African Drive for Democracy Conference 2023
African Renaissance: Towards a Pan African Movement on Democratisation
On 19th July, 2023- Wednesday, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) East Africa, Senior Project Manager Judie Kaberia skillfully moderated a high-level panel comprising four former heads of state and government. The esteemed panelists, including Former Presidents Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, and former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, engaged in a crucial discussion on Africa's journey towards a Pan African Movement on Democratisation.
It is worth noting that FNF Tanzania, played a pivotal role in supporting the Africa Drive for Democracy Conference financially through the fostered partnership between the project country and the Center for strategic litigation (CSL). CSL is a Tanzania based not for profit organisation that seeks to advance the vision of a just and tolerant society, and a vibrant and inclusive democracy grounded in respect for the rule of Law and justice for all. The foundation's support extended to both this year's conference and the previous year's event, underscoring its commitment to fostering democratic values on the continent.
The ex-leaders echoed a resounding call, emphasising that the time is ripe for the youth to assume the mantle of political leadership and rally a united movement to bolster democracy in Africa.
In his keynote address, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma urged current African leaders to embrace the idea of relinquishing power when their time in office is up, promoting a culture of respecting term limits, and encouraging intergenerational leadership.
"Leaders are elected for a limited time, and it is their responsibility to make the most of that time frame. Democratic good governance thrives in settings where leadership is a collective endeavor, and those in power willingly guide and mentor the youth towards building a better and brighter future," said Dr. Koroma, emphasising the need for youth mentorship.
While acknowledging Africa's remarkable strides towards democracy, the distinguished panelists also confronted the stark reality of autocratic regimes, flawed elections, declining freedoms, and conflicts as major hurdles that must be addressed if the dream of a Pan African Movement on Democratisation is to be realised.
Judie Kaberia's moderating role during the panel discussion was an additional contribution FNF, demonstrating their commitment to fostering constructive dialogues on democracy in Africa.
The insightful panel discussion took place during the Africa Drive for Democracy Conference, a significant event organised and co-hosted by the Center for Strategic Litigation, Institute for Security Studies, and MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation. The conference brought together delegates from 29 African countries, who gathered in Arusha, Tanzania, from 19 to 21 July 2023, to reflect on the state of the democratic movement on the continent and deliberate on strategies to strengthen solidarity across a diverse and inclusive movement.