Date: Mon, 11 Oct 1999 22:42:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Lucien van der Walt" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: (en) All- Africa trade union congress OATUU report
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
Trade union body aims at wholly democratic Africa
By Xolani Xundu and Sapa, in Business Day, 10 April 1999
THE seventh ordinary congress of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity held in Johannesburg last week has set itself the huge task of making sure that the continent is democratised by June next year. Secretary-general Hassan Sunmonu said political and social stability was a precondition to Africa's development.
"The social and political instability that has characterised this century should be seen as baggage that must be left at the doorsteps of the dawn of the next century," said Sunmonu.
He said the organisation had committed itself to a new Africa at peace with itself - trying to achieve participatory democracy and good governance, and where human and workers' rights were a cornerstone of the African renaissance. This renewal should, he said, be biased towards uplifting the poor and the marginalised.
Resolving to help build their countries' economies for development, job creation and poverty alleviation, member states said they would work on an alternative to the existing development framework in Africa. "We shall campaign for an alternative framework to the orthodox International Monetary Fund and World Bank frameworks," Sunmonu said. The body backed an Organisation of African Unity resolution not to recognise military governments and said it would seek to ensure all African states had elected governments by June 2000.
The organisation would stage a one-day mass demonstration in support of this resolution on April 12 next year, calling for "speedy transformation toward civilian governments in Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and other African countries that have not democratised", he said.
The organisation would also call for democracy in Swaziland and peace in Angola and other war-torn African states. "We do not want democracy defined by the west, but (which) takes with it popular participation." Democracy should empower the masses.