Windhoek Dialogue Oct03

Representatives of centre right opposition and coalition parties from fifteen African countries and nine MEPs of the EPP-ED, met from 26 to 28 October 2003 at the 6th Windhoek Dialogue Parliamentary Conference in Windhoek, Namibia.


"Freedom of the individual determines and sustains democracy. Poverty deprives and denies freedom to individuals who are forced to be dependent on the state or aid donors. Therefore, poverty cannot sustain democracy


Political conflict and civic unrest destroy infrastructure, jobs and the lives of the poorest, especially in rural areas. Poverty is exacerbated by these man-made disasters that so many poor countries experience in Africa.


Poverty in any nation can only be eradicated by using natural human resources and good governance. 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. Opposition parties and their leaders must have the courage to expose corruption, mismanagement and bad governance of both national and external aid given by international donors.


As the EU is the largest donor to the 77 ACP countries, 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 those credible opposition parties in poor countries who identify, educate and support those who can lead the 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. The EPP-ED group, supported by the Konrad Adenaur, Schuman and Westminster Foundations, will be active in this respect, as has already been the case in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa."