Over 50 political leaders, members, and partners of the Democrat Union of Africa (DUA) gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa for the DUA Forum 2023 from April 26th to 30th, 2023. The forum, organized in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, aimed to strengthen centre-right political parties in Africa by discussing new areas of cooperation in line with the development of the African continent. The Forum was held under the theme: Discovering New Dimensions of Cooperation: A Collective Responsibility Towards Africa’s Development. The forum was organized with support from DUA’s member political parties in South Africa: the Inkatha Freedom Party and the African Christian Democratic Party.
The forum was opened by H. E. Dr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Patron of the Democrat Union of Africa. Other distinguished guests included the Chairman of the International Democrat Union, the Rt Hon Stephen J. Harper (participating virtually), and Hon. Louisa Atta-Agyemang and the Rt Hon Freeman Aikaeli Mbowe, Co-Chairpersons of DUA, also graced the occasion. H. E. Dr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo congratulated the DUA leadership for putting together the forum and for holding together the alliance of all centre-right political parties and partners in Africa. He indicated that centre-right political parties have an important role to play in ensuring the economic emancipation of the African people.
Discussions at the forum focused on how to strengthen individual political parties and their capacities to gain and sustain political power. The resolutions adopted by the forum are geared towards advancing conservative values and ensuring the relevance of political parties in their respective countries.
One of the key resolutions was for political parties to advocate against all practices that are inconsistent with the ideals of democracy and freedom. The forum specifically called for an end to weak and porous electoral processes perpetuated by dictatorships and repressive governments. In line with this, political parties were urged to strengthen the network and political solidarity among the DUA family, especially during elections.
Another crucial resolution was to combat voter apathy by creating narratives that align with conservative party values and principles. This will help to adapt centre-right ideological principles to the African context and prioritize the identity and values of Africans.
The forum also emphasized the need to empower young people to have a strong role in speaking truth to power and calling on African governments to ask for an Africa-Europe partnership that is hinged on an equal footing and is fair to both continents. In addition, the use of artificial intelligence and modern technologies was advocated for in driving electoral campaigns.
The forum also discussed the need to adopt localized forms of political programming and structuring, useful in securing successive political victories. This should be driven by the need to keep members of political parties at the local level engaged all-year-round.
In conclusion, the DUA Forum 2023 provided an important platform for political leaders, members, and partners of the DUA to discuss and agree on key strategies for strengthening the African conservative fraternity. The resolutions adopted will go a long way in advancing conservative values, improving the capacities of political parties, and ensuring a strong African centre-right family.