Windhoek, Namibia 30 October – 1 November 2015
October to 1 November 2015, the New Windhoek Dialogue Meeting brought
together UPADD members and other representatives of center – right
political parties from Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda; Members
of the European People’s Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament as
well as representatives of Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
their strong commitment to meet the most urgent challenges facing the
states of Africa and the European Union, the participants remained
committed to build up on the existing Windhoek Dialogue by using a new
format. The New Windhoek Dialogue will allow for discussions enriched by
expert contributions and will strengthen the dialogue and networking
between Africa and Europe as well as amongst African parties themselves.
The following issues have been discussed:
• Africa-EU relations in a changing global context
The state of democracy in Sub–Sahara Africa, including respect for
fundamental human rights and civil and political liberties, freedom of
the press, the rule of law, separation of powers, the fight against
corruption, the quality of electoral processes and the political
challenges faced by political parties in Sub-Sahara Africa
• The political situation in countries such as Angola, DR Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Togo
Security crisis, root causes of terrorism and ethnic conflicts
threatening peace and stability in Africa as well as obstacles standing
in the way for setting up a well-functioning African Peace and Security
• The challenge of migration in its humanitarian, security, development and political dimension
• Economic challenges in Sub-Sahara Africa, regional integration and ways to achieve an inclusive economic growth
After an open and thorough exchange of views on the above-mentioned issues, the following Joint Declaration was agreed:
STATE OF DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA:
The quality of democracy in Africa is deteriorating; an absence of
democratic governance and lack of accountability of political leaders
can be noted in many countries.
• The distinction between state,
government and ruling party has increasingly become blurred/is
increasingly disrespected; a separation of powers and independence of
the judiciary are no longer guaranteed.
• The label of democracy is used to camouflage autocratic, de facto one-party systems.
The trust of citizens in the state is diminishing as corruption,
patronage politics, and disrespect for democratic principles such as the
acceptance of the vote of the people, have become a character for the
behaviour of ruling elites. A culture of impunity prevails.
• In the
name of stability, peace and development, incumbent leaders tamper with
constitutional dispensations in order to extend their mandates and to
move beyond democratic control mechanisms.
BUILDING OF DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES AND INSTITUTIONS
Democracy is a universal concept based on global standards and
principles. Durable democracies depend on values agreed upon and
enshrined in the respective constitutions and international agreements.
All contenders for power have to subscribe to these principles and
values. Particularly the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and
Governance needs to be adhered to.
• Shaping robust democracies means
to respect and protect democratic institutions. Government derives its
power from the will of the people and political leaders are to be held
accountable. Democracy is not the luxury of an elite but needs to be
built and defended by each and every citizen. Responsible leaders serve
the country and not their self-interest. They should remain in contact
with their constituents and cater for their needs.
• Parliaments and
Parliamentarians – whether from ruling parties or the opposition, have
to acknowledge their responsibilities and need to exert their
legislative, representative and oversight functions vis à vis the
executive. It is essential to equip parliamentarians with the necessary
means to exercise their mandate.
• Legality of action does not
automatically imply legitimacy. The aim of our parties is to foster the
rule of law and not to succumb to the fallacy of a rule by law.
Independent judiciaries able to execute their mandate without political
interference are essential.
• Constitutional amendments forced upon
by ruling majorities and allowing incumbents to extend their term in
office indefinitely need to be prevented by all means as long as
democratic governance cannot be assured.
• In our understanding,
democracy implies the existence of multiparty systems, of a level
playing field and the option for an alternation of power. We strongly
condemn lip-services to democratic values that do not stand the litmus
test of elections bringing about a potential regime change.
• For the
consolidation of democracies, robust, diversified and inclusive
economies based on the principles of social market economy are an
essential factor. Particularly the role of parliaments in economic
governance needs to be strengthened.
Africa and Europe we cannot prosper in isolation. In the light of global
and regional economic and security challenges, regional integration is
more relevant than ever.
• Strategies have been developed and policy
frameworks and initiatives have been defined. Quite often these are
overambitious in character and in the end lack implementation.
• The absence of good governance at home cannot be compensated by moving towards the next higher level.
When much focus has been placed in recent years on the African Union,
we find that Regional Economic Communities have a far more important
role to play and have to be brought back on the political agenda of our
DEMOCRACY NEEDS DEMOCRATS – investing in future generations
Education is key in order to sow the seeds for a democratic political
culture as well as social emancipation and participation.
• Education should not be instrumentalised for party political purposes.
In order to promote an active and political citizenship educational
institutions, civil society and families have to assume their respective
responsibilities. The participative element of democracy should not
become reduced to elections. The values of democracy need to be taught
and practiced already in schools. Exchange of democratic experiences and
mentorship across the continent should be fostered.
• Youth need to
have and see a perspective in life. For this qualified education becomes
essential as does economic development that allows for an inclusive
growth providing labour opportunities for all classes of society.
Overall absence of good and democratic governance remains a key factor
responsible for migration and refugee flows out of and within Africa.
Those equally affect neighbouring countries and host countries in
• Additional root causes for migration such as climate
change, trade imbalances, political violence and repression need to be
• Political leaders have the responsibility to comply with
international commitments regulating the rights of refugees. They need
to foster a culture of tolerance and inclusion and should react on early
signs of xenophobia in their societies.
• Orderly managed migration
can be a source of mutual benefits and economic growth. However, this
requires that existing arrangements granting the free movement of
goods and services need to be implemented. Concepts and mechanisms have
to be established that provide diaspora communities a space to
contribute to the development of their home countries and prevent a
brain-drain to the detriment of their own societies.
• Only a
comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach moving beyond the
humanitarian and including security, foreign and developmental policies
can address adequately the multidimensional character of the current
migration and refugee crisis. Particularly the private sector needs to
be mobilized in order to address – together with state actors and civil
society, the root causes for migration.
We call on the international community to take a stronger and
coordinated stance on the defence of democratic principles. More
pressure and sanctioning mechanisms are needed when political
developments in certain countries violate democratic principles. Instead
of costly remedying when harm has been done, early and preventive
action is needed.
• International development cooperation needs to
place a stronger emphasis on democratic governance and has to adapt its
instruments in order to do so.
• Democratic values need to supercede
geopolitical and economic interests. We as African and European
political leaders of the centre-right urge the international community
to be clear on priorities and principles. The collateral impact of
trade-offs needs to be taken into account. Only in a democratic
political system can long-term stability be achieved.
In order to
overcome existing weaknesses, European and African center-right parties
must find common solutions and work together towards building democratic
and inclusive states and societies which enjoy the trust of their
The delegates undertook to continue this Dialogue and
extend an invitation to all political parties that share the same values
and principles. The next “New Windhoek Dialogue” meeting should be an
occasion to assess progress achieved
Signed by Representatives of:
• União Nacional pela Independência Total de Angola (UNITA)
• Convergência Ampla de Salvação de Angola – Coligação Eleitoral (CASA-CE)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
• Convention des Démocrats Chrétiens (CDC)
• New Patriotic Party (NPP)
• Movimento Democrático de Moçambique (MDM)
• Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA)
• Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP)
• Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
• Comité d’ Action pour le Renouveau (CAR)
• Democratic Party (DP