Meeting of the Socialist International Africa Committee, Maputo, Mozambique, 3-4 September 1999
The Socialist International Africa Committee,
Aware of how important democracy is for the socio-economic and cultural development of the peoples of the African continent,
Aware that the participation of all sectors of society contributes strategies for good governance,
Having reflected on the need to adopt policies which ensure good governance in order to achieve stability nationally, regionally and throughout the African continent,
Aware of the need for tolerance, freedom of association, information, expression, of all citizens and of civil society as a whole,
Convinced that democracy must reflect the collective will of citizens expressed by means of an informed and voluntary vote which legitimates it,
Aware that to ensure the stability of the continent, African leaders must accept the principle of democratic alternation of power,
Considering the diversity in Africa and the specific situations which exist in each country of the region, the parties of the Socialist International reassert their willingness to strengthen democracy everywhere, because maintaining democracy is the only way to ensure economic and social development with respect for individual and collective human rights,
Convinced that democracy must be supported by dialogue and tolerance to be an irreversible process, and that the members of the Socialist International Africa Committee must develop the practice of democracy within their own parties and disseminate it throughout society.
The SI Africa Committee:
Reaffirms its commitment to collective solidarity so that it can contribute as a whole to the democratisation of Africa, and
Encourages the member parties of the Socialist International, both in Africa and elsewhere in the world, to adopt policies aimed at alleviating the problems of their peoples so that they may develop their potential in a peaceful environment and in which institutions work properly.
Having examined the current situation of the African continent in detail, particularly with regard to the armed conflicts which are taking place, the Committee expresses its deep concern, underlining that the absence of peace violates the most fundamental human rights in the African continent.
The Committee expresses its solidarity with all the peoples of Africa who are currently denied the opportunity to live in peace. It condemns any violation of decisions taken by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the United Nations, and the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) as regards the conflict in Angola by Jonas Savimbi and his followers.
In this case and in that of the Great Lakes, serious dialogue between the parties is the only way to overcome the crisis.
The international community must assume its responsibility to promote and safeguard a culture of peace.
The Committee strongly condemns all those who directly or indirectly contribute to perpetuating war in the continent. In the knowledge that only dialogue and tolerance can lead to the peace which the African continent so deeply desires, the Socialist International is ready to cooperate in any way which may be necessary to achieve the consensus needed.
In the context of preparations for the SI Congress in Paris, which will add new impetus to the Socialist International, the Africa Committee will make concrete proposals aimed at contributing effectively to the prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa.
These proposals will be aimed both at ensuring better identification and recognition of the problems and at spurring governments and international organisations into action.
Finally, the Socialist International Africa Committee appeals to all its members to promote concrete actions and events which will contribute to promoting a culture of peace and integration among their peoples. In the meantime, it undertakes to continue its initiatives to prevent conflicts, in support of its members who are currently suffering the consequences, and to send missions aimed at contributing to the peaceful resolution of these conflicts.
Development and Globalisation
The Committee closely examined the constraints that hinder development in Africa and noted that globalisation is an irreversible and unavoidable process which we must all be prepared for.
Widespread and ruthless competition between multinationals to dominate the economic markets of the world affects the development of Africa, which continues to remain on the sidelines.
African governments need to acquire the skills to keep up with the pace of development and the advent of globalisation.
Therefore, the Africa Committee recommends that:
1. Objective conditions should be created for contracts to be drawn up between governments and influential social groups who can contribute decisively to the development of their countries.
2. Quality services should be promoted in the areas of healthcare and education to prevent AIDS and protect the human resources of the countries in the region.
3. Internal and external capital investments should be promoted in order to stimulate national entrepreneurship and the private sector.
4. Internal production capacity should be created and stimulus provided for the formation of a middle class which is capable of ensuring sustainable development.
5. The parties of the Socialist International should prioritise the adoption of policies to combat poverty and destitution.
6. African countries should make efforts to equip and utilise regional and sub-regional economic, social and cultural organisations with a view to ensuring their more active and dynamic integration.
7. African countries should work together to achieve the cancellation of foreign debt, which is the main factor restricting their economic and social development.
The Committee is aware that the future of Africa will require investment in agriculture, which is the main source of wealth for most African countries, and in other resources, leading to a level of industrialisation which will allow them to process their products and set fairer prices for their goods in international markets.