Windhoek Oct03

Representatives of centre right parties from fifteen African countries and nine MEPs of the European Christian Democrats Party, met from 26 to 28 October 2003 at the 6th Windhoek Parliamentary Conference in Windhoek, Namibia.


Bashir Khanbhai, Conservative MEP for the East of England, who chaired the talks said:


"Poverty in Africa, exacerbated by internal conflict and civic unrest, denies freedom to individuals who are forced to be dependent on the state and aid donors.


"It should be the role of opposition parties to help eradicate poverty, promote social development and fight for democracy and good governance in their countries.


"The EU is the largest donor to the 77 ACP countries and it is essential that aid is conditional on evidence of good governance in beneficiary countries.


"As EPP-ED co-ordinator for the Windhoek Dialogue, I am determined to help credible opposition parties in poor countries lead this battle for accountability and transparency.


"I am working hard to co-ordinate practical assistance that can be offered for municipal and national elections to be held in many African countries in 2004."