The future of Africa is often regarded in a strangely unimaginative and pessimistic way. Yet Africa today is full of diversity, economic potential and innovative development.
However, the continent faces numerous challenges. As a liberal foundation, we believe that sustainable development depends on strong democratic institutions. Through our activities, we therefore promote liberal policies such as human rights, the rule of law, innovation, digitalisation and free trade.
From our offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Harare, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Abidjan and Dakar, we support partners in several African countries in advocating liberal values and implementing democratic structures.
Why we need to take sides
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom opens its new office in Johannesburg at a time when there is much debate about the value of that very freedom. A value, that is indispensable for the self determined development of human beings and for democracy. Today, there are more autocratic states than democratic states in the world. The list of dictatorial regimes that oppress their people remains consistently long. African countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Libya and the Central African Republic are consumed by brutal civil wars. In Europe, a war of conquest is being waged for the first time since the Second World War. Why should war and conflict concern us? Deputy chairperson at FNF, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, gave a speech on the question.
Africa’s growing geo-political influence
Three back-to-back visits by major world powers to Africa ahead of February’s African Union Summit follow a flurry of important diplomatic visits in 2022, including by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Together, they signal attention to Africa’s rising political and economic bargaining power globally, which has been brought into sharp focus by the Russian war in Ukraine. “It’s a sign of increased attention to the continent.”
EU summit on migration: far from consensus
On February 9 and 10, a special summit was held in Brussels to focus on the EU's migration policy. One of the topics at the summit was the European Union's cooperation with relevant countries of origin in joint migration management. What was not addressed was the fact that many people set out precisely because they have no legal means of entry. However, the polarizing issue that continues to divide member states became a sideshow in light of Ukrainian Prime Minister Selenskyi's visit.
Concerns rife over shrinking press freedom in Kenya
Media practioners in Kenya have raised concerns over growing threats and attacks on journalists and media organisations with the regime change since September this year. In what is seen as direct onslaught on the media and infringement on press freedom, journalists, editors and media associations say there is course for worry as the media and journalists are unable to execute their duties professionally and independently since the August 2022 General Election.
A president under pressure
Many believe that President Ramaphosa would be the only one who can save the party from electoral disaster, but a scathing report released in November, with just over two weeks to go to the conference, exposed Ramaphosa as potentially much less clean than the corruption-fighting leader he has thus far been. The report - compiled by an independent panel appointed by parliament and headed by a retired chief justice found that there might be grounds for impeachment.
Shani: fighting against sexual violence towards children
FNF Tanzania launches an animated video series called Shani. The release of the video series will coincide with the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Towards Women and Children campaign from 25 November - 10 December 2022. Shani is a young ordinary girl from a village in Tanzania. Her secret is that she has the ability to transform and access her superpowers to fight monsters who find sneaky ways to enter into their lives with an aim to cause harm.
The dilemma of whistleblowers of corruption in Africa
“Corruption in Africa really fights, this doesn’t mean that corruption doesn’t fight elsewhere, but corruption in Africa fights hard,” Pusetso Morapedi of the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF). She was speaking in a panel discussion on the SABCNews programme, It’s Topical on Sunday, 6 November 2022. The show assembled a panel discussion of a dozen whistleblowers who blew the lid on corruption at state owned enterprises and the private sector.