ECA to convene high-level roundtable on Democracy, Governance and the Pan-African Idea


ECA Press Release No. 73/2012

Addis Ababa, 17 May 2012 (ECA) – The Governance and Public Administration Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is organizing a High Level Colloquium on the theme: Democracy, Governance and Pan-African Idea: Whither Africa? Slated to mark Africa day, celebrated on 25th May, the ECA Colloquium will take place on  24 May at the United Nations Conference Centre.


According to Said Adejumobi, Acting Head of the Governance and Public Administration Division (GPAD), the Colloquium is meant to “stimulate open and frank discussion and debate on Africa’s democratic trajectory and current political developments, against the backdrop of the ideas and ideals of Pan-Africanism espoused by Africa’s founding fathers towards the realization of a democratic, prosperous and politically stable continent.”

Adejumobi notes that the objectives of the colloquium are to foster greater awareness, sensitisation, knowledge generation and provide policy direction on governance in Africa.  “We also intend to reflect on how far Africa has gone in achieving the dreams and ideals of Pan-Africanism in the political and governance realms in Africa, he adds.

According to Adejumobi, the event this year will also honour a committed and notable pan-Africanist - Tajudeen   Abdul Raheem, former Secretary General of the Pan-African Movement (PAM), who died three years ago, while in the service of the Continent and the United Nations.

The discussions will address the following questions and issues:  What journey has the continent covered in promoting democracy and good governance? What are the problems and challenges? Has the Continent kept faith with the Pan-African ideas and ideals on democracy and governance? If not, why and how can the continent be set on the right track? How can African achieve a democratic, prosperous and developed society which ranks with other regions of the World?  

The ECA roundtable/colloquium series adopts the Chatham House rule in which views expressed are personal, and not ascribed to any organisation. This is to ensure free flow of ideas and information, where participants can openly speak their minds.  

Pan-Africanism remains relevant to Africa’s development project today as it was some fifty years ago, when many African countries emerged from colonisation to independence. The Pan-African ideals as espoused by Marcus Garvey, W.E. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure and others were basically about how to promote the dignity of the African personality through a culture of self-reliance, economic progress and democratic stability all encapsulated in the struggle for political independence and economic emancipation. The Specific objectives of the high-level colloquium are to:  
·        Promote open, critical and informed debate on the Pan-Africa idea and its relevance to the trajectory and current developments on democracy, and governance in Africa;
-      To reflect on the key elements, ideas and ideals that underpin Pan-Africanism and the continued relevance of those ideas especially in the areas of meaningful political and economic independence, the political dignity and integrity of the African personality;
-      To examine the current initiatives-regional, sub-regional and national in Africa and how they promote or undermine the quest for democracy and good governance;
-      To pose the questions of identity, citizenship and migration in Africa, which were main features of the Pan-African governance discourse in creating the notion of an integrated political Africa;
·        To underscore the problems, challenges and prospects of a democratic, well governed and prosperous Africa;    
-       To proffer key policy recommendations at improving the value, culture and practice of democracy and good governance in Africa based on the founding ideals and ideas of Pan-Africanism.

Issued by:

ECA Information and Communication Service
P.O. Box 3001
Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Tel: 251 11 5445098 Fax: +251-11-551 03 65

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© 2012 Economic Commission for Africa