BELPER’S MP Pauline Latham has officially launched an initiative in the House of Commons aimed at promoting democracy in Africa.
The initiative is a joint enterprise by Tory Mrs Latham and civil rights campaigner and University of Derby graduate Emmanuel Neba Fuh.
The event was attended by Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society; the Prime Minister’s Big Society Ambassador, Shaun Bailey; former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Lord Ralph Kerr; as well as numerous other politicians and community group members.
Peter Walker from the University of Derby was also present. He works closely with the city of Derby’s own Congolese community, many of the forced migrants due to political persecution.
The project aims to bring together UK-based policy and decision-makers with an interest in Africa, and galvanise public support for greater democracy in the continent’s states. Specifically, it aims to persuade the African Union – the collective organisation of African countries – to introduce a clause in its charter barring African leaders of member states from serving more than two terms, or ten years, in power. This is to prevent the undemocratic ‘President for life’ situations.
Emmanuel Neba Fuh, originally from Cameroon, graduated with the University of Derby with an Applied Community Work and Social Care qualification.
In 2008 he walked 120 miles barefoot, from Derby to London, over 19 days to promote a petition raising awareness of human rights violations in Africa, which he then presented at No. 10.
Mrs Latham said: “The event was very well attended and was a huge success. The problems of Africa are well documented and have been greatly publicised for years.
“The issues that Africa face are issues that the British people take a great interest in, be it the civil wars in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo or Angola; or the refusal of leaders to respect the will of the people through the ballot box as we saw in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and most recently Ivory Coast and North Africa.
It was fantastic to bring such a large and diverse group together to share a common passion for Africa and to discuss ways in which we can face the challenges for Africa”