The Cape Town Declaration
Towards the establishment of a Pan-African Psychology Union
In the midst of the bustling and highly successful 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2012) that saw the city of Cape Town mark psychology’s most prestigious flagship event on the African continent, leaders in the field took time away from their scholarly deliberations to contemplate and germinate the idea of a Pan-African Psychology Union (PAPU). The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), the co-host (with the National Research Foundation) of ICP 2012, initiated the idea of establishing a continental body of organized psychology that could represent the discipline while also advocating for the optimal development of individuals and communities across Africa. With strong support from ten other African countries and the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), this idea was formally initiated at ICP 2012.
The Cape Town Declaration
Whereas psychology has the potential to serve as a key driver in human development in our communities, countries, Africa and the World.
Recognizing the critical role of psychology in policy development, advocacy, continuing professional development, teaching, research, publication, outreach services and other forms of intervention.
Recognizing the strength of psychology as an agent for change, development and empowerment of individuals and communities
Recognizing the value of mutual collaboration towards the achievement of these goals
We the undersigned, having attended the 30th International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2012) in
Cape Town, 22–27 July 2012,
Commit to the establishment of a Pan-African Psychology Union to promote the development of
psychology as a science and practice in our countries, Africa and the World.
A collaborative union of psychological societies in Africa committed to scholarship and human development in our communities, countries, Africa and the World.
Signed by representatives of Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and IUPsyS and acclaimed by delegates and guests attending the ICP 2012 Official Opening Ceremony at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 22 July 2012.
On 22 July 2012 representatives of various psychology organisations in Africa met at the 30th
International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2012) in Cape Town, the first ICP to be held on African
soil since the first ICP was held in 1889. These representatives adopted the Cape Town Declaration
– committed to the establishment of the Pan-African Psychology Union to promote the development
of psychology as a science and practice in our countries, Africa and the World – which was roundly
acclaimed by the delegates of 103 countries at the ICP 2012 Opening Ceremony that evening.
The Pan-African Psychology Union, hereinafter referred to as PAPU, is the representative body for the science and profession of psychology in Africa.
PAPU’s mission is to be a collaborative union of psychological societies and psychologists in Africa committed to scholarship and human development in our communities, countries, Africa and the World.
The Cape Town Declaration recognised:
- Psychology has the potential to serve as a key driver in human development in our communities, countries, Africa and the World;
- The critical role of psychology in policy development, advocacy, continuing professional development, teaching, research, publication, outreach services and other forms of intervention;
- The strength of psychology as an agent for change, development and empowerment of individuals and communities; and
- The value of mutual collaboration towards the achievement of these principles.
The objectives of PAPU include the following:
- To advance psychology as a science, profession and as a means of promoting human wellbeing.
- To exchange ideas and scientific information between psychologists, psychological organisations and university departments in the various African countries through research, publications, communications and meetings.
- To facilitate cooperation between scientists and practitioners working in psychology across Africa.
- To foster excellence in standards for education, training, research and the applications of psychology in Africa.
- To enable the development of psychology organisations and universities through activities that capacitate the development of psychology in our countries. Statutes and Rules of the Pan-African Psychology Union (PAPU) 1/10
- To encourage the maintenance of the highest standards of ethics, conduct and lifelong education of psychologists in our countries and across Africa.
- To engage in policy development processes that are relevant to social enhancement,
psychosocial wellbeing, psychological practice, and national development in our countries and across Africa.
- To be an important source of advice to institutions, universities, organisations, government ministries and departments on matters of behaviour, psychosocial wellbeing and mental health.
- To disseminate psychological knowledge and professional skills in the public interest and to document and make available information and expertise on scientific and professional psychology.
- To encourage the development of emerging psychologists and engender future leadership in psychology in our countries.
- To collaborate with other international, regional, and national organisations in matters of mutual interest.
- To promote the reputation of psychology and psychologists as well as the protection of their interests.
Funds and Non-Profit Status
- PAPU may receive funding and/or contributions from governments, private and other sources for its general functioning or for the accomplishment of any of its objectives.
- PAPU shall operate on a non-profit basis in accordance with the incorporation requirements of the country in which it is incorporated.
- PAPU shall not distribute economic benefits among its members and/or Executive Committee members, and no member shall be entitled to any PAPU funds, except for reimbursement
of actual costs or expenses reasonably incurred on behalf of PAPU and which shall in all instances be pre-authorised by relevant PAPU Officers.
- No limit shall be set to the duration of PAPU. Its dissolution shall only be decided by a two thirds vote of the Assembly, whether at a meeting or by mail ballot.
- In the event of the dissolution of PAPU, any remaining assets (after all liabilities are met) shall be transferred to an international or regional organisation of psychology whose objectives are compatible with those of PAPU, and shall be decided by a two-thirds vote, as referred to in 6.1 above.
English as the language of communication in PAPU should not preclude other major languages (including signing) regularly used in psychological discourse in Africa from being used at the Assembly, the Executive Committee, Council and other committees and meetings, provided the costs of any
necessary translation are not prohibitive. Statutes and Rules of the Pan-African Psychology Union (PAPU) 2/10
In these Statutes and Rules words have the meanings assigned to them. The Executive shall be the final arbiter in the event of any issue arising from the interpretation of these statutes.