The full day conference on “Africa’s Challenges Today” organised by Liberation was a success. The passion for Africa was evident in the atmosphere as delegates discussed and debated on the ways forward for Africa. The conference may be over but we at Liberation understand that the work has only just begun.
Stan Newens, the President of Liberation gave a historical overview of the conference which detailed the struggles for independence across various African countries and also, the growing British anti-imperialist solidarity campaigns led by Liberation, Movement for Colonial Freedom at the time. He concluded his speech by saying:
“the emancipation of African peoples everywhere…must be our aim. The success of those who achieved so much in the struggle to end colonial rule should inspire us to emulate their efforts and seek to achieve a better life for all”
This look back at the history of the continent set the stage for the Keynote Speaker, Ambassador George Johannes, to propel the meeting towards the present challenges facing the continent. During his speech, Ambassador George reinterpreted the title of the conference when he said, “I think it is important for us to say that the soul of Africa is to change the material conditions of the working people”. This statement sums up the aim of the conference which was to address what Africa/Africans need to do today in order to meet the needs of Africa/Africans tomorrow. Ambassador George Johannes implored:
“If we as an African “country” can get ourselves organised so that we utilize our continental institutions, our non-governmental institutions, to promote a vision of a United Africa and an AFRICA RISING, then I think this will be one the ways that Africa is going to be able to stand up to those who want to keep us down”
He concluded by saying “Our first interest should be to stop the wars in Africa…which in many cases are not started by the Africans but are really instigated by some of the European countries”.
The day proceeded as planned and the workshops comprehensively dealt with the topics scheduled; Gender Equality, Socio-Economic Development, Politics and Governance and Foreign Aid or Exploitation.
Conference pictures and videos will be uploaded on the website soon and will be followed up with more information on the proceedings at the workshops. Please look out for the Special Issue of our bi-monthly journal in March in which we will publish a comprehensive report on the conference proceedings and the resolutions on the ways forward.