack of tangible outcomes of these meetings and the lack of strong response from the AU. Together, we call for inclusive, peaceful dialogue and the protection of innocent civilians at any cost. It is unacceptable that over 400 lives have been lost under the presidency of Pierre Nkurunziza
Note to Editors:
–          *Mr Medard Mulangala is President of the Union pour la Majorité Républicaine and a leader of the opposition umbrella group, Union Sacree pour l’Alternance, in the Congolese parliament. In 2011, Mr. Mulangala was seen as a leading candidate in the presidential elections in the DRC – a unifying figure who could bring together different groups from Congolese society against Joseph Kabila. During the 2011 campaign, Mr. Mulangala was the first Congolese politician to be interviewed by renowned journalist David Frost on the Al Jazeera English network.
–          The oral statement will be delivered in Salle XX, Palais des Nations, Genève and can be viewed here between 12:00-15:00 (GMT+1).
–          The ALN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the deteriorating situation in Burundi in January 2016. Building on this, LI issued a joint statement with ALN as recently as 27th February, calling on African leaders to intervene in the crisis.
–           Liberal International (LI) is the world federation of over 100 liberal and progressive democratic political parties and affiliates. LI was founded in 1947 to strengthen liberal protection from totalitarianism and communism. It has since become the pre-eminent network for promoting liberalism, individual freedom, human rights, the rule of law, tolerance, equality of opportunity, social justice, free trade and a market economy.
–           The Africa Liberal Network (ALN) is the largest network of African political parties and the second largest globally, outside Europe. The ALN consists of 47 member parties with the aim promoting Liberal Democratic principles across the African continent by 1) providing a platform for like-minded liberals in Africa to share information, experience, skills, and ideas, and 2) capacitating our member parties with the skills they need to win elections and run governments based on Liberal values.


Statement: The Madagascar natural environment

The following statement produced as a result of collaboration and dialogue between ALN members,  MFM (Militants pour le Progrès de Madagascar), and Southern Africa Vice President, Stevens Mokgalapa, at the 12th Annual ALN General Assembly.
Madagascar est confrontée à des problèmes de changements climatiques dans sa quête du développement et de la croissance économique. C’est un pays isolé de l’océan Indien occidental. Il subit une dégradation avancée de son environnement et la disparition d’espèces endémiques protégées. Il est également passé par une période de crise sur le plan politique, suivie d’un coup d’État en 2009. Un nouveau régime vient d’être instauré et la population doit lutter contre la pauvreté. Il est crucial de mettre en œuvre une politique de développement durable permettant de sauvegarder l’environnement et de promouvoir la croissance économique en exploitant l’économie bleue.
Le MFM en appelle au Réseau libéral africain pour appuyer le Gouvernement de Madagascar de faire appliquer la résolution n° 34/91 adoptée par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies à la 99e séance plénière du 12 décembre 1979. Il est plus judicieux de suivre les procédures des Nations-Unies en vue de la restitution à la Nation Malagasy les îles Glorieuses, Bassas da India, Juan de Nova et Europa sous l’égide des Nations Unies et de la Communauté Internationale.
A l’instar de la sortie de la crise politique de 2009 grâce à la feuille de route, Madagascar doit s’appuyer sur l’aide de l’Unité Africaine, des instances régionales telles que la SADC à l’origine de la feuille de route, à l’Indian Ocean Rim Association et des pays membres du Conseil de Sécurité comme, entre autres, la Russie, les Etats-Unis et la Chine.
Il est plus que souhaitable de voir l’implication du conseil de sécurité dans la résolution du différend entre Madagascar et la France pour la restitution des îles Malagasy.


The Democratic Alliance: The future liberal government of South Africa?

The following article originally appeared in the Liberal Democrat Voice and can be found here
The Liberal Democrats have had a strong and flourishing relationship with the South African Democratic Alliance (DA) for many years, and we continue to work together through the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) and the Young Leaders Programme. In this series of profiles of our liberal sister-parties overseas, Luke Akal, ALN Coordinator, gives an account of the DA:
On 27-30 January this year, the 13th annual Africa Liberal Network (ALN) General Assembly is being held in Johannesburg, hosted by South African member party, the Democratic Alliance (DA). The DA is a shining light of liberalism on the African continent and, as the main opposition party in South Africa, is an inspiring model for liberal parties around the world.
Since its establishment, the DA has increased its vote share in every election, going from 12% in 2004 to 22% in 2014, gaining 89 MPs and becoming the main opposition party. In 2009, the DA gained power in the Western Cape province, giving the party an opportunity to deliver on its promises. Over the past 6 years, the Western Cape has seen an impressive decrease in crime, as well as improvement in infrastructure, and demonstrating that the DA is a safe pair of hands in government.
Last year the DA launched ‘Vision 2029’, an ambitious plan to become the ruling government party by the end of the next decade. With the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s failure to tackle staggering levels of inequality, crime, unemployment and the legacy of apartheid, and the recent crisis in which President Jacob Zuma was forced to appoint his third finance minister within a week, the need for a change of government in South Africa is clearer than ever.
The DA has achieved its impressive growth by running on an unapologetically liberal platform, in stark contrast to the uninspiring and corrupt leadership of Zuma’s ANC. They advocate an ‘Open Opportunity Society for All‘ in which all people, regardless of gender, race or sexuality, are empowered to live their lives, pursue their dreams and develop their full potential.  They stand for a free market economy, in which the role of the government is to provide every citizen with a minimum basic standard of quality services and resources, and have ambitions to significantly extend access to education and health care, tackle the HIV-AIDS crisis and address South Africa’s dangerous carbon footprint through green energy and environmental policies.
At the core of its success is the DA’s unique investment in its youth. Through its Young Leaders Programme, supported by the Liberal Democrat International Office, the DA organises a series of retreats for a group of young members within the party every year, and provides them with mentorship and training in leadership skills, with the long-term goal of empowering the next generation of leaders both within the party and in the country. Alumni from the programme have gone on to become activists, councillors and MPs, and are undoubtedly the future leadership of the party.
The DA faces challenges ahead, with the rise of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a political party exploiting the prevalence of poverty and unemployment and advocating a politics based on division, blame and hatred. But with continued commitment to the principles of liberalism, the DA is well placed to become the future government of South Africa.
The DA is the most diverse party in South Africa, now well-recognised and progressed under the leadership of MP Mmusi Maimane. Maimane, as a previous mayoral and premier candidate for the DA, will address the ALN’s General Assembly on Friday 29 January 2016 on the topic of Principles for Liberal leadership: Shaping the Africa of our dreams. He will address the audience along with the ALN’s President, Olivier Kamitatu.
This year, the ALN General Assembly focuses on the theme “Winning Elections: Strategies, Policies and Solutions for Success”. The ALN’s 44 member parties, from across the African continent, will gather in Johannesburg to share experiences and strategies on how to win elections and achieve liberal governments in their home countries. With the DA gaining ground in South African politics every year, we cannot think of a more appropriate host for this event!
Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the DA, said:

It is our goal to build a South African society based on the core values of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all, where no child is left behind because of the circumstances of their birth. The DA is committed to building a political home for all our people, uniting South Africans around shared values, and ensuring that every single South African has a voice and a say in the future of our nation. 
It is an honour for the DA to be hosting this year’s Africa Liberal Network General Assembly. Internationalism and liberalism go hand-in-hand and we cherish the opportunity to meet and work with our fellow African liberals to help usher Africa into a brighter, more liberal future.Mmusi Maimane


ALN will hold its 12th General Assembly in Johannesburg, South Africa

The Africa Liberal Network (ALN) will hold its 12th General Assembly in Johannesburg, South Africa (27-31 January 2016)
The Africa Liberal Network (ALN) is an alliance of 44 Liberal Democratic parties and organisations from 30 African countries, with the aim to promote liberal democratic principles and international cooperation across the continent.
The ALN holds an annual General Assembly in order to create opportunities for networking and dialogue, ultimately discussing liberal solutions to African challenges. This year’s General Assembly will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the theme: Winning Elections: Strategies, Policies, and Solutions for Success hosted by full member, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The General Assembly will commence on Wednesday 27 January 2016 with an ALN Executive Committee meeting, followed by an array of activities, sessions and workshops taking place from Thursday 28 January 2016 to Saturday 30 January 2016.
Some of the highlights include: An address from DA Federal Leader, Mmusi Maimane MP, who will be sharing his vision for Africa; a word from our long time partners the UK Liberal Democrats and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation; an address from the ALN President Olivier Kamitatu; and regional reports from our Vice Presidents.
We are looking forward to a number of workshops and panels focused around Youth Mobilisation, Strategic Campaign Management and Coalition Negotiation, to name a few. A diverse array of politicians and professionals representing different parties and organisations from around the world will be travelling to Johannesburg to share their knowledge and experience on various topics. Experts include representatives of the Young Liberals of Canada, a member of the Obama re-election campaign team, and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE).
We have a number of exciting and engaging events planned; this includes a dinner hosted by Midvaal Mayor, Bongani Baloyi, who will be discussing Midvaal Municipality as a model for liberals in government, as well as a dinner with the DA of Gauteng Province.
The General Assembly will conclude with a visit to the iconic Apartheid Museum and an address from DA City of Tshwane Mayoral Candidate, Solly Msimanga MPL, followed by an excursion to the famous Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
In light of the large number of local, regional and national elections taking place across the continent in 2016, we would like our delegates to leave having participated in constructive dialogue on how to increase their support, manage their election campaigns and, in a number of cases, serve in a government that effectively implements policies based on liberal democratic principles.
The Delegate’s Guide and Briefing, along with other important documents, can be accessed here
Wishing all participants a safe journey, we are looking forward to a successful General Assembly.
For further enquiries, please contact
Luke Akal | ALN Coordinator | +27 (0)81 481 3754



The ALN extends a warm welcome to the network’s new coordinator, Luke Akal.
Luke has previously worked in Field Operations for the ALN member party in South Africa, the Democratic Alliance. His experience at the party’s Federal Head Office included conceptualising, supporting and monitoring provincial campaigns and projects across three of South Africa’s nine provinces. Luke’s passion in this role was translating policy into action by communicating effectively with South African voters.
Previously, Luke consulted with a South African education company. He holds a degree in Political Science and Communication Science.
Luke is enthusiastic about the opportunity to help grow liberalism across the African continent through the ALN. He believes in the power of liberal values and principles that can empower the hearts and minds of all Africans. Through the ALN, its members and partners, Luke hopes to empower African liberal political parties with the skills and assistance they require to excel.
Looking forward to the next ALN General Assembly, Luke is eager to meet representatives from all ALN members parties. He wishes to form excellent relationships with the entire network as well as its partners, and believes that together, the ALN will continue to grow from strength to strength in Africa’s transformation!


ALN Executive Committee (ALN ExCom) meets in Nairobi

The ALN Executive Committee (ALN ExCom) met in Nairobi from 3 – 6 September to discuss a range of important issues for the network including the upcoming General Assembly. In attendance were ALN President Olivier Kamitatu, Vice President for Central Africa Medard Mulangala, VP for East Africa Rosemary Machua and VP for Southern Africa Stevens Mokgalapa, Iain Gill from the Liberal Democrats and Hubertus von Welck of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The ExCom was hosted by Rosemary Machua and the Orange Democratic Movement, the main opposition party in Kenya and a key member of the ALN. After two full days of productive meetings, the ALN ExCom held a press conference attended by wide range of media including Aljazeera and the Kenyan Broadcasting Cooperation.

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