Welcome Remarks by Deputy Minister EI Ebrahim during a Meeting on the Role of Progressive Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madrid, Spain 19th July 2010

Distinguished participants; 
Comrades;

Allow me to join my comrade Elena Valenciano in welcoming you to this very first meeting of our sister political formations.

Coincidentally, I am welcoming you to the home of the newly-crowned champions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a historical event for Africa which has been hailed as one of the most successful FIFA tournaments ever. So I hope we will not only concern ourselves with attempting to find answers to the challenging questions on our agenda, but we will also find time to join the peoples of Spain as they continue to celebrate their football team’s well-deserved victory!

Comrades,

As internationalists, the African National Congress (ANC) does not hesitate to throw its weight behind any initiative whose interest is to reinforce the recent positive developments emanating from Africa. Equally so, we support initiatives that seek genuine co-operation with Africa as we navigate through the fog of some of the challenges still confronting our people.

It is in that spirit that we regard fraternal organisations like the PSOE, as part of the global progressive forces, that we need to partner with as we continue to consolidate the African Agenda. For us as the African political formations present here today, we can use this opportunity not only to dialogue among ourselves, but to also re-affirm our commitment to further advance and strengthen a progressive agenda for the world.

Distinguished participants,

Allow me to also state the obvious, that indeed, the issues that we will be discussing here today are not new, and will certainly remain on the agenda of the international community long after we have concluded our deliberations. Although it may seem that we are gathered here to deal with complicated issues, I would like to state that our programme today is actually very simple. Today’s programme should enable us to take stock of what we have done and to define what should be our collective efforts in order to contribute to a better Africa and a better world.

As internationalists, we thrive and we are driven by the spirit of human solidarity, we are passionate about social justice and we are committed to equality. It is these same values that have and continue to inspire some among us to dedicate their entire lives to glorious struggles against injustice and oppression. We count among these, the former President of South Africa, Madiba, who recently celebrated his 92nd birthday only yesterday the 18 July. A day that has now entered history books, as an international day of service to humanity.

Fellow comrades,

As we discharge our duty today, let us remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants like Madiba and many other Africans, therefore, let us use this gathering to send an unequivocal message that the voice of progressive forces cannot be silenced. Let us re-kindle the hope to the African masses, that their daily sufferings and challenges will soon be the thing of the past. We can only re-kindle that hope if we continue to stand together for a better world!

I would like to conclude by thanking our Spanish comrades for their hospitality, as well as all their efforts in preparing this meeting.  The ANC and PSOE as co-host of this dialogue among progressive forces in Africa and Europe are mind-full that we need to mobilise both our continents to advance the agenda for new thinking worldwide.

Thank you

 


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