“Progressive Renewal” – dialogue of South African and German progressives in Berlin

Our times demand strong global partnerships. These are built on honest dialog and personal encounters.

Our times demand strong global partnerships. These are built on honest dialogue and personal encounters. Therefore, FES organized a series of meetings of South African and German progressives in Berlin (19th-24th June), to exchange experiences on renewal processes and discuss shared challenges. 

The South African delegation consisted of:

  •  Lindiwe Zulu, Chair of the ANC Sub-Committee on International Relations
  • Dr David Masondo, Principal of the OR Tambo School of Leadership; 
  • Dr Yacoob Abba Omar, Director of Operations at Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra) and Member of the ANC Renewal Committee;
  • Matthew Robert Parks, Parliamentary Coordinator of COSATU and
  • Tessa Dooms, Director of Rivonia Circle;

accompanied by our directors, our programme manager Zanele Matebula and Thulani Fakude.

In Berlin we met with social democrats in government, officials of the Social Democratic Party, Young Socialists outside and inside of parliament, Members of Parliament of different committees, trade unionists, activists and think tanks as well as the leadership of FES. 

We discussed what it takes to achieve progressive renewal in the different spaces we operate in. Some elements to it: organizational party renewal, modernizing political education, developing and pushing for more daring progressive policies (for instance on housing, labour and social policies), fostering the link and constant dialog between party and society and giving young people the necessary space in politics to shape the renewal of policies and political culture.

Secondly, we focused on revitalizing internationalism. To shape bilateral relations and to shape a more just, rules-based multilateralism in an increasingly multipolar word. Ahead of the G7 Summit in Germany, we touched upon a wide range of shared challenges: overcoming colonial continuities, ensuring a truly just transition to a more climate friendly economy, fostering fairer economic relations and facing enemies of freedom and democracy. We discussed the Just Energy Transition Partnership, the German #Zeitenwende and ambitions for a Feminist Foreign and Development Policy. 

A lot to work on for progressives here and there! The visit shaped the further agenda for those who share the values of freedom, justice and solidarity and fostered the necessary personal relations for an honest dialogue. To be continued!

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