As the global pandemic threatens to cause irreparable damage to economies and citizens’ lives across the African continent, we are reminded of the urgent need to put people before profits and recall the spirit of Pan-Africanism as we strive to “Build Forward Together”. It is in this regard that the African Civil Society Forum on Sovereign Debt which was organised by the African Sovereign Debt Justice Network (AfSDJN), AFRODAD) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation – AU Cooperation Office held a meeting on 8th March 2021 to tackle concerning public debt levels across the continent in advance of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development that was held on 17-23 March 2021. Have a look at the meeting’s brief introduction and the statement to Ministers of Finance in English, French, and Portuguese.
The Current Public Debt Situation and its Negative Effects on People cannot be Ignored!
You agree with us that since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, business has not been usual by any means. What is often termed “new normal” is completely abnormal as nations and their citizens fight to not bow under the heavy burden of public debt and other negative effects of the pandemic.
Countries, societies, and individuals have been struggling to respond to the pandemic’s devastation of health systems, economies, trade, and human wellbeing. This is the time for African governments to stand united and to be proactive in calling for national, regional, and global action on financing for development. You can find here the call to action that was released during the Pan-Africa CSOs meeting to Africa’s Finance Ministers ahead of the 53rd session of the Economic Commission for Africa.
Why are AFRODAD and partners asking for Special Drawing Rights issuance by IMF?
We were joined by amazing partners from various organisations and countries to ask for the issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by IMF. But what are SDRs? Why are we spending much time and energy promoting them? And what’s the current situation and way forward? Read on!
AFRODAD with other 220 CSOs, are asking for the issuance of $2 trillion in SDRs or equivalent of US$3 trillion as part of existing debt relief measures for developing countries. We held productive meetings with the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF); partners in Kenya (Okoa Uchumi Coalition under Tisa Kenya); in Uganda (media representatives from Uganda, SEATINI Uganda, Uganda Debt Network, Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group, Transparency International Uganda); Angola (OSISA Angola together with Angolan debt network); in Zambia (The Consumer Unity And Trust Society CUTS); in Zimbabwe (ZIMCODD); and in Chad (CROSET).