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Background: Political Foundations in Germany
Germany’s political foundations support partners in developing countries which contribute in a structurally effective manner towards the implementation of social justice, the spread of political participation, and the economic autonomy of their respective countries. In other words, the political foundations employ their projects all over the world to support democ-racy, the rule of law, the implementation of social market-economy structures, and the reali-sation of human rights.
The Konrad-Adenauer-Stifung is one of the political foundations in Germany. KAS holds nearly 80 foreign offices and projects in over 100 countries, virtually worldwide. That is why the foundation has built an international consulting network, which operates in three major directions: (1) Improving the policy framework and problem-solving within the meaning of the parent foundation's objectives in the respective countries (2) Creating public forums for the presentation of German political and economic interests and (3) Ensuring the transfer of knowledge to and from Germany.
Promoting Political Parties in International Work
Being one of KAS’ core mandates and expertise, the promotion of political parties plays an eminent role among the international activities of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. After 1989, the year in which events of geopolitical importance initiated the collapse of communist au-thoritarian regimes worldwide, liberal democracy triumphed on an unprecedented scale. In the course of this process, political parties gained influence in the new democracies of cen-tral, east, and southeast Europe as well as in numerous emerging and developing countries in Africa and Asia.
KAS Support Strategy for Sub Sahara Africa put to test
To put to test KAS’ strategy of political party support on the African continent, the Stiftung’s Africa Representatives as far away as Mozambique and Namibia in the South and Senegal in the North, as well as staff of its headquarters in Berlin, have gathered in Accra from 19th to 22nd October 2008. The purpose is to deliberate during a three day workshop on the ef-fectiveness and appropriateness of KAS activities in the field of political party support.
The KAS staff, among them the Deputy Head of its Department of International Cooperation, Mr. Frank Spengler, and the Head of the Africa Department, Dr. Hardy Ostry, will be supported by political scientists from Ghana and Germany, in the name of Prof. Kwame A. Ninsin, Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, and Dr. Matthias Basedau, German Institute of Global and Area Studies (Hamburg). In addition, during the opening of the workshop, Hon. Dr. Kofi Apraku, National Campaign Manager of NPP, will enlighten the KAS representatives on the current political pre-election state of affairs in Ghana in the presence of the German Ambassador, H.E. Dr. Marius Haas.
Type and nature of party support
In its support to political parties, KAS distinguishes between direct and indirect activities, and within these two categories between collaboration and support. For example, direct col-laboration would be a strategic dialogue with political parties and their political leaders. A step further in this category (direct) would be support of political parties or their educational institutions (think tanks) through training activities in the form of seminars, workshops and consulting measures.
Indirect forms of collaboration and support would be to initiate the establishment of regional organisations that would extent support to their member parties. An example of such a form of support in the sub-Saharan context is the Union of African Parties for Democracy and Development – UAPDD (Union des Partis Africains pour la Démocratie et le Développement – UPADD). This association of political parties was initiated by KAS and the European Peo-ples Party in 1996 in Windhoek/Namibia and hence labelled the Windhoek Dialogue.
KAS support to political parties in SSA
Currently, KAS maintains close ties with political parties in Angola, Namibia, Niger, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. In Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe there are at this time no direct activities to support political parties and train their staff in various fields of capacity building. In Benin, DR Congo, Kenya and Mozambique the foundation extends loose ties with some of the parties.