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African Experts’ Group Meeting on UN Reforms
February 7-9, 2005

The Africa Leadership Forum was given the brief by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to organise an African Experts’ meeting on the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Report of the High Level Panel on; “Threats, Challenges, and Changes”. The meeting took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA, February 7-9, 2005.

In November 2003, the UN Secretary General, Dr. Kofi Annan had convened a 16-member High-Level Panel on “Threats, Challenges and Changes”, chaired by the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr. Anand Panyarachan. This was a response to a steady clamour for reforms in the
United Nations system. It was also the consequence of emerging developments and changes in the geo-political relations of states and regions; the emergence of new actors in the international arena, and its attendant implications for the charter of the United Nations to provide collective security.

Part of the terms of reference for the panel was to assess current threats to international peace and security; to evaluate how existing policies and institutions have done in addressing the above; and to make recommendations for the strengthening of the United Nations, so that it
can provide collective security for all; in the twenty first century.

In his letter of transmittal of the report to the UN Secretary General on November, 2004, Mr. Panyarachan said, “The report puts forward a new vision of collective security, one that addresses all of the major threats to international peace and security felt around the world.” The Panel insisted that the interconnectedness of contemporary threats to global security is significant. “Issues such as terrorism or civil wars or extreme poverty cannot be treated in isolation. The implications of this interconnectedness are profound and response strategies must be comprehensive.”

Highlights of the panel’s report include an emphasis on “development as theindispensable foundation of a new collective security.” For Africa, the relevance of the report stems first from the recent profound structural and organisational reforms involving the evolution of the  Organisation of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU) and in the panel’s recommendations on reforms involving but not limited to the following:

• Recommendations involving poverty, infectious diseases and environmental degradation (Recommendation 1 – 11)

• Recommendations on conflict between and within states (Recommendation 12 – 20)

• Recommendations involving the reform of the Security Council of the United Nations (Recommendations 73 – 81)

• Recommendations concerning the establishment of a Peace Building Commission (Recommendations 82 – 85)

• Recommendations regarding regional organizations (Recommendation 86)
• Recommendations regarding the Charter of the United Nations (Recommendation 97 – 101)

The opportunity therefore exists for Africa, within the framework of the African Union (AU) and other regional institutions; as well as its civil societies, to review its mechanism of engagement with the United Nations as well as the international community, in the light of the recommendations. Specifically as it relates to dealing with those issues that are pertinent to Africa’s well being and are being addressed by the programmes of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD.

The UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, and the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) and the Africa Institute of South Africa collaborated with the Africa Leadership Forum in facilitating the meeting.

 

National Survey on Corruption

Corruption has become a national malaise in Nigeria; as well as many African countries. Most of the efforts at curbing corruption and corrupt practices in the country have been targeted at operators and managers of systems; mainly politicians, military rulers, technocrats (public and private) as well as leaders of opinions and civil servants.

Significantly, the youth have been left out. However, in order to fill this gap, ALF carried out a National Survey on the; “Nature and Causes of  Corruption in Nigeria”.

Though the survey was concluded in 2005, the Forum had on July 26, 2004, organised a consultative and planning meeting with stakeholders to prepare for the survey, among other projects on corruption.

The objectives of the survey were to find answers to the following questions among others:

i. How have the youth been exposed to corruption?

ii. How do the youth define corruption?

iii. Are they aware of the negative consequences that corruption has on their future?

The survey project was conceived as a national study to cover all the nation’s six (6) Nigerian geo-political zones. The demographic information shows that 402 or 62.6% of the respondents were male and 232 or 36.0% were female while 8 or 1.3% did not state their sex. The analysis shows that 78.5% of respondents were students (in secondary and the tertiary institutions) while 21.5% were out of school or workers. Majority (73.6) of the respondents were rural, young persons in their prime and formative years. A total of 26.4% were urban dwellers.

A total of 437 or 72.4% of respondents understood what corruption is and about 167 or 27.6% do not. Bribery (54.4%), embezzlement (12.8%) and examination malpractices (9.4%) are ranked the first three most prevalent cases of corruption in the country and are followed by theft, sex hawking and fraud in that order. On the effects of corruption on the developmental growth of the country, a staggering number of 554 or 88.5% believe that corruption has led to the nation’s underdevelopment.

Ranking Institutions to be blamed most for the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, the family 49.66% schools 22.79%, and religious institutions 3.57% were ranked the first three by respondents. In ranking the government institutions to be blamed the most for corruption in Nigeria on the continuum of 5, the Police 72.8% placed first, followed by the Customs Services 46.5% Examination bodies JAMB, NECO, and WAEC followed with a rating of 31.0%, 30.8%, and 28.8% respectively. For law enforcement agencies and examination bodies to be highly rated for corruption means that if the War Against Corruption is to be won, then, these institutions must be restructured and made to adopt new moral values. Respondents identified poverty 55.61% as the major cause of corrupt practices in the country. Greed 35.2%, upbringing 4.08% and peer pressure 2.55% followed in that order.

The following are some of respondents’ complaints about government officials:

1. They spend so much money on jobs not done (properly)

2. The reasons for (their) going into office is just to embezzle government funds, and

3. They all believe in ‘Ghana-must-go’ (embezzlement syndrome).

Majority 75.6%, n=460 of respondents support popular opposition to corruption and claimed that they 83.8%, n=519 are willing to join a network of youths or a vanguard of youths against corruption in Nigeria.

They identified politics, the economy and education in that order as the aspects of life that are worst hit by corruption. By implication, it means that the political institution is believed to be the one that is most affected by corruption.

In conclusion, the survey study has shown that corruption is widespread in the nation and that no aspect of the Nigerian society is immune to it. It further reveals that the various efforts and institutions emplaced as anticorruption mechanisms are indeed inadequate to stop its rampaging
effects. In addition, Nigerian youth themselves are already involved in several corrupt practices. Except rigorous efforts are made to re-orientate the youth and make them desist from the various forms of corrupt activities, the future of the country hangs on a precarious balance. There is therefore, the need to focus extensively on the youth and engraft in them virtues that will enable them to be worthy citizens, and nation-builders for a glorious Nigerian state. Thankfully enough, there is a ray of hope that; quite a number among the youth are determined not to get involved in any act that would be detrimental to the development of the nation.

The following recommendations have become imperative for the anticorruption campaign to gain roots in the youth and succeed with them.

i. There should be a rigorous campaign to strengthen the anticorruption
institutions and spread their activities all over the country so that people would be aware of these institutions’ activities.

ii. There must be deliberate efforts to sanitise and improve the image of the various law enforcement institutions/agencies to gain the respect of the citizenry.

iii. Elected officials should also improve on their image by ensuring that they live decent lives in order to be excellent role models to the youth. They should be transparent in the discharge of their duties.

iv. There should be calculated efforts to re-orientate the Nigerian youth to imbibe positive virtues as a means of stifling corruption in the country.

v. Those who are integrity models in the society m, should be identified and celebrated as a means of encouraging the youth to emulate them.

vi. There must be a blueprint to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in every aspects of the Nigerian society.

vii. Public examples should be made of corrupt people, both great and small, as a deterrent to others who may want to engage in corrupt activities. It should not be business as usual.

viii. The old positive family values of integrity, fairness, justice, love; etc that our traditional societies were known for must be revived in our family institution. This means that the parents as
instructors of the youth must train them properly for the society.

There is the need to extend this pilot survey study to cover the entire 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in an elaborate manner to get more of the views of the Nigerian Youth.

 

National Workshops on Africa Peer Review Mechanism
March 4- 5, 2005

The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), with the support of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) organised series of National Workshops on African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) at Nigeria’s geopolitical zones starting from the South West zone at Ota, Ogun State on March 4- 5, 2005. Others held later at Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kaduna.

The Workshop had in attendance a cross section of civil society players drawn from the geopolitical zones, joined by senior government officials and ambassadors. Other participants included leaders of Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations, community/faith-based organisations, labour unions, women and youth organizations, the academia and professional associations as well as major media representatives from across the zones.

The workshop had the following specific objectives:

1. Increase the required level of legitimacy through the creation of broad based awareness of NEPAD and APRM among stakeholders in Nigeria;

2. Identify, sensitise, mobilize and prepare key stakeholders that will be involved in the implementation of the African Peer Review (APR) process in Nigeria.

3. Provide a platform for Civil Society stakeholders to discuss the APRM and define a framework and strategies for engagement in the country Review Process (CRP);

4. Ensure that the APRM process serves the purpose of monitoring good governance in Nigeria;

5. Provide all relevant technical input and information on the APRM process in a manner that would raise the technical competence of stakeholders as it relates to administration, assessment and review of the APRM questionnaire

6. Initiate a process that would transform the APRM process into a formidable mechanism for consensus building on national development process.

The Workshop focused on three main issues:

1. Background, Evolution and Prospects of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)

2. Operationalisation of the African Peer Review Mechanism

3. Mobilisation and Engagement Strategies

The following were listed as some of the characteristics of the APRM:

- APRM is a demonstration of the aspiration of Africa’s leaders for good governance.

- It is a mutually agreed instrument, voluntarily acceded to for, self monitoring.

- Theoretically carries neither punishment nor sanction.

- Its primary mandate is to encourage member states to adopt policies and practices, which promote good governance.

APRM’s four thematic areas of governance are said to include:

- Democracy and Political Governance

- Economic Governance and Management

- Socio-economic Development

- Corporate Governance

A number of strategies to implement the APRM in Nigeria were identified.

Some of these are:

1. Communication and outreach strategy which concerned the development and dissemination of basic information materials on APRM, structured use of local media sensitisation dialogues with target stakeholders, establishment of APRM communication cells, etc

2. Mobilizing development partner support – developing criteriaand modalities for development partner support, etc

3. Questionnaire – criteria for enlisting respondents, list and contact addresses of prospective respondents, unbundling of questionnaires, etc

4. Funding and resource requirement – annual budget, sourcing technical/financial backstopping

5. Review of the draft Guidelines for countries to prepare for and participate in the APRM.

The following are some of the key recommendations arising from the workshop series:

1. Networks of civil society groups (CSGs) that will strengthen the support base and expand knowledge of APRM in the South – West geopolitical zones to be created. This should also be replicated in each of the six states of the South – West geo-political zone; as well as in all the states in the other five geo-political zones in the country. The CSGs will function under the supervision of ALF and CDD;

2. ALF/CDD should seek the support of donor agencies, development partners, organised private sector and government for the programmes of the CSGs to organise other substantive meetings and capacity-building programmes on the APRM

3. ALF and CDD in collaboration with the APRM secretariat should coordinate the activities of civil society networks in the various states and provide them with the regular update on CRM;

4. ALF and CDD should develop an evaluation mechanism to monitor the activities of participating CSGs and liaise with the APRM secretariat in Abuja;

7. APRM documents should be translated into the three major Nigerian languages- Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba;

8. The area of competence of the various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) should be identified with a view to utilising their services in the various stages of the APR process;

9. CSO liaison desk be created at the APRM Secretariat and that CSOs should regularly update themselves by visiting the NEPAD and APRM websites, www.nepad.org and www.aprmnigeria.org

10. Develop and produce Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials, i.e. Leaflets, pamphlets, stickers, posters and newsletters to be distributed at major civil society events in the country. An advantage of major local, national and international events should be taken to publicize APRM and NEPAD;

11. Zonal coordinating centres on APRM and NEPAD should be created in each of the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.

 

National Youth Summit on Corruption
September 9-10, 2005

The National Youth Summit was the conclusion of the three-part project; on corruption targeted at the Nigerian youth by the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Konrad Adenaeur Foundation (KAF) supported the project. It included a survey titled, “Youth’s Perception on the Nature and Causes of Corruption in Nigeria”. There was also a national essay competition titled, “Corrupt Practices and Honest Leadership in Nigeria, with awards for outstanding performances. The third part was the National Youth Summit with the topic, Corruption and Corrupt Practices in Nigeria”.

The Summit was held on September 9-10, 2005 at the ALF Conference Centre. Top Nigerian government officials attended the programme. There were three thematic presentations in all; with speakers giving definitions of, and extensive views on corruption.

The award ceremony was held on September 10, 2005 also at the ALF Conference Centre. It was in honour of the winners of the national essay competition titled, “Corrupt Practices and Honest Leadership in Nigeria”. It was emphasized that the project was primarily conceived with the mind to promote effective youth involvement and participation in the campaign against corruption. The essay competition winners were awarded with complete multi-media computer systems and printers.

The following is the communiqué issued at the conclusion of the programme:

The participating youths resolved to:

• Engage in the re-orientation and re-negotiation of value systems at individual, community and national levels, through advocacy and research, and to disseminate messages against corruption in Nigeria.

• Organise anti-corruption campaigns through the use of information, education and communication (IEC) materials, to sensitise the public against corruption.

• Develop Internet websites to promote information dissemination on corruption and its effects on good governance.

• Build youth capacity through sensitisation workshops and training.

• Provide self-development and positive role modelling.

• Engage in peer education on corruption and corrupt practices The youth also urged the government to -
• Allocate resources to youth initiatives on corruption as a means of achieving mainstream youth perspective and involvement.
• Enact and implement legislation against cyber-crime and related activities.
• Facilitate transfer of information on corruption and corrupt practices.
• Effect enforcement/enactment of new laws and implementation of existing new laws on corruption and corrupt practices.
• Re-modify the secret code act of the judiciary system.
• Re-structure the National Youth Council.
• Increase youth involvement in policy formulation and implementation.

 

Capacity Building Workshops for Parliamentary
Support Staff
- November

The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) organised three five-day capacity building workshops for parliamentary support staff drawn from the Nigerian National and State Houses of Assembly in November 2005. The workshops were held at the International Conference Centre of the Africa Leadership Forum. They were organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Support Institute (PSI) of the ALF. The support for hosting the workshops came from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office.

The workshops were organised towards fulfilling the vision of the PSI, which is: Participants at the workshop included senior civil servants drawn from the two arms of the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly, joined by resource persons, among who were experienced professionals, foreign consultants, Members of Parliament (MPs), ambassadors, academia, and the media.

The workshop was a coordinated framework for enhancing the technical capacity of the parliamentary support staff. It was designed to imbue the individual trainees and parliaments, with requisite skills for effective functioning of the parliament; through a combination of training techniques, such as experiential learning, mentoring, and exposure, to best practices as well as impartation of technical and relevant information.

The main modules in the interactive and engaging sessions include, “The State, Leadership and Political Liberalisation;” “Legislative Practices in Nigeria” And “Accountability, Transparency and Integrity in Public Finance.” Others were; “Legislative Research”; “Briefs and Law Making Processes;” “Communication and Information Management” and “Strategic Thinking and Scenario Building”, “Measuring ParliamentaryPerformance”, and “Inter-Personal Skills.”

The following are some of the main recommendations put forward:

General:

• Sustained capacity building of the parliamentary system through orientation of legislators on resumption and continuous training and retraining of the career parliamentary support staff in particular.

• Need for strategic thinking and psychological restructuring of mindsets of parliamentarians and support staff;

• Sensitisation of participants and parliamentary leadership on debates and contemporary issues;

• Improved executive-legislative relations, which should be aided by the establishment of a strong liaison Institution.

• Promotion of focused interaction between legislators and parliamentary staff, to ensure success and growth;

• Call for transparent and productive use of legislative power;

• Constant familiarisation with rules and regulations of legislative practice, to improve quality of political leadership and ensure professionalism among both legislators and support staff;

• Call for investigation of financial misappropriation among legislators and support staff;

• Call for a fool-proof electoral process and education of both the electors and the elected;

• Involvement of all stakeholders in budget formulation and implementation;

• Establishment of a permanent commission to handle recruitment of professionals, into legislative aides and support staff positions, to improve efficiency.

Information and Communication Technology

• Increase awareness and promote greater utilization of ICT;

• Provision of requisite infrastructure - computers and Internet access in the parliamentary buildings to ensure ICT compliance;

• Transformation of the Legislative Library into a modern legislative information centre;

• Construction and maintenance of functioning websites by States and National Assemblies to ensure adequate access to relevant information;

Mainstreaming of gender and pro-poor in development policies

• Establishment of gender democratic base and development of consultative fora across the country;

• Need for public awareness campaign to effectively take care of budgetary allocations for women in all areas;

• Urgent re-orientation on gender issues and participatory approach to budgeting to promote accountability and transparency;

 

Technical Workshops on the Implementation of APRM

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an instrument voluntarily acceded to, by member states of the African Union; as an African governance self–monitoring mechanism, specifically under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The mandate of the African Peer Review Mechanism is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance as a means of fostering stability, economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental integration.

The APR process more or less focuses on assessing the performance of African countries and their development partners; in working towards achieving the MDGs by focusing on improved governance. The adoption of APRM posed a challenge of implementation, which the United Nations and UNDP in particular are striving to meet through, strengthened institutional and technical support to APR countries and organizations involved in its implementation process. This project thus falls within the purview of the support programmes of UNDP for the APRM in Nigeria.

For effective country level of the APRM, a structured and interpretative understanding of the process by the identified stakeholders is critical. In order to put Nigeria on firm footing for the APRM process, a series of Technical workshops is being organised for ten groups of stakeholders.

These include: the media, the Civil Society Organisations, legislators, judiciary, private sector executives, public officials and Labour Union leaders, etc. These technical workshops seek to consolidate the gains of the earlier zonal sensitisation workshops organised by the Africa Leadership Forum
.
B. Objectives of the workshop

Broad objectives
1. To broaden the support base and deepen the understanding of the African Peer Review Mechanism among the various stakeholders in Nigeria;

2. To create a conducive environment for the implementation of the APRM process in Nigeria;

3. To ensure effective domestication and integration of the APR process into the Governance process in all tiers of Government in Nigeria;

Specific objectives:

1. Increase the required level of legitimacy through the creation of broad-based awareness of NEPAD and APRM among the stakeholders in Nigeria;

2. Deepen the understanding of the structure and processes of APRM among critical stakeholders to be involved in the review process;

3. Increase the level of interpretative understanding and overall technical competence of the key stakeholders;

4. Identify, mobilize, sensitise and prepare all the key stakeholders that will be involved in the implementation of the APRM in Nigeria;

5. Review and redefine the role of key stakeholders in the implementation process based on the lesson learned from Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya;

6. Identify the immediate challenges that are likely to confront the implementation process;

7. Create a forum for information sharing and collation of inputs for the implementation of the APRM process in Nigeria;

C. Focus of the Technical Workshop

The workshops have been designed to increase the level of interpretative and structured understanding and overall technical competence of the key stakeholders in the implementation of the APR process in Nigeria.

Specifically the focus groups are Media Practitioners and Professionals; Labour and Trade Union leaders; Private Sector Executives; Federal Legislators and State Legislators; Political Party Executives; State Speakers and their Deputies; Federal Judiciary; State Judiciary; Academics and Civil society organisations; Federal and State public service officials; Chambers of Commerce and Members of the National Work Group on the APRM.

D. Target Group

1. Workshop I (Media Practitioners and Professionals)
2. Workshop II (Members of the National Working Group and Technical Research Institutions)
3. Workshop III (Executive members of the Private Sector in Nigeria)
4. Workshop IV (Labour Unions/ Trade Association Leaders)

E. Description of the Workshop modules

Intensive workshops that involve in-depth interrogation and analysis of the primary issues around the concept of APRM, its implementation procedure, possible challenges as well as its capacity and potentiality for the improvement of governance process in Nigeria. Modular presentations by knowledgeable Resource Persons and professionals involved in the implementation of the APRM process within Nigeria provided the basis for discussions with the guide of an experienced and distinguished chair.

 

Advanced Research and Policy Dialogue
  October 17-18
, 2005

On October 17-18, the Forum served as institutional partner to the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) for a programme titled Advanced Research and Policy Dialogue. The dialogue, which held at Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, was a structured exchange between some of Africa’s top leaders, statesmen and women and scholars.

H. E. Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo presided over the meeting. The Dialogue centred on the objective of renewing the foundations for African citizens. The theme, Africa: Reaffirming Our Commitments, rallied participants to rethink citizenship in Africa and renew a sense of collective responsibility to making the continent-all parts of the continent- a home to
its peoples.

The following 12 propositions for a Renewed Commitment to Africa formed the bases for the dialogue:

1. Living Together: Local and Pan-African Citizenship
2. History and Culture
3. Making Governance Work for all Africans: Towards a New Social Contract
4. Men, Women and Gender Complementarities
5. Language and Communications
6. Production and Trade
7. Re-thinking Social Policy
8. Keeping the Public Sphere Open and Democratic
9. Conflict, Violence and Peace: Bringing Politics Back.
10. Renegotiating Africa’s Place in the World
11. Research and Policy Making
12. Reinventing Our Future
Participants from all over Africa shared ideas and mapped out strategies on the way forward for the region.

 

Africa and the Emerging Global Challenges:
Desirability of African Union Government - November 12-13, 2005

A key part of Africa Leadership Forum’s objective is to “sensitise incumbent leaders, policy makers, media, and the public, both in and outside Africa; on national and regional problems of development, strategy, environment, and management in a way to facilitate their effective contributions to solutions.” This is one of the crucial bases on which the Forum collaborated with the Federal Government of Nigeria to hold a two-day conference on the theme, “Africa & the Challenges of the Changing Global Order: Desirability of a Union Government.” It was held on at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, Nigeria.

The conference had in attendance African heads of governments as well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission. Also participating at the conference was a broad section of the African civil society movement as key resource persons. The Abuja conference, which was convened by H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairperson of the African Union was in pursuance of the decision by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Sirte, Libya. The decision was to facilitate a deeper reflection on the content and thrust of the report presented by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda during the ordinary session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Sirte, Libya in July, 2005.

The conference had the following as its objectives, among others:

• Provision of further conceptual clarifications on the notion of Union Government in Africa;

• Provision of opportunity for stakeholders from the five African subregions to discuss the desirability of a Union Government as a framework for Africa’s effective participation in a rapidly globalising world;

• Discussion of the possible constitutive, operational and institutional challenges of creating a viable Union Government and define appropriate strategies for tackling them;

• Deliberation on the possible national constitutional challenges; and the implications for African countries.

President Obasanjo observed that four fundamental factors were critical in the formation and the management of Union Government. These factors are:

1. A Union government must be motivated by a clearly identifiable set of goals.

2. The pursuit of these goals must be based on a set of clearly identifiable shared values and commonality of interest which are non-negotiable.

3. These values determine the constitutive and regulative rules of the Union.

4. Such rules are expected to be based on the principle of strict adherence.

The following are of the points that participants noted at the conference:

1. The issue of Union Government has been with Africans since the wave of independence in the 1960s. The issue is not building from the roof; it is whether or not Africans intend to finish the house.

2. Having agreed that the Union Government is a positive objective, there is no contradiction between building on what we have right now and moving towards a Union Government.

3. The continental government project must be based on rigorous empirical analysis rather than concocted rhetoric.

4. The project must take into account issues of nationality, ethnicity, gender equality and sensitivity, race, tribes, fair and equitable distribution of resources and emphasis on the rule of law.

5. The project of a Union Government must address important constitutional issues such as the status of current states and reconfiguration of the political authority of existing leaders within the new arrangements. What titles would they have and what competence?

6. The debate should really focus on whether or not we will be fixated by the issues that have been with us in the debates of the 1960s or show a new political will to move forward.

7. Decisions on building a Union Government must be taken by representatives of states that are truly independent.

8. Decisions taken by African leaders on Union Government must be supported by a mandate of the people of various states.

9. There is a need for a layered approach to the subject of a Union Government that must identify and clearly assign specific roles to states, sub-regional entities and the continental government. We need to identify areas such as environmental issues, trade negotiations, etc, where coordination is best handled at confidential level and assigned such responsibility there.

10. The Union Government ideal must be based on shared values.

11. Approaches to the ideal of a Union Government should not necessarily assume unanimity. Based on the experience of the European Union, it should be possible to have a fast-track component where those who want to move forward can go ahead and others may join later.

12. There is a need to define the modalities for the implementation of a union government project by establishing an appropriate roadmap and a strategy for its attainment.

 Major Conclusions and Recommendations:

The deliberations produced the following conclusions and recommendations:

1. The necessity for eventual Union Government is not in doubt. It is even characterised as an imperative in the fulfilment of the dream of the successive generations of African leadership, and as a response to the collective aspirations of African peoples as well as developments in other regions of the world.

2. As a corollary to the above, the conference recommended that it must be a Union of the African people and not merely a union of states and governments. As part of this recommendation, it is important to popularise the Union project and extend its constituency beyond the leaders. To effect this, it is recommended that a multi-pronged and multi layered campaign be undertaken to inculcate the ideals of Pan Africanism in African learning institutions, media and other organs of civil society.

3. The Union Government must be motivated by a set of clearly identifiable goals.

4. The pursuit of these goals must be based on a set of clearly identifiable shared values and commonality of interest, which are non-negotiable. Such values may include, among others, democracy and human rights, social solidarity, good neighbourliness and peace.

5. These values must determine the constitutive and regulative rules of the Union. Such rules are expected to be based on the principle of strict adherence.

6. For effectiveness and sustainable results, a carefully thought-out and detailed roadmap on the Union Government project must be developed and used as a guide.

7. The formation of a Union Government must be based on a multilayered approach. In that respect, basic internal contradictions at the national level must be reviewed and resolved. The same must also happen at sub-regional levels. Thereafter, the next logical step must be to identify and clearly assign specific roles to states, subregional entities and the continental political framework.

8. There must be continuous work towards the Union project simultaneously at national, sub-regional and regional levels. The architectural framework which was constructed for the African
Union; only three years ago should be strengthened by the correction of the identified weaknesses and the provision of necessary resources for the effective implementation of its vision and mission as well as approved programmes.

9. The multi-layered approach must also work on the principle of gradual ‘incrementalism.’ Core issue areas such as major environmental challenges, collective and joint trade negotiation strategies and frameworks, infrastructural development, agricultural development and the fight against HIV/AIDS, where coordination is best handled at continental level, must be prioritised with responsibilities assigned accordingly.

10. Regional Economic Communities (RECs) must be made more effective as the building block for the continental framework. In particular, a clear decision must also be taken in terms of current and future competence of the regional blocks and the continental framework. A clear decision must be made on rationalising the subregional economic communities so that investments are made to build synergies between the RECs and the Union Government.

11. The Pan-African Parliament and Economic Cultural and Social Council (ECOSOCC) and other independent Pan African Organisations will require be strengthening, adequately resource
and carrying along as part of broader investments in citizen participation.

12. The conference urged a faithful implementation of the protocol on the Pan African Parliament, which requires that members be elected directly from all countries instead of being selected from national parliaments, and the Pan African parliament should exercise an oversight function over the Union Government.

13. The African Union Commission must be directed to conduct an audit of what already exists on the ground with respect to:

1. The state of the implementation of all relevant agreements,treaties and programmes.
2. Resources and capacity for the AU and its organs. The works of the Regional Economic Communities and their harmonization.
3. The urgent establishment of other organs of the African Union such as the Central Bank, Court of Justice & Human Rights, African Investment Bank, etc.

14. The African Union Commission must establish a team of experts, which will work with the seven-member AU committee to draw up detailed recommendations for submission to the African Union Summit.

15. Participants commended the conference and urged that such a dialogue be continued and participation at future conferences of this nature should be expanded.

In view of the track record and demonstrated competence of the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF), particularly in convening high-level consultative dialogues and policy meetings, it should be mandated to mobilize continuous civil society involvement and engagement with the new AU
leadership. The ALF, in consultation with the African Union Commission, should organise similar conferences for civil society organisations, among others, in different parts of Africa.

 

Gender Mainstreaming and Development Planning Workshop  
November 28-29, 2005.

The Forum organized a Gender Mainstreaming and Development Planning Workshop for the Senior and middle management staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), Warri, Delta State, Nigeria on November 28-29, 2005.

The workshop objectives were to:

• Sensitise participants on gender concepts and the effect of gender on social relationships between women and men

• Build the capacity of staff to appreciate and identify gender gaps in projects planning and conception stages

• Strengthen programming skills to appropriately mainstream gender into programme planning for community development

The workshop methodologies: included case studies, brainstorming, plenary discussions, power point and flip chart presentation, group work etc. In the first session, participants defined development as positive change over time; and as an event causing a change; and qualitative growth. Various definitions of development like the Human Development Index (HDI); Gender and Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). Parallel to the change in thinking, various theories of development began to emerge as solutions for evoking gender balance in development. Characteristics and flaws of three specific theories; proffered over the years as solutions for evoking gender balance in development, were discussed in details. The theories are Women in Development (WID) of the early 1970s, Women and Development (WAD) of the late 1970’s and Gender and Development (GAD) of the 1980’s.

Some of the major recommendations at the end of the workshop are:

- Gender mainstreaming should be introduced into school curricula and in conventional development approaches

-  Monitoring framework for follow up of participants’ post-workshop activities on gender mainstreaming

- Workshop should also be held for staff at lower cadres

-  Workshop should be organized for SPDC staff in policy making positions

-  More of gender mainstreaming and development planning workshops to enable development practitioners make the strategic connections in our work/policies/programmes

- Expand the horizon and bring in more participants so that the majority of Shell staff would be gender sensitive in their work and private lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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