Report of the African Liberty Students’ Organization Leadership Retreat held in Accra Ghana December 2013

The leadership retreat, an annual event, was organized by the African Liberty Students Organization in  affiliation with her parent body, AfricanLiberty.Org in  partnership with African Youth Peace Call, Ghana. The retreat was powered by Atlas Network to review and galvanize the efforts and activities of the youth-based libertarian club chapters across the West-African axis for the year 2013, and forge a leeway  for the activities of the upcoming year. The event, in its characteristic grace, secured cross-border alliances and participation of both Ghana and Nigerian libertarian nationals.


The Journey

The journey from Nigeria was a waning one due to the long distance covered and the constraints of border immigration policies. The journey, on December 12, 2013, would have been a smooth one for the Nigerian travelers but for the delay caused by poor cross-border policy harmonization and implementation across the Nigeria-Benin border. Having passed through the several bottleneck checks at the border, on further ascent into the country, just close to another immigration check-point, the travelers were almost coerced into abandoning their packaged book, “Why Liberty”, under the guise of a declaration-protocol for all books being moved from one country to another. The situation was remedied by the prevalence of enlightenment handled with professionalism and maturity of the team leader, drawing an understanding that the books were purposely for a student-exchange programme and not for sale. Having reached an understanding, the journey proceeded into the late evening, arriving into the warm embrace of their Ghanaian counterparts at about 10:30 GMT+1, after 15-hours journey through Nigeria-Benin Republic-Togo-Ghana borders.


After the tradition of exchanging pleasantries, the participants were comfortably settled in a environmentally friendly auspice, The Maple Leaf Hostel, Achimota, Accra, Ghana, proceeding into a

sumptuous dinner.


The Event


Theme:Challenges and Prospects of Liberty in Africa


Resource Persons:  Moronfolu Adeniyi, Kofi Akosah , Adedayo Thomas and Franklin Cudjoe

Morofounlu Adeniyi, the Outreach Assistant of ALSO, set the tone for the day, December 13, 2013, by summarizing the activities of ALSO from different chapters for the year, re-introducing the organization to the participants. He reiterated the objectives of the organization and the drive of its focus towards libertarianism in campuses. He emphasized the need to hold the 3rd edition of the retreat in Ghana and hope that will defuse their initial feelings about Nigeria. He again made it clear that since ALSO is fast becoming a household name in African institutions, there is the need to shift venues in other to give opportunities to others.

In another session, Kofi Akosah thereafter took up the topic, Free Market Economy, taking a precursory look at  environmental protection and remediation. He emphasized the adoption of the idea of ownership  and incentives to help preserve environmental species, having drawn on some case studies. He also pleasurably responded to questions and arguments posed to him by participants.

The participants then proceeded to IMANI Center for Policy and Education, East Legon; where they had an informative and enlightening chat with  Franklin Cudjoe anchored by Adedayo Thomas. Franklin explored the objectives, challenges and achievements of the organization in the policy-making decision and think tanks in Ghana as a country, and took time out to relate and douse the fears of participants arising from their questions. After some brief refreshment and photography sessions, the participants proceeded to Maple Leaf Hostel for the continuation of the seminar.

On arrival, Adedayo Thomas anchored an open air opportunity for participants to share their challenges in their various line-of-duties in the libertarian movement. The participants, in turns, expressed their basic understanding of libertarianism and further shared their constraints in championing and sustaining the crusade in their campuses, some of which are listed below:

− Reign of victimization across countries by security agents stationed in their schools

− Poor orientation and dogmatic cultural beliefs, one of which is that it will be suicidal to question authorities and sacrilegiously impudent to dispute the wisdom of the elders.

− Prioritization between clear-cut objectives of academics or advocacy amongst prospective libertarians or new-converts.

− Authorities’ and People’s perception of the Libertarianism as antagonistic, violence-inciting and prone to chaos when liberty is unfettered and unabated.

− Total dependence of the people on government for the provision of their basic needs.

− The massive objection of a major class of the academia to capitalism.

− Shortage of intellectual, material and financial resources available to the libertarianism advocates

− Socio-political, ethno-religious, cultural and ideological sentiments or prejudices.

− Conservative and pessimistic beliefs.

− Limitations in communicating the inherent benefits of libertarianism to the presumed beneficiaries especially in a repulsive society.

− Cross-border language, currency and policy incoherence

– The inability of delegates to attend conferences in Europe and America due to lack of fund and denial of visa by embassy.

-The coloration of the liberty movement as the coming of the second-slavery by Europe and America.

Having drawn an apparent establishment of the constraints, Adedayo Thomas went further to talk about the possible solutions to these constraints and the prospects of libertarianism as under-listed:

-Creativity in individual approach to advocacy. Use of folklore and dance and drama could be employed as a very strong communication tools in Africa.

– Ingrained understating of the terrain and community could help in breaking through cultural  barriers.

– Gender balance should be encouraged at events and forums. Women should be seen as fore-runners of ideas in Africa

– Commitment of funds through individual contributions by members of the chapters.

-Service and friendliness to others

– Networking across religious, social, ethic and cultural divides

– Moving along the tide of the locals by doing what they do, putting on their clothing materials, visiting their markets, eating their food and getting immersed in their tradition.

– Consistent reading and research

– Learning to fight individual battle without necessarily relying on supports because heroes are singularly made.

– Intermittent follow-up on new members and encouraging interns.

He proceeded to give a lucid appeal to libertarianism and in-depth practical approach to entrepreneurship. He drew his line of thought towards the global benefits inherent in unlimited individual empowerment to explore his creative ingenuity, less government, liberalized policies, small government, intellectual property protection, and unfettered ideas generation and usage.

In the early hours of December 14, 2013 all through to the evening, the participants were treated to cool music, swimming and networking at LaBash Beach Resort. At the beach, outreaches to other students was carried out with an extensive distribution of NFS CD, Booklet of how to form ALSO chapters in schools and of course few copies of the newly release book “Why Liberty” was given to few serious willing students.

Having enjoyed their best, the event closed officially on December 15, 2013 with sharing of notes and exchanges. The Nigerian participants, who had pre-booked their return journey with a foremost transport company, were treated to a dose of disappointment and delay due to the inefficiency of the transport company to keep proper records and data. They eventually proceeded on their return journey on Monday, December 15, 2013. And on a good note, reports have it that all participants reached their destinations safely without any hitch.


Indubitably, the event recorded widespread acceptance amongst participants, magnetizing new converts and yearnings for more of such. The network is truly productively enlarging and breaking limitations.

Closing in the words of one of the participants, “We need a borderless Africa for growth. Unlimited opportunities should not be limited by human induced centric policies. I believe more of these events should be spread across sub-Saharan Africa to illuminate the blind and feed the malnourished knowledge-deficient minds”. 

[photo: Adedayo Thomas]

African Liberty retreat holds in Ghana