From Monday 26 to Thursday 29 July, delegates from twelve ALN members met in Accra, Ghana for training organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Three further African liberal democratic parties also participated: the Movement for Democratic Change (Zimbabwe); the Orange Democratic Movement (Kenya); and the New Patriotic Party (Ghana). All three have been invited to participate in the ALN General Assembly and Liberal International Executive meeting in Cape Town this November.
NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, opened the meeting with Liberal International Secretary-General, Emil Kirjas. The participants focused on better acquainting themselves with the political situations in each other’s counties and the different donors working with liberal democratic parties in Africa. They learnt how best to drive issues and utilise regional networks, particularly in relation to tabling parliamentary questions. Finally, the delegates focused on the question of the youth in Africa, with contributions from Bart Woord, President of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), and Sidi Touré, former President of the Organisation of African Liberal Youth (OALY).
The meeting closed with ‘Liberal Thursday’ an initiative run by the FNF office in Accra to bring together progressive Ghanaians from all walks of life. A lively debate was held, with Clement Stambuli, Director of Campaigns at the United Democratic Front (Malawi) representing the Africa Liberal Network in the absence of ALN President, Dr Lamine Bâ. Mr Stambuli spoke of the difficult situation which homosexuals had to endure in his country, and called for African liberals to put an end to this persecution, instead uniting to protect freedom of expression. He was joined on the podium by Hon. Joe Ghartey MP (Chairman of NPP Constitutional, Governance and Legal Affairs Committee), Ms Uta Staschewski (FNF Programme Officer), Ms. Naomi Ichihara Røkkum (IFLRY Vice-President), and Mr Emil Kirjas.