www.padfm.com.gh / By Zulka
A Ghana-based Pan-African and non-governmental organisation, Africa Participatory Governance Forum (APGF) has called on stakeholders especially African governments to “adhere to tenets of participatory democracy” and combat exclusion.
In a press statement in commemorating the Africa Union Day on May 25, the organisation accused African governments of using “legislatures subservient to the president to change their constitutions to allow them to stay in power” beyond their mandatory tenures of ruling adding that, some stay in perpetuity.
For the organization, Africa should “strive to have a united, peaceful and secure” atmosphere recognising its own cultural identity, common heritage and shared values in the collective development of the continent. It hopes the creativity of the youth will take centre stage in the course.
APGF also urges African youth to embrace their cultures and engage in activities that will address the plights of their people, precisely to effect reduction and eradication of “poverty, diseases and ignorance”. It adds that the African youth should position themselves to take their rightful positions at the table of governance in the continent and the world at large.
The UA Day which was celebrated on the theme “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa we Want” is an annual commemoration of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) formed on 25th May 1963 and later changed to African Union (AU) in 2001.
This year’s celebration coincides with the Continental Launch of the Entry into Force of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance (2006).
Africa Participatory Governance Form (APGF) is a Non-Governmental Pan-African Organisation, incorporated in Ghana to promote learning, peace and dignity for all people, strengthen human rights and citizen participation in governance, ensure extreme poverty eradication, and safeguard a sustainable planet in the continent.
It is also to bring together former African student or youth leaders and other like-minded people to use their rich experiences, knowledge and know-how to serving their people, in particular the younger generation.
Below is the full statement;
Date: 25th May, 2021
AS WE CELEBRATE AFRICA DAY – LET’S ADHERE TO THE TENETS OF
PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY AND COMBAT EXCLUSION
Each year, throughout Africa and beyond, 25th May is celebrated as Africa Day to mark the creation of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU). The Africa Participatory Governance Forum wishes to take this opportunity to pay solemn homage and tribute to the founding fathers of the OAU/AU. Their intent to build a prosperous Africa, an Africa that is economically integrated and politically guided by the ideals of Pan Africanism, an Africa that subscribes to democracy, respects human rights and respects the rule of law should be observed and implemented to their memory.
The Day is expected to be a moment for Africans to reflect on their past, present and future to enable them to fasten the unity of the continent, galvanize their efforts and energies to alleviate the sufferings of their people and quicken their involvement in the discharge of global affairs. The Day offers Africans an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of their realities and strengthen their self-confidence to empower them to play their rightful role in the International Comity instead of being always at the receiving end.
This year’s celebration is under the Theme: “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa we Want” and it coincides with the Continental Launch of the Entry into Force of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance (2006). We should strive to have a united, peaceful and secure Africa, an Africa with its own cultural identity, common heritage and shared values, an Africa whose development is hinged on the creativity of its people, particularly its youth. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that Africa must first and foremost rely on its unity to overcome any future occurrences.
The transformative decision of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) which is bearing the fruits of its formation is as promising as the beliefs of the founders of AU in attaining a united prosperous Africa. The Africa Participatory Governance Forum is delighted at this bold decision taken by African leaders and calls for the total commitments of all stakeholders, especially governments to create enabling environments and harness the roadmap towards achieving sustainable, social and economic development through the implementation of the ACFTA initiative.
However, Africa faces the paradox of making steps in its integration i.e AfCFTA but reversing the prodemocracy reforms that hit the continent like a tidal wave in the 1990s and removed many authoritarian regimes and the one-party system that had dominated the African scene since independence.
Today, after 31 years of multiparty democracy, many of these countries still struggle to deepen and institutionalize democracy and deal effectively and fully with government impunity.
Apart from some countries, such as Kenya, Liberia, and Ghana who have abided by their countries’ twoterm limit, others have used legislatures subservient to the president to change their constitutions to allow them to stay in power beyond those two terms, and, in some cases, indefinitely.
We deplore the recent endorsement by the African Union of the coup d’état in Chad after the demise of President Idriss Deby Itno. This constitutes a setback in Africa forward march to protect and safeguard constitutional rule.
The Africa Participatory Governance Forum (APGF) urges all Africans particularly the youth to embrace their cultures and fully take part in all efforts aimed at uplifting their people from poverty, diseases and ignorance among others and at rightfully positioning their continent in the world.
Let’s endeavour to uproot corruption and bad governance from the continent!
All for African Unity!
Long live African Unity!
Eredon Gien Joseph, Communications Officer.
Story by; EREDON GIEN JOSEPH