Geingob on the international summit of constitutionalism in Africa

• By: Wilhelmina Iimene

Without Effective Governance, accountability and transparency, the future of democracy and constitutionalism is bleak.

‘Looking at the question of Term Limits over a three-decade historical period since the end of the Cold War; one would notice that many African Governments have subscribed to the idea of Term-Limits’.

President Hage Geingob made these remarks when he spoke at the International summit on Constitutionalism and Democratic Consolidation in Africa on Tuesday, 5th of July.

Speaking on the theme “Pathways to Consolidating Constitutionalism Going Forward”, he said as they push to implement Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want of the African Union, the moment is indeed right to further reflect about the state of democracy in Africa and specifically the twin questions of Constitutionalism and Term Limits.

“I am glad that the theme is forward-looking because I don’t share the pessimistic view about democratic backsliding in Africa. My optimistic view about the state of democracy in Africa and the prospects for further democratic consolidation are informed by a historical analysis of the democratic experiment in Africa,” he said during the virtual summit.

Furthermore, he stressed that Africa and Namibia have entered into the “Third Wave of African Leadership” which is a democratic dispensation characterized by efforts to cement a sound governance architecture.

President Geingob said the focus in this third wave is consistent with the theme of the summit to strengthen processes, systems and institutions, so as to accountably and effectively deliver public services and build trust.

“I believe that as the elected representatives of the sovereigns who vote us into Office, we can only build trust with the voters when we are Transparent and Accountable – hence my mantra: Accountability plus Transparency equals Trust,” President Geingob said.

In his speech, he expressed his confidence in the transition to the Third Wave of African Leadership in how it is showing an upward and trend with no return to non-democratic transitions in Africa.

“It is vital to ensure sustainability of democracies by delivering prosperity through Effective Governance, the fight against youth unemployment, tribalism and all the other isms must be intensified as well as the fight against corruption, which robs ordinary citizens,” he said.

Therefore, the pathways to consolidating democracy and constitutionalism in Africa have been institutionalized through the African Governance Architecture. Democracy in Africa is not going through a recession. On the contrary, it is being consolidated and the safeguards through the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) attest to that reality.

“I remain very positive about the future of our great continent,” President Geingob assured.

This is an indicative of the commitment of African leaders to democracy. Leaders must remain upbeat, hold hands and pull as one towards achieving the Africa We Want.