The work of the African Parliamentary Union is the subject of a report drawn up for each annual meeting and available with the Secretariat-General. This Report resumes all the activities carried out by the organs of the Union.
Resolution on “The role of parliaments
in the promotion of Education and Culture in Africa”
The African Parliamentary Union (APU), meeting at its 29th Conference in Bujumbura (Republic of Burundi) on 27 and 28 November, 2006,
Acknowledgingthat education allows full development of the man and the society by making knowledge sharing possible and by promoting the potentialities of the African continent both at the economic, social and cultural levels,
Considering that education and culture are essential to get more women and men to participate in political life as well as in economic and social development,
Convincedthat education is an inalienable basic right and a major challenge for Africa, being the key for progress, personal and social well-being and peace,
Underlining the close ties between culture and education and their role in sustainable socio-cultural development,
Awarethat education and cultural policies must take into consideration universal human rights while preserving cultural diversities by the promotion and respect of regional, national and universal values,
Aware that, in spite of the advancements made in the area of Education, the results achieved are still weak and further efforts need to be made,
Deploring that in several African countries, the education system still bears the imprints of foreign values and cultures, and Convinced that African values should be the basis of education at all level and that cultural education should be developed at all levels of the society,
Resolved to terminate cultural practices with negative effects on education, and more particularly on development in general,
Acknowledgingthe importance of languages as means of communication and the mainspring of culture to realize Africa’s renaissance,
Acknowledgingalsothat ignorance and illiteracy undermines to development and to the democratic process, incompatible with the respect for individual rights and that they perpetuate discrimination at all levels and in all areas of social life,
Convinced that education for women and young girls is a priority, because of the essential role they play in passing on knowledge and improving the life standards of the family and the society,
Noting that the ordinary education systems no longer comply with the economic and social changes and that it is necessary to train professionals and technicians capable of meeting the requirements of the current job market,
Considering that the parliamentarian, wherever he is, is always faced with the intricate realities of Education, especially in building of schools and promoting national languages.
Considering also that the depreciation of cultural values and the failure of the education system are a threat to democracy,
Knowing that education, culture, democracy and development are closely linked,
Underlining that the major obstacles women and girls are faced with are traditions and education system which, in most African countries, favour gender discrimination,
Considering that situations of crisis are matters of concern to parliamentarians and require full commitment on their part for the democratic environment which makes room for education,
Convinced of the need to have national plans drawn for culture and education, training and upgrading and that the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are considerable contributions in these fields,
Notingan invasion and cultural pillage of Africa (music, cinema, sacred objects),
Deploringthat preservation and development of African culture is not a preoccupation in development plans of African Governments, .
Notingthat scientific, technological researches and African wisdom, although flourishing, are unknown by many African countries and through the world,
Regrettingthat preschool education and adult education are not priorities of many African governments,
Emphasizing and regretting that most of African countries are yet far from reaching the third millennium objectives in the field of education,
Acknowledgingthat the efforts made by UNESCO, the notable contributions of development and financial institutions, contribution of bilateral or multinational partners and that of civil society and NGOs in the strengthening and improvement of educational system and cultural interaction in understanding and international cooperation,
RecallingArticle 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which acknowledges everyone’s right to Education
Acknowledgingthe need to implement the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which particularly emphasizes the spread of education and the role of women in socio-economic development by improving their capacities in the area of education and training.
Referring, in particular,tothe Declaration on Education for All (EFA) adopted in Jomtien (Thailand) in 1990 and to the Framework of Action adopted in Dakar (2000) at the World Forum for Education on “Education for All” and to the Declaration of Algiers of the Ministers of Education of the African Union member states (Algiers, 2005) and the Declaration of Dar ès Salam of the African Forum of Parliamentarians for Education,
Taking noteof the decisions of the Conference of the Heads of State and Government held in Khartoum in January 2006, namely:
- the decision on the link between culture and education
- the decisions on the Proclamation of 2006 as the year of African languages, on the Language Plan of Action for Africa and the Renaissance of the African culture.
Recalling its resolutions, especially :
- the Resolution on the struggle of African countries against illiteracy (16th Conference, Tunis, 1993))
- the Resolution on Education and population in Africa (21st Conference, Niamey, 1998)
- the Resolution on the promotion of the role of women in Africa’s development (26th Conference, Accra, 2003)
Recalling the relevant resolutions of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, namely:
- the Resolution on the implementation of educational and cultural policies designed to foster greater respect for democratic values (89th Conference, New Delhi, 12-17 April 1993)
the Resolution on Education and Culture as essential factors in promoting the participation of men and women in political life and in the development of people (105th Conference, Havana, 1-7 April 2001)
- Affirms that education is a primary condition to ensure sustainable development, democracy and peace, and to achieve the goals of the fight against poverty, of slowing down demographic growth, of gender equality and that culture is the key for this.
- Requests parliaments and governments to amend the Constitution and the laws of their countries in order to make them comply with international treaties and agreements pertaining to the right to education, where necessary.
- Urges governments to establish national plans for education, training and upgrading, focusing particularly on:
- compulsory and free schooling for all children regardless of gender, including the orphans and disabled children,
- the inalienable right to Education for All (EFA)
- the drawing up of an effective policy against illiteracy particularly through the decentralization of education services
- renewing the education system by adapting it to the needs of the economy and of the job market
- the use of national languages from preschool education
- creating an institutional framework in charge of implementing and following up the education policy of the State
- improving the quality of education and upgrading the teacher as well as their condition of work,
- strengthening coordination between general education and vocational training.
- Urges also parliaments to increase budgetary and extra-budgetary resources, by reducing military expenses especially, so as to provide the education sector with sufficient resources to keep the balance between school facilities and pupil student population,
- Call for sensitization of parents for their active participation in the building of educational facilities and moral education for pupils and students.
- Invites parliaments to especially promote girls and women education in order to suppress the negative traditions of which they are victims and which translate in low percentage of girls attending school.
- Calls on parliaments and governments to create a political, economic and social environment that would reduce brain drain and attract the investments the continent needs.
- Calls on parliaments to pro-actively lead conflicts settlement to guarantee social peace, smooth functioning of education system, on the one hand and the government to meet the requirements of the education system in emergency and crisis situation, on the other hand.
- Urges the adoption of cultural policies capable of guaranteeing each person the exercise of his or her right to freely take part in the cultural life and insists on the establishment and promotion of tourist sites and handicrafts.
- Stresses the need to promote the African culture among Africans through all means of information and communication and recommends the intensification policy initiatives and legal provisions aimed at preserving the material and immaterial cultural heritage.
- Encourages exchanges between various cultures in order to benefit from knowledge and experiences of cultures of other African countries and invites governments to endeavor to establish an African satellite for the purpose of educational and cultural exchanges.
- Underlines that cultural and educative activities should be complementary so as to allow the development of the citizen through education in democratic values, dialogue and mutual understanding, in other words, through the culture of peace.
- Acknowledges the role of African languages in economic and political development and in social and cultural development and encourages all African states to establish institutes for the promotion of national languages.
- Requests governments to take a thorough inventory of traditional practices and artefacts and ensure their preservation.
- Appeals to governments and the private sector to develop ICT as essential support for the development of national cultures, protect the intellectual property of Africans and give value to results of researches through their edition, publication and diffusion and to protect the rich culture threatened by extinction.
- Wishes also that government embark on policies of development of preschool education and adult education.
- Underlines also that culture and education are real weapons to fight poverty and disease, and promote peace, stability and good governance.
- Requests that partnership between central and local administrators, NGOs, the private sector, partners of schools and opinion leaders to provide to all the society educational and cultural programmes responding to citizens’ needs.
- Recommends regional and international cooperation and invites Ministers of Culture and Education to create a space for regular consultations with a view to integrating culture in the education and inversely, especially through re-establishing of Education Systems in Africa, and to pooling their resources with a view to establishing, on the one hand, regional universities which take account of respective cultural values and, on the other hand, regional working markets in order to fight against brain drain.
- Desires to collaborate with donors and multilateral institutions in order to ensure the international development objective which aims at obtaining a universal primary education by 2015 and proposes to create an African Fund for the financing of education projects under the auspices of the African Union.
- Invites international organizations, NGOs, development partners, regional economic communities and the civil society to give their technical and financial support for the implementation of the Plan of Action of the Second decade of Education at the national, regional and continental levels, while taking into account the national specificities.
- Supports the decision of the African Union which proclaims 2006-2015 “Second decade of Education in Africa” and the Algiers Declaration of Ministers of Education of member States of the African Union (8-11 April 2005)
- Extends its thanks to the UNESCO, in particular, and to all Education development partners for the financial and moral support to African countries.
- Invites parliaments to sensitize by appeals on the field as in the hemicycle, in order that the aims and objectives of education for all may be achieved in the sustainable way.
“the role of Parliaments in the processes of national reconciliation
and in preserving and strengthening social cohesion”
The African Parliamentary Union, meeting at its 29th Conference in Bujumbura (Republic of Burundi) on November 27 and 28, 2006,
considering the crucial role which should be played by the Parliaments in laying the foundation of a social and economic policy which strengthens trust between citizens,
aware that national reconciliation is a long drawn-out process which is followed by the strengthening of national cohesion,
considering that reconciliation is essential tool for restoring and strengthening peace and security following the breach of harmonious relationships, which often manifests itself in armed conflicts, in the case of civil wars or in violence against the State or the society on the part of armed groups,
affirming that Parliaments are essential instruments for the peaceful settlement of
convinced that there is not only one single way to achieve reconciliation,
emphasizing that national reconciliation requires the participation of all the people,
reaffirming the primordial role of women and young people being sensitive groups in the creation of peace,
emphasizing that reconciliation is fully expressed through the respect for human rights and democratic values,
affirming that a Parliament representing diverse component of the society is a key factor to reinforce the reconciliation process,
aware, on the one hand, that due to poverty, unemployment and corruption impede the full development of democracy and on the other hand, the need for the achievement of national reconciliation and social cohesion,
convinced that democracy and good governance are essential for settling conflicts permanently,
considering that a parliament established through democratic, free and transparent elections inescapably reinforces the national cohesion,
affirming that national reconciliation should be founded on mutual respect, equality, tolerance and mutual solidarity among citizens,
aware of the role of Parliaments in the fortification of democratic values and the national cohesion,
emphasizing the significance of the values of National history and cultural values of a society as a factor of national cohesion,
convinced that without the true consolidation of peace through national reconciliation, economic and social development as well as the efforts of modernisation in the countries concerned will not yield the results expected,
emphasizing that conflicts in Africa must be resolved without foreign interference and in the respect of the sovereignty of African countries,
reaffirming its Resolutions, in particular on :
- “the prevention of conflicts and the achievement of peace in the continent”, adopted at its 21st Conference on (Niamey, August 1998)
- “the role of parliament in the consolidation of democracy and the strengthening of confidence between the people and their institutions”, adopted at its 23rd Conference (Addis Ababa, November 2000)
- “the role of parliaments in the promotion of peace on the African continent” adopted at its 25th Conference on (Khartoum, October 2002)
- “the promotion of good governance: role of African parliaments”, adopted at its 27th Conference, (Algiers, November 2004)
- “the strengthening of democracy with a view to preserving peace in Africa” adopted at its 28th Conference (Brazzaville, November 2005)
recalling the Resolution of the Inter-Parliamentary Union adopted at its 110th Assembly (Mexico, April 2004) titled: “Deepening parliamentary democracy to protect human rights and foster reconciliation among the people and partnership among nations”
- invites Parliaments to adopt legislative measures that are likely to guarantee a democratic environment, on the one hand, and promote the system of good governance that should characterise the rule of law on the other hand
- recommends Parliaments to support the process of national reconciliation, especially by ensuring:
- the respect for the rule of law which should always be applied in all fairness;
- the follow-up of post-conflict situations and attendant measures for the control of light weapons, disarmament, demobilisation and re-integration;
- the resettlement and rehabilitation of returnees and displaced people
- the establishment of a judicial system that is independent, impartial, competent and efficient;
- the encouragement of professional private media to spread the values of democracy and tolerance;
encourages Parliaments to always support national consensus on the means to achieve true national reconciliation,
asks Parliaments to oversee closely the national reconciliation process especially concerning justice and compensation measures and national solidarity,
asks Parliaments to include the process of national reconciliation in their programme of work so as to assess the advances made and correct, when needed, the weaknesses; in this respect, Parliaments will receive regularly reports from organisations in charge of reconciliation process,
urges Parliaments to strengthen social cohesion by meeting the needs of the peoples, especially in terms of education and health, through the allocation of sufficient budget resources,
asks Parliaments to act so as to foster and reinforce confidence in order to promote understanding and dialogue at the local and national levels, which would sustain reconciliation efforts,
encourages parliamentarians, in the framework of their political activities, both at the level of their constituencies and at the national level, to undertake actions that help to promote participation of the population in the political life,
recommends Parliaments to ensure that the programmes of education include the teaching of tolerance, human rights, the culture of peace and everything that helps understanding and national cohesion,
asks Parliaments to lay down laws about the fight against corruption in order to fortify the rule of law and good governance,
highlights the need to institute policy on the sharing out of the country’s wealth and earnings to fight poverty, on the one hand, and an employment policy targeting the young people in particular, on the other hand,
affirms that an efficient struggle against all forms of discrimination helps to preserve and make stronger the national cohesion,
highlights the need for the decentralisation of powers in order to bring the administration closer to the population and better cater for their needs at the local level,
asks Parliaments to take legislative and other measures aimed at paying special attention to women and young people in order to make them key players in national reconciliation and conflicts prevention.
Decides also that African countries give their support to the African Union so as to maintain peace in the conflict zones in Africa, and this in order to avoid any foreign interference
exhorts Parliaments to ratify regional and international instruments pertaining to the struggle against corruption, human rights and international humanitarian law so as to make the state of law progress.