1. The first Conference of Foreign Ministers of the African Political Alliance (APA), an informal framework for enhanced cooperation, was held on May 3, 2023 in Lomé, Republic of Togo.
2. The opening ceremony and the work of the ministerial conference were chaired respectively by H.E. Mrs. Victoire TOMEGAH-DOGBE, Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo, and H.E. Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and Togolese Abroad.
3. The following countries Foreign Ministers and Heads of delegations participated in the proceedings of the conference: the Republic of Angola, the Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, the Gabonese Republic, the Republic of Guinea, the State of Libya, the Republic of Mali, the Republic of Namibia, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Togo.
4. In her opening speech, H.E. Mrs. Victoire TOMEGAH-DOGBE recalled the continent current challenges which led Togo to launch the idea of the African Political Alliance (APA).
5. On behalf of H.E. Mr. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Republic of Togo, Madam Prime Minister congratulated participants for their support to the Togolese initiative which meets the geopolitical and diplomatic need for Africa to qualitatively and significantly review its relationship with the rest of the world for its better representativeness within multilateral institutions of collective action and in the global governance. The challenges are great and invite us to think outside the box in a global geopolitical context which requires each continent to adapt more quickly to changes in the world.
6. The Ministers welcomed the Togolese initiative to launch the African Political Alliance which will make it possible, beyond the usual existing cooperation frameworks, to unite the African nations which are convinced of the ideals of Pan-Africanism and determined to work for an uninhibited, politically strong, non-aligned, independent and acting with sovereignty on the international scene.
7. The Ministers welcomed the holding of the first ministerial conference of the African Political Alliance, which offered them the opportunity to discuss the current issues and challenges facing Africa in a world in full transformation and reconstruction where the continent intends to assert itself as a pole of power and a major actor on the international scene.
8. In particular, the Ministers, during their deliberations, discussed the challenges and prospects relating to the strategic positioning, sovereignty and expression of Africa’s common positions on the international scene, examined issues and current challenges of pan-Africanism and African renaissance, the challenges of strengthening cooperation and endogenous capacities to respond to terrorism, as well as the main axes of cooperation and the institutional outlines of the African Political Alliance.
9. Examination of these various issues on the agenda of the first ministerial conference led to the following conclusions:
AS REGARDS STRATEGIC POSITIONING, SOVEREIGNTY AND THE EXPRESSION OF AFRICA’S COMMON POSITIONS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE
10. The Ministers deplored the under-representation of Africa in multilateral institutions of global governance, starting with the United Nations, and underlined that today, it is unacceptable that Africa, which alone brings together almost 28 % of United Nations member states, does not have a permanent representative with veto power on the Security Council.
11. The Ministers welcomed the various African initiatives aimed at reforming multilateral institutions and improving global governance and recalled the “Ezulwini Consensus” and the “Sirte Declaration” reaffirmed on several occasions relating to the common African position on the reform of the Security Council calling for the allocation to Africa of two (2) permanent member seats with full privileges including the right of veto, as well as five (5) non-member seats of the Security Council.
12. The ministers regretted the lack of progress in the dynamics of reform within the UN institution, in particular at the level of the Security Council, and invited the five permanent members to play, each as far as they are concerned, their part in the effect of advancing the reform process.
13. The Ministers noted that, faced with the current challenges, concerted and collectively constructed solutions are needed which reflect the reality of the world which has profoundly changed and this in accordance with the right of peoples to be fairly represented in global governance.
14. The Ministers stressed the need for Africa to establish itself as an independent, sovereign political force, politically self-determining and acting freely on the international scene. They welcomed the ambition of the African Union since its creation to work towards the advent of an « integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, led by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force on the international scene » and affirmed their attachment to the principle of non-alignment laid down in 1963 by the defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) as being one of the essential principles that should structure the relationship of the newly independent African countries with the rest of the world.
15. The Ministers also underlined the need for Africa to emancipate itself from all foreign tutelage, whatever it is and wherever it comes from, and to work to preserve itself from the external influences and interferences which are sometimes factors of crisis and instability on the continent.
16. The Ministers noted the various levers available to Africa and its countries which can be mobilized in the continent’s desire to best exercise its sovereignty on the international scene. In particular, they identified the economic potential of the continent as a tool for asserting its sovereignty on the international scene.
17. The Ministers also noted the need for African nations to reconcile, in the interest of the continent and of all, their national imperatives and the requirement to hold common positions on the international scene. They reaffirmed their commitment to common African positions and the principle of united action in order to meet the need to speak with one voice and act collectively to promote common African interests on the international scene.
ON THE CURRENT ISSUES AND CHALLENGES OF PAN-AFRICANISM AND THE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE
18. The Ministers recalled the historical conditions for the emergence of Pan-Africanism and the determining role that the movement played in the process of emancipation of the continent and the majority access of African nations to independence in the second half of the 20th century.
19. The Ministers welcomed the current renewed interest in Pan-Africanism in Africa and among the African Diasporas. They noted the catalytic role that the African diasporas had played within the framework of Pan-Africanism for the dignity of the peoples of Africa and stressed that they remain convinced that Pan-Africanism remains the privileged framework for consolidating ties and the unity of action between the continent and its diasporas.
20. The Ministers noted that the whole point of Pan-Africanism today in Africa lies in the renewed awareness that only by being united can the continent truly take part in global governance.
21. The Ministers affirmed that they were convinced, in the current context where Africa is struggling to make its voice heard in the world scene, that the African renaissance is only possible within the framework of a renewed Pan-Africanism adapted to issues and challenges of the present times.
22. The ministers underlined that the present time must be one of ruptures and noted that the African renaissance passes through an ideological, epistemological, intellectual, cultural emancipation, at the level of symbolic, political and economic representation of Africa from foreign influence.
23. The Ministers recognized the essential role of universities, research and innovation institutions, intellectuals from Africa and the diasporas, young people, artists, filmmakers, the media and other stakeholders of civil society in the indispensable march towards the African renaissance. They noted the strategic need to develop new African narratives about Africa to replace foreign discourses and stereotypes.
24. The Ministers also noted the need for emancipation and development as being the main thread of the pan-Africanist movements in expression on the continent and within the African diasporas and called for vigilance in order to avoid that the positive dynamic in course is taken over by exogenous actors to the detriment of the continent.
25. The Ministers stressed the need to move towards a synergy of action by Pan-Africanists and welcomed the project to organize the 9th Pan-African Congress in Lomé, in 2024, by Togo, in collaboration with the African Union, on the theme “Renewal of pan-Africanism and Africa’s Role in the Reform of Multilateral Institutions: mobilizing resources and reinventing Itself for action”.
26. The Ministers examined the current and future political challenges of Pan-Africanism and noted that the political unity of the continent remains the inevitable future political horizon of Africa in a historical context where the dynamic is with large regional or continental groupings.
IN RESPECT OF THE STRENGTHENING OF COOPERATION AND BUILDING ENDOGENOUS CAPABILITIES IN THE RESPONSE AGAINST TERRORISM TO MEET THE CHALLENGES OF PEACE AND SECURITY
27. The Ministers noted with concern the expansion of the terrorist threat and the deterioration of the security situation in the various regions of the continent, particularly in the Sahel, in West Africa, in the Lake Chad Basin and in the region from the Horn of Africa. They strongly condemned the repeated attacks by armed terrorist groups in Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as their incursions into the northern part of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo.
28. The Ministers extended their full support to the countries facing terrorist attacks and stressed that foreign military interventions in the fight against terrorism will not help stem the scourge of terrorism and guarantee collective security and stability on the continent without cooperation efforts and joint actions with a view to the endogenous exercise of responsibilities specific to Africa. They stressed that a sovereign Africa cannot leave its security in the hands of foreign armies.
29. The Ministers agreed on the need for African nations to strengthen their bonds of solidarity and their cooperative relations in the response against terrorist and/or non-State armed groups. They noted the requirement to pool financial, technical, logistical and human resources in regional and African responses to terrorism.
30. Ministers also agreed on the need for African nations to explore endogenous avenues of financing the fight against terrorism. They also welcomed the positive dynamic carried by the AU which led to the signing, on November 2, 2022 in Pretoria, South Africa, of a peace agreement which put an end to the war in Ethiopia.
31. The Ministers expressed their deep concern at the deterioration of the political and security situation in Sudan marked since 15 April by clashes between the army and paramilitary forces. They commended the mediation efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union and the international community, and called on both warring parties to cease these hostilities that distance the country from real battles such as that of development.
UNDER THE AFRICAN POLITICAL ALLIANCE, ITS MAIN AREAS OF COOPERATION AND INSTITUTIONAL OUTLINES
32. The Ministers agreed on the relevance of moving towards the formalization of the African Political Alliance which will periodically serve their countries as a framework for consultation, political dialogue and common actions based on the historical ties of fraternity and the principles of sovereign equality of States, independence, interdependence and unity of action.
33. The ministers decided to create a high-level committee chaired by Togo responsible for working on the founding reference texts, the main lines of cooperation and the institutional outlines of the African Political Alliance.
34. The High-Level Committee, made up of Mali, Namibia, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Gabon, Libya and Togo, is called upon to finalize, within a period of six (06) months, draft founding reference documents, areas of cooperation and institutional outlines of the African Political Alliance.
DATE AND VENUE OF THE NEXT CONFERENCE
35. The ministers decided to hold the next ministerial conference of the African Political Alliance on a date to be confirmed later in the Republic of Togo.
Issued in Lomé, May 03, 2023