The recently concluded General Assembly of the Africa Liberal Network (ALN) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the first since the COVID pandemic broke out, saw the formal admission of Gambia For Allas full member of the continental organization of African political parties espousing the principles and values of democratic liberalism, as guiding socio-political ideology. A GFA delegation, comprising the party Secretary General, Bakary Dabo, and Chief of Staff, Bolong Sonko, attended the conference to present the case for the party’s admission.
The biennial conference, which was hosted by the Democratic Alliance [DA] party of South Africa, was also attended by the Network’s strategic partners, which include the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Germany, the D66 International, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy of the UK, VVD party of the Netherlands, the UK Liberal Democrats party and the Liberal International, through its Secretary General, William Townsend.
The African Liberal Network, with a membership of 38 parties, is a growing body of progressive political parties operating on the continent. They are committed to genuine political reforms for the realization of the principles of democratic governance, including the promotion of economic liberalism within an environment of free markets, subject only to competent state regulation in the interest of efficiency and social equity. The Network meets periodically to review the progress of, but also challenges to, the expansion as well as the entrenchment of democratic liberalism on the continent, in order to promote solidarity and cooperation for the attainment of these objectives.
Attaining full membership of the African Liberal Network is an essential first step for GFA to aspire to occupying its place within the Liberal International, the global family of political parties aligned to the ideology of democratic liberalism. Further, the development opens interesting vistas for working together with other like-minded parties, at both continental and international levels, for the promotion of good governance through strengthened democracy,in tandem with efficient economic management, prerequisite for meeting the social and other legitimate aspirations of our peoples for development and progress. Already, the just concluded meeting created a welcome opportunity for bilateral contacts with other parties which led to the exploration of a number of interesting ideas for cooperation and collaborative ventures.
The five day session of the General Assembly ended with the election of the Network’s Executive Committee, responsible for running the affairs of the organization in between its biennial conferences. Theelection produced the following results:
– President: Gilbert Noel Ouédraogo [Alliance pour la démocratie et la fédération – Rassemblement démocratique africain, Burkina Faso].
– Treasurer: Clement Stambuli [Forum for the Defense of Democracy, Malawi].
– Vice-president for North Africa: Bouchra Barrijal [Union constitutionnelle, Morocco].
– Vice-president for West Africa: Ousmane Traore Ben Fana [Parti citoyen pour le Renouveau, Mali].
– Vice-president for Central Africa: Rudy Mandio [Peuple au Service de la Nation, Republic of Congo].
– Vice President for East Africa: Irene Mayaka[Orange Democratic Movement, ODM, Kenya].
– Vice President for Southern Africa: Rose Sakala, (United Party for National Development, Zambia)
Gambia For All.