The Socialist International Africa Committee met in Accra, Ghana on 7-8 October 2016 under the main theme “Advancing our social democratic vision in Africa: securing jobs, guaranteeing accessible quality education, developing health systems and ensuring social protection for all”.
The following accords were reached:
A. On the main theme: “Advancing our social democratic vision in Africa: securing jobs, guaranteeing accessible quality education, developing health systems and ensuring social protection for all”:
- That SI member parties in government must strive to reach out to their colleagues who find themselves in opposition and to engage in dialogue more often on strategies that could help them get their voices heard on issues of good governance, rule of law, social protection and a sense of belonging.
- That youth unemployment is a huge time-bomb that could threaten peace and security in every country. Hence collective efforts should be made to offer the right kind of education and training for the youth to qualify them for employment.
- That matters such as social housing, national health insurance, job security, social interventions for the vulnerable (such as the LEAP programme in Ghana and South Africa) should be pursued to bring down tensions that may lead to social anarchy.
- That access to quality education both in terms of infrastructure and an appropriate curriculum should be increased as part of the social democratic agenda to face current challenges on the continent.
B. On the second theme: “Peace and Security – working together building common strategies to face current challenges in the continent” the meeting agreed:
- That African countries need to come up with stronger and better trained armies that can secure their citizens, to ward off conflicts and armed insurgencies by terrorist groups. Where armed conflicts have been resolved, every effort should be made to forgive and reconcile all factions that took part in past conflicts. The South African Truth and Reconciliation as well as the Namibian reconciliation strategies were cited.
- That the UN Secretary-General and his special envoy should continue their efforts aimed at achieving a mutually acceptable solution which provides self-determination for the Saharawi people. In this regard the SI should request the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front to engage in direct and serious negotiations under the auspices of the UN.
- That the threat of terrorism in Africa, be it ISIS or Boko Haram, in Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and elsewhere, needed to be confronted by pooling and sharing collective intelligence and it was necessary to be each other’s keeper, since the effects of an attack on one country has repercussions throughout the continent.
- That SI members should step up their solidarity and cooperation with those facing security threats and terrorism.
- To denounce the conduct of the government of Gambia, including the holding of political prisoners, among them the leader, Ousainou Darboe, and members of the executive of the SI member party, the UDP; the constant violations of human rights, arbitrary detentions and extrajudicial killings, and to demand the immediate release of all those imprisoned for political reasons and the holding of free and fair elections.
In conclusion, Socialist International will continue to work together to contribute to the resolution of conflicts and the current challenges to peace and security confronting the continent.
The NDC of Ghana, the host party, was accorded warm appreciation for hosting this meeting of the Africa Committee in Accra. Members expressed optimism that the NDC would win the upcoming December 2016 general elections and will continue in office to serve the people of Ghana, Africa, and to continue its active role in the Socialist International.