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African Development Dialogue, a Quaterly Magazine from the UN Millennium Campaign Africa.

African Development Dialogue, a Quaterly Magazine from the UN Millennium Campaign Africa.

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African Development Dialogue African Development Dialogue Document Transcript

  • AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT ENDPOVERTY Millennium Campaign Vol.1 Jan - April 2009 Mothers Should Not Die Giving Life • Global Financial Crisis • In Search of Alternatives • Migration and Development • Toolkit on Elections African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 1
  • About United Nations Millennium Campaign UNMC Africa Office based in Nairobi, Kenya, supports civil society and citizen engagement in the campaign for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals. The organisation works with various partners including civil society organisations among them faith based organisations, youth and women organisations, parliamentarians and local governments in 14 priority countries in the South, East and West Africa. It is a small team headed by a Deputy Director with a Communications Coordinator and a Policy advisor and also Advocacy / Programme, Communications and administrative and Finance Associates. UNMC’s primary partner is the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), which has since its inception in 2005, offered civil society organisations a platform to undertake collective and collaborative action. UNMC also works with a range of other stakeholders who may not necessarily be part of the GCAP. Increasingly, UNMC is also building strategic partnerships with private sector players including communications companies, media houses, financial and other commercial institutions. Both at the global and regional levels and also nationally we also cooperate, collaborate or coordinate our support with other development partners including All Africa Conference of Chuches (AACC), United Cities and Local Governments Association , UCLGA-Africa, Micah Challenge, OXFAM-NOVIB, Africa Office of Action Aid internatiobnal (AAI) , Pan Africa Programme of OXFAM-GB and others. The UNMC Africa Office is one of the regional hubs of the global UNMC headquartered in New York . The global Director is based in New York but is assisted by regional teams headed by Deputy Directors in other regions of the world (Africa, Asia and Europe) and Communications (New York). In Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal UNMC has National campaign offices. All regional and National offices work closely through the Global secretariat to deliver as One campaign in support of furthering the MDGs based on the different priorities set for different regions and countries. For instance in the North, the campaign focuses on Goal 8 issues while in the South, emphasis is on accountability and delivery on goals 1-7. Both North and South collaborate and cooperate to identify strategic partnership that can strengthen the achievements of these goals in all countries. United Nations Millennium Campaign, All African Conference of Churches P.O. Box 14205-00800, Waiyaki Way Nairobi Kenya Tel: 254-20-4453440/4454025 Fax: 254-20-4443241/4453444 Email: africa.millenniumcampaign@undp.org Website: www.endpoverty2015.org
  • Contents You and I can make it happen! Editorial Committee Editorial Advisory Committee Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem Betty Atieno Ndomo Cover Story Prof. Okello Oculi Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi 3 Mothers Should Not Die Giving Life Prof. James Kwesiga 5 Facing Disease And Death Issue Editor Thomas Deve 6 Kenya Joins The Piga Debe Campaign Editorial Assistant Mwaura Kaara News Production 7 Men Challenged To Fight Gender Inequality Sylvia Mwichuli Gender 8 Stand Up, Speak Out And Take Action Linda Odhiambo 9 Voices Against Poverty And Inequality Correspondents West Africa Features Ololade Bamidele Michael Boampong 10 Migration As A Tool For Development Oumar Sow 12 Africa’s Response To The Global Financial Crisis Southern Africa Mzati Nkolokosa 15 Africa Resists Epas Sifelani Tsiko Eastern Africa 17 In Search Of Alternatives Hamimu Masudi Ceasar Mkasa Debates And Viewpoints Antoine Niyitengeka 20 Agenda For Creating Another World Robert Mmaitsi Richard Kabazzi Reviews Diaspora 24 Fighting Disability In Kenya Nardos Hagos Tominke Olaniyan 26 Tool Kit On Elections And MDGs Bob Owuor 28 Book Reviews African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 1
  • Editorial Holding governments to account for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals W e are introducing a magazine whose broad objective and environmental sustainability — can be measured. They also will be to support citizen’s efforts towards holding their embody basic human rights — the rights of each person on the governments to account for the achievement of the planet to health, education, shelter and security. The Goals are Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Its editorial policy will ambitious but feasible and, together with the comprehensive deliberately seek to promote the vision of the United Nations United Nations development agenda, set the course for the Millennium Campaign in Africa especially on initiatives seeking world’s efforts to alleviate extreme poverty by 2015. to: There has been real progress made towards achieving some of • Consolidate efforts by anti-poverty campaigners the Goals, even in regions where the challenges are greatest. towards enhancing governance and accountability A number of recent successes across the developing world — processes at national, sub-national and global levels including improved macroeconomic indicators, expansion of for accelerating the pace of achieving MDGs AIDS treatment and increased agricultural productivity, school enrolment and access to water and sanitation — demonstrate • Reach out to the expanded constituency for the that rapid progress is possible when sound national policies MDGs within various groups including faith based are matched with increased overseas development assistance groups, youth/student groups parliamentarians, local (ODA) and technical support from the international system. The authorities, social movements and selected sections of accomplishments made testify to the unprecedented degree the private sector of commitment by developing countries and their partners to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and the growing • Expand campaign further into socially excluded groups success in building and strengthening the global partnership for including disability organizations development. • Build and strengthen strategic partnerships with There has been real progress made towards achieving some of various groups organizations and institutions the Goals, even in regions where the challenges are greatest. A number of recent successes across the developing world — • Promote evidence based advocacy by use of government including improved macroeconomic indicators, expansion of reports, shadow reports, citizen scorecards, fact AIDS treatment and increased agricultural productivity, school sheets and other relevant tool kits developed within the enrolment and access to water and sanitation — demonstrate context of the campaign and finally mainstream gender that rapid progress is possible when sound national policies are and showcase struggles the women’s movement is matched with increased ODA and technical support from the engaged in at all levels. international system. The accomplishments made testify to the unprecedented degree of commitment by developing countries One of the main objectives of introducing the magazine is to and their partners to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, provide an accessible and effective communication channel and the growing success in building and strengthening the that provides a platform for informed and inclusive debate global partnership for development. on development issues in general and how they relate with Millennium Development Goals in particular in order to advance Poverty and inequality are growing at an alarming rate globally the cause of the poor. and many governments in Africa are claiming that they are not going to MDGs by 2015. Ironically, globalisation has thrown up The magazine is expected to provide antipoverty campaigners many opportunities for social and economic progress, but these with opportunities to influence domestic, regional and have been unevenly distributed to the extent that developing international policies through amplifying the voices of the countries are experiencing unprecedented marginalisation and underprivileged and socially excluded in addition to those of our reaping less and less from the progress humanity is experiencing partners in the campaign. in the last decade. Eradicating extreme poverty continues to be one of the main Empirical evidence available on performance indicators for challenges of our time, and is a major concern of the international MDGs shows that it is too early for governments in developing community. Ending this scourge will require the combined efforts countries to give up meeting targets as we have just gone past of all, governments, civil society organizations and the private the midpoint. The positive areas especially in education, health sector, in the context of a stronger and more effective global and maternal health for example, underlines the urgency for a partnership for development. collective need to explore alternative diverse and participatory economic systems that are adapted to local and national The MDGs set time-bound targets, by which progress in reducing realities, while also prioritizing and protecting equity, democracy income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and and diversity, human rights, labour rights, ecology, food security exclusion — while promoting gender equality, health, education and sustainable production and consumption.
  • Cover Story Mothers Should Not Die Giving Life It is not morally or politically right and it cannot be acceptable that mothers die giving life. Argues Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem* T he United Nations Millennium Campaign is launching a report this week on maternal mortality to coincide with the International Women’s Day, March 8 and we are also joining with various National partners and UN agencies and governments in various countries across Africa in a month long series of activities to draw attention to the alarming number of women who continue to die while giving birth or as a result of complications of pregnancies. Many of these deaths are preventable and their prevention is definitely less costly both in human and material terms to the families involved and the society in general. The paradox of the situation is that millions of children in Asia and Africa now have a better chance of living beyond Rallying behind Piga Debe Campaign on International Women’s Day in Liberia the age of 5 years. If more children are living, why are the mothers dying in such Niger is one of the poorest countries in sister died in a ‘private’ clinic, one of many scandalous numbers? Who is going to Africa and the most dangerous place that have mushroomed in response to the nurture and care for these children with to give birth with women facing an crisis in the public health sector. Most improved chances of living beyond 5 , astonishing 1 in 7 chance of dying. Nigeria of these “private” clinics are owned by universal access to education and more makes up 2% of the world’s population, it Doctors and other Medical staff ‘working’ opportunities beyond 2015? accounts for 10% of its maternal deaths. in the public sector. So really the only dividing line between public and private Official statistics reveal a shocking trend While statistics can educate and raise is the ‘extra’ money that those who can of mothers dying in circumstances that are awareness, they remain statistics. We afford pay in order to buy themselves preventable. Despite the fact that some do not see human beings in them. Until extra care and time of the overworked countries have invested on provision of they are humanised, we may not feel their public professionals. basic health care, in developing countries, impact directly. I have been banging on only 35% of births are attended by skilled about MMR for quite some time now. But But it is all a game of chances because health workers. it hit me directly recently. A young sister of many of these ‘private’ clinics do not have In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman has mine, Asmau (better known as TALATUA) requisite facilities and often fallback on the 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy or aged 33, died two hours after delivering privatised sections of public facilities. So childbirth, compared to a 1 in 4,000 risk her second child, a boy, whom she never the closer one is to better public hospitals in a developing country. More than half held. and other medical establishments like a million women die in pregnancy and dedicated gynaecological, paediatric and childbirth every year: of these deaths, 99 Asmau was not an illiterate woman. She other specialist hospitals like Teaching % are in developing countries. Neonatal was a senior science teacher, while the hospitals, the better are one’s chances of mortality accounts for almost 40 % of husband is a college principal. Both fall buying off a slice of the public service for estimated 9.7 million children under- far beyond the so called ‘ordinary man one’s health. Consequently, regardless five deaths and for nearly 60 % of infant and woman’ as their income could ‘buy’ of your economic status, your access to (under-one) deaths. them better access to health facilities. My better public or private health facilities is African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 3
  • Cover Story by strong institutions, funding and accountability mechanisms. Special attention should be given to marginalized groups in health system strategies and all efforts should be made to guarantee meaningful participation of women and communities in the design, development, implementation and monitoring of programs and policies to combat maternal deaths. Most importantly, developing innovative strategies to rapidly increase access to skilled health workers for emergency obstetric care and comprehensive reproductive health services, including It is not God’s will that children should be brought up without mothers expansion of responsibilities (and corresponding enhanced compensation) predetermined by the location. If you are or wives and concubines, not to talk of and greatly increased numbers of nurses, closer to the big cities, your chances are ministers and other state officials instead midwives and non-physician clinicians is better. of providing for citizens who badly need one of the few ways in which governments these services. It is not about lack of can demonstrate political will aimed at In a continent where most of our resources, but lack of people-friendly reducing the alarming maternity mortality peoples still live in rural areas, it is highly public priorities. If the Minister of health rates. precarious that the health and life span of of a country goes abroad on the flimsiest mothers and other citizens are based on of health reasons and the minister of It is not morally or politically right and it such a random selection. It means that the education does not have any of his or her cannot be acceptable that mothers die majority of our peoples are condemned to children in the educational services his or giving life. In memory of my mother who inferior access to good medical facilities. her ministry is providing, why should the sacrificed everything for her ‘first child’ Even in the capital cities, your residential public trust the services? and other children; my grandmother who area and economic well being conditions nurtured and loved me unconditionally; my your access. It is not possible for majority of the great grandmother whom I was privileged citizens to privatise their way out of to know; my eight sisters who are now Our people try to cope with every calamity, public services whether in health or reduced to seven because of Asmau’s many of them avoidable, preventable and education. Therefore citizens’ pressure untimely death; and in honour of my two human-made, by insisting that “It is God’s must be placed on governments so that wonderful daughters, Aida and Ayesha will”. Since God does not protest and has public policy responds positive towards and their mum, Mounira and my numerous no instant rebuttal department, everything better provision of these services to the nieces, women cousins, sisters-in-law can be blamed on him. citizens. and all women, I have pledged myself to support the PIGA DEBE Campaign on It is not God’s will that children should Enough is enough!!! women’s rights of the United Nations be brought up without their mothers. It While citizens must stand up and speak Millennium Campaign with particular is the way in which we plan our society out to draw attention to the alarming focus on maternal health. Mothers should that leads to women being penalised for number of women who continue to die not be dying giving life. doing what is natural to womanhood. It is while giving birth, Governments in turn unacceptable that governments that can must develop national action plans for *Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, was the Deputy find money for unjust wars, the private Director, United Nations Millennium Campaign the reduction of maternal mortality that who passed away in a tragic road accident on security of the president and his wife adopt a human rights approach supported 25th May, 2009 4 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Cover Story Facing Disease And Death How many hundreds of billions of dollars have been pumped into failing banks and investment institutions over these past few months, in order to save them from collapse? Why can’t the leaders of the world do something similar to save large portions of humanity especially women and children from starvation, disease and death? Writes Dorothy Ngoma* I am a nurse midwife and have been As we commemorate one for many years. What I think this International and what I say to you is based on my Women’s Day, under the experiences as a nurse midwife meeting theme “End violence, countless patients and families in extreme support women in distress, facing disease and death at a politics”, let us look for level that is hard to imagine for people the solutions that are living comfortable lives or those in the possible to find. We developed countries. can stop this continuing tragedy. Education, Every day in Malawi, 16 pregnant women Health, water, food and die in villages or hospital during child birth. good health nutrition as By the end of the year, 984 women/100000 well as gender balance births will have died, but not even one are crucial for achieving of them will be registered by the media economic development as a great scandal or something to be and eradicating poverty Protect and save lives especially those of girls and women corrected. What would have happened if so many mothers-to-be died in a hospital while at the same time empowering like “Mwaiwathu” or Adventist Hospital in women politically. These are basic • Access to emergency obstetric Blantyre, Malawi let alone in New York or human and women’s rights and are a must care when life London. Do the lives of these poor women for each and every woman living on this threatening complications in poor communities have less value than planet. occur. those “who have”? • Family planning services that Free primary education is beyond the will increase survival Many of you out there are the leaders reach of women in most poor countries, rate for both women and movers in this world that we all live yet absolutely vital to provide countries and children. in. People especially women from poor with qualified human resources to meet • Eradication, or at the very least communities who are the majority in the challenges of the future. If the girl containment, of developing countries need support and children and others are not educated diseases like malaria, TB, HIV hope that their lives are valuable enough then how much poverty violence and and AIDS. for us to put resources on the table to criminality will they cause as they grow save them. Many do not really believe into unhealthy, lawless, uneducated The global human resource crisis of too that a difference will be made. To them, adults? few health care workers can be solved. we just give it lip service. But you can We need predictable donor-funding for We in Africa can rise to the challenge. make a difference. WE can make a the public education system in order to: Give us the means and we can train difference, indeed we are obliged to make hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands a difference. • increase enrolment of new health care workers, to cope with I believe that the world has enough • retain girls in school the challenges facing our country Malawi resources to solve the problems it faces. • prevent early marriages and and the world as a whole. How many hundreds of billions of dollars early pregnancies have been pumped into failing banks and Achievement of universal access to health On this note let me congratulate the investment institutions over these past care remains a distant dream in most poor Malawian Head of State, Dr. Bingu wa few months, in order to save them from countries. The world needs over 4 million Mutharika for nominating Joyce Banda, collapse? Why can’t the leaders of the skilled health care workers including a female Member of Parliament to be world do something similar to save large Nurses and Midwives to protect and save his running mate during the May 2009 portions of humanity especially women lives especially those of girls and women. General Elections. Involving women in and children from starvation, disease and Shortages are a challenge not only to high decision making offices will make a death? Is this not an important cause to developing countries, but globally. We difference to society at large and women support? need to provide: and children in particular. African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 5
  • Cover Story In terms of water and sanitation, 1 billion people especially women have no access to safe drinking water whilst 2.5 billion lack access to basic sanitation services. Campaign On Maternal We must increase assistance and support to scale up implementation of water and sanitation interventions for the poorest Mortality Launched and most vulnerable groups especially women. It is essential that efforts must be made to target those who entirely lack access to such basic services. We implore government leaders to provide strong leadership while involving stakeholders and providing political momentum to successfully attain the MDGs especially those that target women by 2015. Key strategies should include: • Increasing and retaining the number of well qualified health personnel including Nurses and Midwives. • Increasing availability and Part of the crowd that thronged carnivore grounds for campaign launch supply of drugs. K • Improving health and enyan anti-poverty campaigners Concert host, Kanjii Mbugua repeatedly educational facilities. have launched the “Piga Debe for called on the Kenyan government to take • equipment and improving Women Rights Campaign” at a well urgent action by investing more resources attended concert held at the Carnivore in health facilities and training of skilled financial management and grounds in Nairobi as part of mobilization health workers, particularly mid-wives • Accountability in all government for the International women’s day. and nurses. systems so that “It is not acceptable that every minute of services within public sector “Piga Debe” in Kiswahili means “make every hour of every day, women continue are financed adequately. a big noise” and draws its inspiration to die from preventable deaths. Our from women’s voices in Africa who have governments must do something to stop As you read this article, at least three repeatedly shouted over the years that this unnecessary loss of precious lives,” women have died giving birth. One per “Enough is enough, no more deaths in mourned Mbugua. minute, every hour, day, every week and child birth”. month of the year, over 500,000 women die Kanjii Mbugua drew applauses from the every year. An additional 500,000 women The concert which was hosted by crowd when he called on governments will die by 2015 due to unsafe abortions. renowned gospel musician Kanjii Mbugua, to enhance participation of women in Can we let this continue? featured Kenya’s top female artistes Wahu, key political positions noting that the Neema and Atemi who were chosen on commitments made in relation to the Failure to act with vigorous strength and this day to showcase success in breaking gender empowerment goal are far from down male domination through their being met. conviction represents a fundamental achievements, quest for independence, social injustice and a violation of basic entrepreneurship and persistence in the “I am certain that we would have less human rights, especially those of the harsh world of the arts. violence or wars and more development poor women and children of our society. in Africa if more women were given an History will be our judge. I urge all of us The Piga Debe” concert organized by opportunity to hold powerful government to act. the United Nations Millennium Campaign positions,” he said. Africa Office, Kijiji Records and the Global *DOROTHY NGOMA is a nurse midwife Call to Action Against Poverty (Kenya), Maternal mortality continues to be one and acts as one of the Global Call to Action symbolically kicked off a month long of the unconscionable human rights against Poverty campaign ambassador. She awareness campaign seeking to draw violations of our time, more than 500,000 is based in Malawi. attention of African governments to the women still die annually in pregnancy outrageous fact that thousands of women and childbirth. The vast majority of these continue to die needlessly during child deaths are preventable. birth. 6 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • News Men Challenged To Eliminate Gender Inequality Motor vehicle theft is a non bailable offence in Zambia and so should be defilement crime, Parliament should be better placed to enact a law that will deter perpetrators from committing sexual atrocities against girls.’ Writes Nelson Banda* Z ambians have been challenged to to their lives and privileges or as attack saying “defilement should be unbailable promote equality between men and on their way of life but as an incentive offence and the minimum sentence for a women by supporting the recently for working towards achieving gender defiler should be 25 years “. unveiled Yellow Ribbon campaign. equality. Despite Zambia being a Signatory to Launched by the Zambia National Women The Yellow Ribbon campaign was the SADC Declaration and African ‘s Lobby Men ‘s Network Project, the launched during the 16 Days of Activism Union Protocol and other international campaign seeks to remind all that the and will be distributed to government instruments on the protection of women country’s leadership appended its departments, ministers, members of and girls, women and girls are constantly signature to the SADC and African Union Parliament and the President and his living in fear of being violated. Girls’ rights Principles on promoting gender equality. staff. are not respected, fulfilled, protected and promoted. The campaign will be targeting men to In a related event, the Men’s Network sensitize other men and boys, through Project in Zambia has handed over a As a response to the increasing number efforts that will capture their curiosity petition to Members of Parliament asking of defilement cases, the Men’s Network toward change. The Men’s Network them to enact appropriate legalisation on Project launched the petition in July recognises the importance to mobilise a defilement as a non bailable offence. The to collect 5000 signatures to petition mass of men to begin to challenge their petition with over 5000 signatures was Government to enact legislation so that attitudes and regard women as equal handed over to members of Parliament defilement crime becomes a non bailable partners. The campaign will add value to at Parliament Building during the 16 Days offence. changing the mindset of thousands of men Campaign. that gender equality is achievable. The Men’s networked argued that motor The Yellow Ribbon Campaign will be The Men’s Network was prompted to vehicle theft is a non bailable offence the largest men’s advocacy effort petition the MPs because of the increasing in Zambia and so should be defilement of mobilizing men on equality, equal number of defilement being reported in the crime adding that ‘Parliament will be participation and denouncing men‘s Zambian media According to the Young better placed to enact a law that will deter attitudes that disadvantage women. Women Christian Association, a total of perpetrators from committing sexual Wearing a yellow ribbon will be a symbol 184 defilement cases were recorded at atrocities against girls.’ of men’s opposition to gender inequality its Drop in Centre from January to March and a personal pledge to never commit, 2008 alone and another 70 cases were The petition was placed in strategic condone or remain silent about gender recorded in Kasama town, 850 kilometres places for people to sign such the church, inequality against women and girls. It will north of the capital, Lusaka. In additional, media houses, markets, banks schools. be a symbol of saying, “men of our time the University Teaching Hospital, the Members of the Network also went out believe in gender equality.” country‘s largest hospital records an on the streets as foot soldiers to collect average of 33 cases of defilement per signatures. Car Stickers with messages The yellow ribbon will be men‘s personal month. such as Make DEFILEMENT A NON commitment towards eliminating gender BAILABLE OFFENCE were printed and inequality, challenging men to speak out The Network charged that as victims of given to Members of Parliament. Nelson against gender barriers, beliefs, language physical and sexual abuse, girls suffer Banda is a journalist, sexual reproductive and negative attitudes that society has on long term physical, emotional and mental health counsellor and Coordinator of the women. The campaign is targeted at men damage that hinder their ability to learn Zambia National Women’s Lobby Men’s but will work in partnership with women and become effective leaders in their Network Project to create a society free of inequalities. communities. The Yellow Ribbon is a symbol of *Nelson Banda is a journalist, sexual educating young men and boys about the Outspoken members of Parliament of the reproductive health counsellor and importance of observing gender equality opposition Patriotic Front, Jean Kapata and Coordinator of the Zambia National Women’s and denouncing negative attitudes Chilufya Mumbi received the petition on Lobby Men’s Network Project against women and girls. Men should behalf of other parliamentarians. The two not perceive gender equality as a threat MPs have waged a war against defilers African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 7
  • News Stand Up Speak Out and Take Action Results in education are very disappointing. The government has not met many of its commitments in relation to Only 55.7% complete primary school MDGs, CSOs in Senegal are calling for global governments to act and for example. This means that many of show political commitment in relation to eradication of poverty, writes the children do not acquire the basic knowledge needed for advancement in Oumar Sow* society. Given some of these trends, some observers argue that Senegal will not achieve the goal of reducing poverty to 50% by 2015. Reports emanating from the World Bank and UNDP noted that only 38% of the MDGs targets would be achieved. It is in this vein that anti-poverty campaigners are calling for the accelerated achievement of MDGs by mobilising citizens to stand up against injustice and calling on political leaders to act to act in order extreme poverty and inequality. After three days of mobilisation which began on October 17, no less than eleven 11 events had been organized, ranging from panels, concerts, sporting events to Leveraging on the numbers mobilized in Senegal televised debates throughout the country, in four attracting almost 230 650 people S enegal’s regional capitals, The most affected are women, children who expressed their solidarity with the Saint-Louis, Dakar, Thies and and persons with special status such as campaign. Tambacounda hosted antipoverty the disabled. activities that were organised to celebrate One of the major highlight was the the 2008 World Day against, hunger, For example, the mortality rate among involvement of women in special poverty and inequality. children under 5 years remains high and mobilisation called “POTS”. Each is located at 121 per thousand, while the participating woman carried an empty Organising around the slogan: “STAND maternal mortality rate has stagnated pot, spoons, and an empty bag of rice UP and act together against poverty and at 401 deaths per hundred thousand live symbolizing hunger and the necessity of inequality”, Senegalese campaigners births in 2005. women’s access to land. highlighted social and political demands generated by civil society organizations * Oumar Sow works for GCAP Senegal monitoring the Millennium Development Goals Arguing that the government has not met many of its commitments in relation to MDGs, CSOs in Senegal are calling for global governments to act and show political commitment in relation to eradication of poverty and the ushering in of sustainable development. Senegal has more than five million people affected by extreme hunger and poverty. The final evaluation of the PRSP 2 based on the results provided by the recent survey on poverty in Senegal (ESPS) indicates that the proportion of individuals living below the poverty line decreased slightly Leading Kenyan artists Wahu and Jah Key Marley participate in from 57.1% in 2001 to 50.6% in 2005. cleaning a children home 8 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • News Voices Against Poverty And Inequality T HE Stand Up and Take Action Against up for those who cannot Poverty concert which was held in speak for themselves. the sprawling Chitungwiza town, Let us spread awareness about 35km south of Harare, Zimbabwe’ of poverty particularly capital city was a huge success with top here in Chitungwiza local musicians driving the message home where access to basic on the need to eradicate extreme poverty health, water, food and with some lively performances. education is a problem to many.” The concert which was held to mark the World poverty Day, held every year His song ‘Zvichanaka’ on October 17, got off to a great start (things are going to be with the St Agnes Catholic Church Quoir alright) and a lively act churning out some powerful gospel tunes sent the audience wild that spoke about God’s unending love for and yearning for more. humanity –poor and rich. Jazz inspiration Victor Their enthusiasm for drumming and dance Kunonga wooed the “one of the best shows he’s ever had”, was contagious as much of the audience hearts of the mature with his fusion of and was moved to tears by Fungisayi’s got on their feet to join in one number. jazz, powerful drumming and traditional powerful gospel tunes. The little ones in the audience danced mbira rhythms. and enjoyed this concert which drew an The concert was held as part of the United enthusiastic audience of more than 5 000 “We must fight to end hunger and poverty. Nations Millennium Campaign initiative to people at Chitungwiza Town Centre. Let us join hands with others across the raise awareness on the importance of world to Stand Up and Take Action Against ending extreme poverty and reminding Top Zimbabwean gospel songbird, Poverty,” he said. world leaders to honour their pledge to Fungisayi Zvakavapano-Mashavave who Popular urban grooves group, MaFrik end poverty and suffering around the has won numerous accolades, won a tugged at the hearts of the young with world by 2015. standing ovation when she raised the their sing-along love songs spiced up with profile of poverty issues at the concert a passionate appeal to world leaders to Similar events were held worldwide with by her dance-along-tunes and vibrant adopt policies that will help the youth to calls for action against poverty and piling performance. realise their hopes and dreams. pressure on multilateral institutions and leaders in both rich and poor nations The renowned gospel singer told “Poverty is not good at all for us the to honour and exceed the Millennium thousands at the Town Centre that: “Even young generation. Lets fight it to help us Development Goals. if life is tough and the going is rough, God realise our dreams and talents,” said 2nga is with us. The God of the poor is with us. (Tunga), one of the Mafrik group member. In 2000, leaders of 189 countries signed Let’s put trust in Him to fight poverty.” the Millennium Declaration agreeing to do It was an unforgettable family concert everything in their power to end poverty. Her music was irresistible. The crowd that gave children, mothers and fathers They pledged to do this by achieving went wild when she belted her popular alike chance to mix and dance at a day the Millennium Development Goals, a songs. concert. roadmap to end extreme poverty by 2015. Another popular gospel artist, Pastor G, “This was a good show. It was inspiring Despite this, about 50 000 people still die thrilled the audience with his powerful and reminds us to think about the poor, the everyday as a result of extreme poverty. voice and energetic dances. He urged weak and sick and also the elderly. Most of people to take a firm stand in the fight us women cannot go to night gigs because “Poverty is worsening daily in Zimbabwe against poverty in Africa. we have so many responsibilities,” said and we as young people need to send a Agnes Moyo, of Chitungwiza. clear message to our leaders to remind “From the informal settlements of Kibera them about our plight,” said Nyarai in Kenya, to the informal settlements of “Day concert like this one give us an Mahachi, a high school student in Soweto in South Africa and Mbare in opportunity to see local artistes and Chitungwiza. “We are young but we can Zimbabwe, the hungry child in strife-torn also hear about issues on HIV and Aids, do it. We can spread the word and fight Darfur to Mabvuku in Zimbabwe without education, water problems and other poverty in our minds first before moving to water and Chitungwiza hit by cholera, issues affecting the town.” other issues.” let us join our hands in the fight against poverty,” he said as he took to the stage. Sam Makuwaza, a resident of Zengeza Sifelani Tsiko Southern African “We as entertainers urge you to speak in Chitungwiza described the concert as Correspondent based in Zimbabwe African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 9
  • Feature Migration as a tool for development The productivity and earnings of the migrants are potentially a significant force for poverty reduction and as such, well planned migration policy initiatives can help developing countries reach their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets, argues Michael Boampong* A ddressing international migration numbered 191 million in 2005. Of these, 115 societies throughout the world; it has also has undoubtedly become a pressing million lived in developed countries and underscored the clear linkage between issue not only for governments but 76 million in developing countries. The migration and development, as well as the also for a broad range of actors all over European Union Ghana Migration Profile opportunities for co-development.” the world. Many studies have suggested has established that in 2006, there were that whilst migration can cause brain about 189,461 Ghanaian migrants spread Remittances represent an important way drain to countries of origin for reasons across the Organization for Economic out of extreme poverty for a large number related to disparities in income levels Cooperation and Development (OECD) of people. Worldwide, flows of remittances and other economic conditions, properly countries. This represents 0.86 percent of were expected to reach $318 billion in managed migration can result in “brain Ghana’s total population of 22,113,000. 2007. Recorded remittances to developing gain” and other culminating benefits in countries are estimated to have reached the form of remittances and brain re-gain International migration has enormous $240 billion in 2007. Remittances are now upon the successful return of migrants. economic, social, and cultural close to triple the value of the Official The productivity and earnings of the implications in both origin and destination Development Assistance (ODA) provided migrants are potentially a significant countries. As noted in Kofi Annan’s report, to low-income countries and comprise the force for poverty reduction and as such, (former Secretary-General of the United second-largest source of external funding well planned migration policy initiatives Nations) on International Migration and for developing countries after Foreign can help developing countries reach Development (2006), “migration in the Direct Investment. their Millennium Development Goals context of globalization has not only (MDGs) targets. International migrants created challenges and opportunities for The estimated 3.6 million Africans in 10 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Feature the Diaspora are directly or indirectly human rights of irregular migrants are There are growing populations of Diaspora contributing to the achievement of the also a key issue here even when arrested communities in most developed countries Millennium Development Goals. The by the destination country. The Aeneas and it will be expedient on the part of remittances migrants send to their relatives Project, which is a project that is yet to Africa to see how its governments can or households in particular, sustain be implemented by the IOM International tap on the skills of Diaspora communities livelihoods through increased purchasing Organization for Migration with the by trying to promote their civic rights power for education, food, health, and support of the Ministry of Manpower Youth and responsibilities in their countries of other current needs of consumption; all and Employment and also the European origin. Promoting dual citizenship is very of which are key to reaching the MDGs Union (EU), is worth mentioning here. This important at this stage as it can increase through poverty reduction and the project is expected to help Ghanaians to the amount of commitment through enhancement of economic development. fill up job vacancies in Italy. donations to some critical areas of Whereas some people have migrated development by Diaspora communities. through legal forms, others have done so Governments must work to ensure that in a clandestine manner. Daily images are decent working and living conditions Since most migrants and as a matter portrayed – pictorially as well as verbally prevail in Africa so that potential of fact irregular emigrants prefer the – of the different accounts of the harsh migrants have the option to migrate or informal channel of sending remittances, realities confronting thousands of youths not to migrate. In this case the decision to there is the need for the banks in Africa of African descent staking attempts at migrate becomes a genuine choice. to design a regulatory framework that will finding the so-called greener pastures integrate the informal channels of sending in the Western countries, particularly Migration is key component of Goal eight - Global migrant remittances into the formal Europe and America. Partnership for Development. channels. Additionally, educating people on financial matters is a critical step in This begs us to ask more questions on It has also been affected by failures to the development process and is also why this situation has arisen. What are promote environmental sustainability and becoming important among remittance the driving forces and what can be done the negative consequences of climate recipients. to develop a partnership that can save the change. Distress migration is now on thousands of lives that are lost through the increase now due to environmental In conclusion, governments must design migration? degradation and catastrophic events such policies and programs that can manage as sudden loss of land caused by climate international migration and tap its During a study that was conducted extremes such as storm surges, thus positive benefits towards the accelerated recently by Young People We Care (YPWC) changing existing patterns of movement achievements of MDGs. and also a recent youth consultation on for goods and humans. It is important for Migration and Development towards both developed and developing nations to *Michael Boampong is the Director of Young the Global Forum on Migration and take steps to address the issue of climate People We Care in Ghana Development in the Philippines, there change to reduce the rate of climate were some interesting comments that change induced migration. some young people made. Young people recommended that governments should implement policies that encourage youths to stay and engage themselves in positive activities that can contribute to development of their country. National Youth Policies that entail strategies and programmes for developing the capacity of young people and also the creation of well paying jobs and good working conditions for young people are important in reducing the level of migration caused by unemployment or underemployment. Migration has grown into a global issue that requires a new set of progressive immigration policies that recognize peoples’ right to mobility. This includes streamlining and regularizing visa procedures. Governments should create Young people share their experiences during the 64th voyahe of the peace boat more legal channels for migration. The African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 11
  • Feature Africa’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis Representatives of the civil society in Africa and other stakeholders in the continent’s development met in Midrand, South Africa, from 23-24 February 2009, to critically engage on the nature and implications of the current global financial crisis on Africa as well as an all-inclusive Africa’s response. T hey observed that the current At the end of their deliberations, they put Furthermore, existing African global financial and economic forward the following recommendations: institutions should be capacitated crisis is a result of failure in the to better generate African- model of development, characterized by MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICY: owned knowledge, planning, excessive deregulation and liberalization Shared Growth & People-centred coordination and response to in all sectors of the economy. Africa development Africa’s special needs; has been nominally affected by the first generation impact of the financial crisis, 1. Realizing that the current global 4. A moratorium of African debt in part, because its financial markets are economic model and system has service payments should be insulated and not fully integrated into the not benefited the vast majority of emplaced and such funds put global financial system. Africans, particularly in the form into a facility managed by ADB of appreciable reduction in the that could address the short- However, Africa will be particularly hard level of poverty in Africa, there is term needs of highly indebted hit and is now facing an unprecedented the urgent need for a new people- African countries and to bailout crisis in the productive sectors of the centred macroeconomic policy the poor. Domestic savings economy as evidenced by pervasive framework, which puts people at from debt cancellation should reductions in growth targets, contraction the centre of economic planning, be invested in social services; of economic activities; reduction in export processes and development. However, the long-term goal of earnings and trade credits, remittances This approach, as a principle, African governments should be from the African Diaspora; divestments, should be mainstreamed into a comprehensive cancellation company closures; retrenchments and all facets of macro-economic of Africa’s debts to allow for increasing unemployment. This current policy by African Governments full economic recovery and the financial crisis has compounded the and their supporting institutions, meeting of the necessary socio- existing challenges and shocks caused with human development as end- economic needs of the African by high food and energy prices, which goal; people; have impacted on the African poor, particularly women, children and small- 2. Monetary and Fiscal Policy should 5. African countries should resist scale producers. African countries move beyond the excessive the temptation to relapse into will inevitably be unable to meet their focus on “stabilization” and heavy external debt as the risk of development goals, including the MDGs, if inflation-targeting and re-focus renewed indebtedness increases far-reaching political and socio-economic on promoting better conditions with the global economic restructuring is not undertaken, urgently. for domestic investment to downturn. They should consider create decent jobs, as well as creating sovereign funds as a They acknowledged and commended the shared growth that promotes means of addressing the liquidity Tunis Outcomes arising from the Meeting human development, stimulate crisis; of African Ministers of Finance/Economic local economic activity and Planning and Central Bank Governors, development and public spending 6. Diversification of the economic held in Tunisia on 12 November 2008, in critical social sectors; base, including promoting value through the joint initiative of the African adding industries in Africa is Union Commission, UN Economic 3. African countries must urgently needed to address the perennial Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) and create their own policy space to challenge of dependence on a African Development Bank (ADB). enable them to use appropriate few primary commodity exports fiscal and monetary policy and to meet the deficit created The group argued that the voice and views to fight recession induced by reduced export capacity/ of the African people should be heard and by the global financial and earnings in the medium to should complement the Tunis Process in economic crises. This option long term as Africa responds responding to this crisis in an all-inclusive will help counter the policy to this twin crisis of financial manner. They emphasized the need for restrictions placed on them by and economic nature. Such urgent and decisive actions by African the Bretton Woods institutions, value added production of base peoples, governments and institutions as which currently dominate and resources must be pushed well as development partners. control the global financial and enforced in addition to and economic architecture. retaining economic value of 12 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Feature African resources in Africa and multilateral trading system under AFRICAN INTEGRATION – promoting African SMEs; the WTO in order to strengthen Strengthening the African Union and facilitate Africa’s trade and its NEPAD Programme 7. Top priority should be given capacity, and finally increase, to agriculture for its crucial in real terms, intra-Africa trade 17. Africa must move rapidly role in food security and in and regional integration given towards putting in place a pan- providing industrial hub for the reduction in revenues from African economic governance agro-processing and agri- international trade in primary architecture that regulates all business, the strengthening commodities; financial institutions/systems, of Africa’s industrial base and capital flows and trade boosting capacity to create job SOCIAL AND HUMAN DIMENSION: relations; opportunities; Bailing out the Poor 18. As part of finding an alternative 8. Domestic resource mobilization 12. African Governments and to the present control by should become a critical arena their development partners, IFIs, Africa must strengthen of leadership and strategy for particularly G8/OECD countries, existing continental political/ Africa, in line with the AU/ should promptly and fully fulfill economic institutions as well as NEPAD priority strategies. Given their development commitments/ operationalizing and resourcing the high probability of reduced pledges for the benefit of African the financial governance aid, FDI inflows and fall-out people; structures identified in the on over-reliance on external Constitutive Act establishing sources for budget support, 13. Special targeted interventions the African Union, namely the Africa should embrace inward- should be taken to address the African Investment Bank (AIB), looking strategies, including the needs of the most vulnerable the African Monetary Fund utilization of local resources, groups through access to (AMF) and the African Central adding value to African credit, agricultural inputs, health Bank (ACB); commodities. A paradigm shift services and social protection. that will accompany this process These should be prioritized 19. African governments, with the is the resumption of domestic in the national budgets and support of African institutions, demand-led development development programs/plans to and in conjunction with strategy; reflect the new focus on people- stakeholders drawn from the centred macro-economic policy; private sector, labour, civil 9. The African State should return society, should undertake broad to its traditional development 14. Ongoing economic reforms assessment of the impact of role, with a more activist and in various African countries current economic crisis on their interventionist character, to need to be more pro-poor with national economic programs and protect the poor and vulnerable, initiatives such as public works plans, with a view to designing offer the much-needed programmes being implemented appropriate response strategies leadership, direction and to ensure greater employment to address the impact of the energy to the African people in opportunities; financial crisis; these critical times. Therefore, 15. African Governments should rebuilding the African State is urgently introduce where 20. At the regional level, each REC most fundamental, to avoid the applicable, and enforce should undertake assessment of syndrome of the failing or failed, appropriate regulations to the manifestation of the economic degraded or recovering State; protect the African citizens from crisis in the regions, especially harmful environment practices on resource mobilization, 10. African countries must as well as regulate the activities investment climate, good continuously evaluate their of multinational corporations governance, favourable trade partnership with the developed operating in Africa; regulations and diversification of and emerging development the economy and share results partners. The ‘BRIC’ countries 16. Concurrently,African there-from with all stakeholders; (Brazil, Russia, India and China) Governments and institutions do not necessarily present should eliminate waste, 21. RECs are further urged to protection from crisis, not corruption and leakages as incentivise and set up regulations withstanding the “alternative” part of the commitment to to encourage their member flavour of the relationship that enthrone better economic countries to buy from each other has been constructed; governance and management as a means of promoting intra- reflecting transparency, probity Africa trade and building the 11. Africa should vigorously pursue and accountability in public regional economy; trade-acceleration using the expenditure; African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 13
  • Feature 22. To fast-track continental the NEPAD Programme at this Role of Civil Society integration, African solidarity stage, African Governments and and collaboration is required to institutions as well as regional 30. Civil society to be one of the key confront global challenges and business groupings should players in the implementation place regional and continental provide substantial financial of these initiatives, at national, interests above individual support to AU/NEPAD-inspired regional and continental levels, needs. In this respect, ongoing special dedicated mechanisms recognizing the reality of the negotiations between Africa and facilities, including the structural constraints inherent and the European Union on IPPF, APRM, AFFM, ICF, CAADP in the regional and continental the Economic Partnership Trust Fund, African Action Plan bodies in Africa; Agreements (EPAs), should be and others. Such action by suspended forthwith, as this Africans will demonstrate their 31. Support and be actively process undermines and limits commitment to upholding the engaged in the efforts by African the African policy space; principle of an African-led and Governments to disseminate and owned development agenda; educate Africans on the impact 23. African institutions, particularly of this economic crisis, and in the AU Commission, GLOBAL FINANCIAL doing so, assist in discovering NEPAD Secretariat, African INSTITUTIONS: new ways of thinking and to Development Bank (ADB), Pro-developmentFinancial re-conceptualise the African African Export-Import Bank Architecture strategic approaches to these and their regional development issues; counterpart-institutions should 26. The Bretton Woods Institutions be strengthened, instead of and other IFIs must be 32. Africa to be proactive instead of creating new or parallel ones. restructured to make them more reacting to the global situation These institutions should be made democratic and accountable and for CSOs to set up task more democratic, responsive through increased African teams to support the leadership and accountable to Africans representation and elimination of role that the AU/NEPAD could and restructured to promote their current policy over-reach; play in confronting this crisis; intra-Africa trade and regional integration. Most importantly, the 27. Governance structures and 33. Bring Africa’s leadership together ADB should provide assistance appointment of the IMF/ to provide rescue plans to to African countries through World Bank executives should address the urgent development short to medium term measures, be premised on merit and issues associated with political as response strategy; democratic principles that reflect instability, financial/ and socio- the nature of the membership economic crisis; 24. To achieve this, regular and the present global economic assessment of African institutions reality; 34. Fashion out an active role for the should be undertaken to re- organized private sector across appraise their mandates, roles 28. African governments, private the continent in creating the and responsibilities in delivery sector and civil society should awareness on the magnitude and addressing the economic seek to use forthcoming forums of the crisis and its impact and crisis and Africa’s development of the G8/G20 to push the IMF/ implications at national and challenges; World Bank and other global regional levels, particularly players for a new global financial in relation to private sector 25. AU Commission and NEPAD architecture that is responsive development and public-private Secretariat to undertake, as soon to Africa’s needs, where African partnerships (PPP) ventures; as practicable, a comprehensive voice and views are taken into analysis of the direct impact of account in development policy 35. CSOs to also assist in informing the financial crisis on AU/NEPAD formulation and support by the policy making, through continued priority programmes/projects and Bretton Woods institutions; dialogue and coordination with the sectoral strategies/action public sector to provide inputs of plans, to ensure that alternative 29. G8/OECD countries should strategy and insights. and innovative methods honour their recent pledges not are sourced to support the to reduce official development continuation of these programs, assistance (ODA) as a result of in the event that partnership the global financial crisis, and support wanes. Specifically, instead increase aid to meet while encouraging a technical the international development review of the implementation of targets, including AU/NEPAD and MDGs; 14 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Feature Africa resists EPAs Agricultural sectors have been greatly weakened by hasty and excessive trade liberalization that has allowed cheap and illegally subsidized imports, often from Europe, to wipe out domestic production even in their home markets. Writes Mwaura Kaara* E vidence is mounting, right Added to the devastation of inflation is warned that accepting EU’s insistence that across the world, of the extreme the threat of looming global recession. Pacific Island (and other ACP) countries destructiveness of maintaining and The slowdown of economies is starting should remove protection of the infant upholding unbridled so-called ‘free market and spreading from the main Western industries within 20 years will remove “our economics’ as the only method and means economies. Major European economies, space to give time for our infant industries of organizing and managing economies. the most important single destination of to mature before entering what is going Governments in Africa, the Caribbean and ACP exports will slowdown. As the British to be a very competitive global trading the Pacific(ACP) who are in the middle government now openly admits, it is faced environment [and] will retard industrial of negotiating Economic Partnership with its worst economic crises in 60 years. development in our countries. Giving up Agreements (EPAs) must draw the fullest Inevitably, this downturn will also mean a this right forever will be the highest price lessons of this in any decisions they take drop in demand for ACP exports. Market we will pay and we just simply cannot to manage and address their economic failure and inflation threatens to wipe out afford that”. As there is no ‘sunset’, i.e. no relations and challenges, such as the fuel the relative growth that many ACP primary time limit, on the duration of the EPAs, the price crisis, the fallout of global financial commodity exporters have enjoyed in just word “forever” is like eternal damnation. crisis and the relentless price inflation in the last few years, while intensifying the EPAs will prevent and paralyze the basic food that have engulfed hundreds competition they face. development, industrialization and of millions of people in their countries, diversification of ACP economies forever. bringing many to the brink of renewed Already, ACP share of trade in the EU, threat of starvation and sparking turmoil their single most important market, has Aid will also dry up as the advanced and food riots across these regions. fallen relative to other competitors. As economies bail out their financial sectors a September 2008 UN report on Africa’s from the excesses of liberalization. The Trade justice activists are now arguing performance under trade liberalization EU has made it clear that there is no that one of the lessons must be the shows – Africa’s export market share has new substantive ‘aid’ to address EPA renunciation of the free trade ‘Economic dropped from 6% to 3% of world trade since implementation and adjustment costs. Partnership Agreements’ between the the 1980s, the self-same period that trade Rather they insist that ACP countries make ACP and the European Union (EU). Indeed, liberalization and structural adjustment up the cost by introducing and imposing ACP economies face unprecedented and were ruthlessly brought to power and reforms on their suffering populations extreme economic challenges in the installed as one-party dictators in the – including tax reforms that target the coming period. This is the worst time to continents economic policy regime. As informal sector and the consumption of institutionalize free trade regimes even with all dictatorships we were told: “there goods and services by working people more deeply and fundamentally than they is no alternative”. EPAs are a continuation and the poor. This must be set against have already taken root. and not an alternative to the disastrous the fact that EPA measures to eliminate trade performance of developing regions trade taxes and to further liberalize and The majority of ACP states are among due to sweeping trade liberalization. reduce taxation on ‘investors’ means that those whose productive Agricultural the tax burden for EU commodities and sectors have been greatly weakened by The disaster of such loss of market share multinational companies is eliminated or hasty and excessive trade liberalization cannot be compensated for by making reduced, while more taxation of the ACP that has allowed cheap and illegally the protection of marginal preferences poor is introduced or increased. EPA will subsidized imports, often from Europe, for ACP primary commodity exports to increase poverty and inequality within to wipe out domestic production even EU markets the heart of ACP trade and the ACP and between the ACP and other in their home markets. Because of such economic policy – as the whole world regions, especially the EU itself. liberalization, too many ACP economies knows the value of those preferences are have transitioned from relative food self- being eroded every day, because of global The regressive tax reforms are among the sufficiency to food import dependency in lowering of tariffs in the WTO and through ‘conditions’ for EU disbursement of their an extremely short time. Such economies bilateral free trade agreements. By making part of their ‘contribution’ to ‘mitigate’ the will have no protection whatsoever from a virtue of this necessity of ‘preferences’ cost of adjustment and implementation the imported inflation – through food for ACP primary products, EPAs offer no of EPAs for ACP countries. No doubt imports – that is already wrecking, and means of addressing ACP loss of market falling ACP government revenue from will continue to wreck lives in the ACP share, i.e. ACP marginalization, in world trade and customs duties will add to their regions, which are amongst the poorest trade and the world economy. dependence on aid. But this ‘aid’, as we in the world. EPAs will increase this have seen, will not be forthcoming. EPAs vulnerability. In addition, such imports Moreover, ACP marginalization is also due will increase ACP aid dependency and EUs will continue undermine what remains of to a failure to diversify ACP economies use and abuse of aid conditionality - even local production even further, over the and exports. Only this week in Brussels, as they cut aid flows. The danger of this longer term. And: EPAs will make this trade delegations from the Pacific region increase and abuse of ‘aid conditionality’ permanent. African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 15
  • Feature by the EU has already been manifest in forward proposals and even resolved to Parliaments and other stakeholders are the EPA process, as was borne out by the negotiate and agree a non-reciprocal being marginalized by the EPA process. public row that broke out between Pacific ‘goods only’ EPAs with the EU. Further if All parliamentary statements and reports and EU officials over the latter’s threat to negotiations continue, ACP governments from across the ACP and in the EU itself withhold flows of already-existing ‘aid’ if should insist on the removal of punitive warns against the grave anti-development the Pacific did not accept EU demands in tariffs imposed by the EU on exports from impact of an all encompassing free trade the EPA. The future looks dire indeed. ACP countries, such as Nigeria, who have EPA between for ACP countries, because so far not completely buckled under EU free trade agreements between countries But the damage can be repaired. ACP pressure to agree ‘interim EPAs’. As the and economies at diametrically opposed governments have the responsibility above referred to EU Parliamentary report levels of development will have only one and the authority to take measures to do of September 17 clearly and forcefully winner. The EU is the world’s largest this. They must re-open and review all reminds: “neither the conclusion nor the trading bloc, while ACP regions are ‘EPA agreements’, both interim EPAs and renunciation of an EPA should lead to a amongst the poorest in the world. comprehensive EPAs that were initialed situation where an ACP country may find in November and December 2007. These itself in a less favourable position than As Guyana’s President said last year so-called ‘agreements’ were emergency it was under the trade provisions of the when he took the case against the EPA defensive measure taken at the end of Cotonou Agreement”. The punitive taxes and its profound anti-developmental 2007 under the undue pressure of the imposed by the EU on the vulnerable dangers before the UN General Assembly EU’s threat to disrupt exports from ACP Nigerian cocoa sector, already costing last in August: ““Even at this late hour, I countries into the European market. They millions of dollars in the last few months wish to plead [for the] review [of] these were ‘initialed’ as statements of intent alone, is against the legally binding agreements before they irretrievably harm under conditions of extreme pressures, provisions of the Cotonou Agreement and … the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific and cannot be accepted as being legally the EU’s legal obligations. That the EU is states).” Civic organizations from across binding and can be challenged and blocked prepared to impose draconian taxes on the ACP are now demanding that ACP altogether on the basis of a number of products from the poorest economies leaders stand up and measure up to their legal instruments, such as the Vienna and regions of the world, simply to get primary responsibilities to their peoples. Convention on International Treaties. The its way of securing the monopoly of its There is no time when such leadership has EU parliament’s report on ‘Development commodities, companies and capital over been so needed to affirm the continued Impact of EPAs’ (ref: 2008/2170 (INI)), those regions, is simply unconscionable relevance and to assure the future of the dated 17th September 2008, recounts how and unacceptable. The ACP must reject ACP group. There has scarcely ever been ACP countries “were pushed” into these this categorically and demand its removal. a greater necessity for bold leadership so-called agreements without options or This support to countries such as Nigeria that not only protects our economies while alternative transitional solutions (which against EU trade aggression is also ensuring that unworkable and disastrous the EU was and is under legal obligation necessary to re-build the ACP unity that orthodoxies, especially that of unbridled to ensure) such as “extending GSP+ to all has been badly strained and shattered by free market liberalization and free trade, ACP countries”. the EPA process so far. are reversed. It is prudent to consider suspending All measures must be taken to ensure that There is now overwhelming evidence all negotiations towards free trade ACP unity at sub-regional and pan-ACP which compels civic organizations and agreements on ‘Trade in Services’ with levels in the EPAs negotiations is achieved. trade justice activists to continue in their the EU, as the Pacific region has just done. The coordination and harmonization of determination to Stop the EPAs altogether. Services must not be part of the EPAs. ACP positions and of the minimum trade The growing voices and opposition of This must be coupled by the rejection the reform measures that prevent disruption women’s organizations, farmers groups, inclusion of Trade-Related Issues in the of fragile export sectors WHILST trade unionists, students, NGOs, and EPAs – i.e. the ‘Singapore Issues’ such as satisfying WTO compatibility requires diverse range of actors in and beyond the Investment and Government Procurement the foundational pillar of unity between ACP must be raised more than ever. The (public tenders and contracts), which ACP LDCs and non-LDCs through their ACP includes many hundreds of millions; in any case they have already rejected universal access to EBA and GSP+ export it brings together the largest number of in the WTO but are being imposed on regimes. The unity of ACP sub-regions countries in any one grouping, apart from them through the backdoor of EPAs. It and the ACP as a whole also requires the UN General Assembly. Its voice, our is doubtful that many of the ACP regions an insistence on the minimum that is voice, is the voice of democracy. negotiating the EPAs even have a legal acceptable to all – i.e. a non-reciprocal mandate to include these Singapore ‘goods only’ trade agreement with the EU. Today, the Africa Trade Network give Issues in the negotiation. The special This is the only sure basis for Regional expression to that voice and has been inquiry into the EPAs commissioned by Integration and South-South cooperation saying over the years: “Stop the EPAs French President Sarkozy (in his capacity for ACP countries. now. Get Up, Stand Up!” as EU President), known as ‘the Taubira report’ recommends removing Singapore African citizens must mobilize and make *Mwaura Kaara is the UNMC Editorial and Trade-related Issues from the EPAs as preparations to reject all pressures to Assistant and Youth and Student focal point. a vital measure to restore ACP countries’ short-circuit and side-step democratic confidence in the EU’s good faith. constitutional rules for the ratification Governments must take a leaf from Guyana and adoption of international treaties the Government of Guyana which has put by Parliaments of ACP member-states. 16 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Feature In search of Alternatives Tendai Makanza* argues that the search for alternatives is not WB and IMF amongst others) power of just another academic exercise. the G8 states, collectively constituting the Empire. Its alleged gravitational property has nothing to do with reality; it is a self- serving myth perpetuated by the imperial nations through systematic media disinformation and fatuous academic discourse. Indeed, capital-led globalisation is even at the root of the crisis in Africa. It is by now agreed by wide sections of Southern African society that the neo-liberal paradigm of development has failed the people. Poverty has not only been entrenched but it has also deepened, and the gap between the rich and the poor has increased. It follows that there must be an alternative and that such an alternative is of vital importance. The Alternatives to Neo- G liberalism in Southern Africa (ANSA) lobalisation is often presented as against oppression has been the principal initiative represents an attempt to address something from which one cannot mode of African existence, almost a way this need. Its roots reach back as far as escape. It is compared to gravity, of life for most Africans for the best part of 1993, when the Zimbabwe Congress of described as part of the natural order a hundred years. Trade Unions (ZiCTU) took the initiative to of things, a fact of life or even as an formulate an alternative to the Economic opportunity for the people of the South to Unfortunately, the first generation political Structural Adjustment Programme, ESAP, benefit. However, these are all pseudo- leaders after political independence from which had been introduced in Zimbabwe scientific utterances and ideological 1957 (when Ghana got its independence) in 1991. statements that mask the true reality through the 1960s and 70s were caught of things. Globalisation is a man-made up in the cold war and the ideological Based on the experience gained in strategy, a policy response of capitalist battles of the period. Some of them, Zimbabwe, in 2003 the ANSA initiative nations in crisis. Capital expands or like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, tried took off, but now as a regional programme globalises not in order to increase the to experiment with their own versions and initiative. Initially, a small group of welfare of people or advance “democracy” of African socialism; others like Jomo individuals linked to the ZiCTU worked out but to increase or sustain private profits so Kenyatta of Kenya followed the capitalist the principles of an alternative approach that the system can survive for the benefit model; and yet others tried various and provided scientific and research of those who control it. Indeed, capital-led versions of “scientific socialism”. After materials. The project was gradually globalisation lies at the root of the crisis in the end of the cold war, and the demise broadened until, in January 2005, Africa. An alternative is therefore possible of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the representatives from affiliates of SATUCC and necessary. capitalist system came out triumphant, adopted the programme. Since then, the and all alternative options appeared to initiative has aimed at and gained wider A passive acceptance of destiny forced have vanished. Hence the increasingly name and recognition among progressive on Africa from outside goes against strident assertion of the unavoidability of academics, unions, social movements and the grain of Africa’s history. Africans neo-liberal globalisation. beyond, both within and outside Africa. fought to resist colonial occupation, and in some places resistance went on for However, the myth of the inevitability The ANSA initiative aims at providing some three decades after the carving of globalisation is as misleading as the individuals, movements, organizations, up of Africa at the Berlin Conference of myth about Africa’s passive acceptance. institutions policy makes and implementers 1884-5. Then, when Africa was finally Globalisation is nothing but a policy with an alternative development subjugated and occupied, Africans put up response of the capitalist nations in crisis, programme that is both visionary and resistance against the occupation itself the beginning of which goes back to the practical. It is not just another academic for another five decades and more, and mid-1970s. Contemporary globalisation exercise, it is meant to stimulate the finally liberated themselves from colonial is part of the strategy of transnational growth of a mass movement which can rule, and its vicious offspring such as corporations backed by the military, successfully advocate for a radical apartheid. In other words, resistance political and institutional (including WTO, alternative for our region. African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 17
  • Feature The root causes of underdevelopment African countries, the majority of the as high income consumer goods given ANSA’s overall economic analysis households live and work in what we are the inability to produce these locally revolves around dualism and enclavity labelling the communal sector. due to lack of critical minimum level of and external dependency as the root The root problem of under-development effective demand. The formal sector is not causes of pervasive unemployment, and now lies in the fact that the majority of the able to play its dynamic role in terms of hence underdevelopment, in Southern labour force is involved in low productivity transforming the economy through trickle Africa. pursuits that result in incomes and down effects, since the linkages with the consumption levels that are close to non-formal sector are minimal and mostly Dualism and enclavity poverty. The relationship between the restricted to use of cheap labour. The terms dualism and enclavity are used three sectors and the external world to describe Southern African economies is such that it tends to reproduce The urban informal sector is well known that are generally characterised by a the continued marginalisation of the for its deficiencies in terms of lack of relatively small formal sector, which majority and continues to constrain the capital, improvised technology, high co-exists but is separate from a large development of the economy as a whole. transaction costs and inadequate access informal sector, the latter one located to infrastructure. There is an absence of an both within urban areas and rural regions Internal distortions adequate facilitating legal, regulatory and (the communal sector). Underlying this problem of institutional regime for assets, intellectual The formal economy consists of capitalists underdevelopment are internal and property and market transactions As a interested in profit making and workers external distortions, distortions which the consequence, the urban informal sector who primarily depend on wages for their ‘free’ capitalist market system has not is prone to lateral expansion, depressed sustenance. In Africa it can be assumed been able to solve. Indeed, it has even returns that verge toward subsistence, that less than 20% of the labour force caused, reproduced and strengthened stunted growth and endemic poverty for earns a living in the formal sector. The these distortions. They therefore have to many. sector consists of large, medium, small be carefully analysed and understood, Although the communal sector may and micro enterprises that are formally after which a successful strategy to solve have developed production methods and registered and recognised; as such they them can be formulated. non-farm activities that are appropriate encompass activities in the primary, for the environment in which they live, secondary and tertiary sectors of the ANSA is not a grouping, a political party the sector has not been able to be fully economy. or a movement. It is not an advance party integrated into modern forms of economic either. You cannot become a member. organisation. The sector shares a number The urban informal sector is a residual ANSA is a non-partisan, facilitation of the characteristics of the urban sector, which has come to have a high project, the function of which is to act informal sector, like the absence of degree of permanence in many African as a focal point, guide and catalyst social and economic infrastructure, the countries. It is a sector characterised that stimulates people, institutions and absence of an adequate facilitating legal, by easy entry and exit, driven by self- movements in the region and beyond regulatory and institutional regime, high employment activities that reflect to join hands and forge alliances in a transaction costs and inadequate access linkages with the formal sector and rural common pursuit of an alternative to neo- to information useful for participation in sector as well as the ingenuity of the liberalism. ANSA is an initiative of the the modern economy. There is an outward individuals involved in the sector. Levels Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions migration of able-bodied males. In some of productivity are low in terms of returns (ZiCTU) in co-operation with the Southern countries the shortage of land due to land per hour worked, while wages tend to be African Trade Union Co-ordination degradation or land appropriation is also below poverty levels. This sector absorbs Council (SATUCC) and the African Labour resulting in increasing marginalisation of surplus labour from the rural and the formal Research Network (ALRN). It is facilitated peasants. sector such as retrenchees. Generally by the Labour and Economic Development about one third of the labour force in Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ). Thus, participants in both the urban many countries tends to be involved in For more information about the ANSA- informal sector and the rural communal urban informal sector activities. In some initiative, contact the ANSA Secretariat sector are unable to lift themselves since regional countries the informal economy at timothy@ledriz.co.zw, 78 East Road, their capabilities and their environment is in fact the ‘mainstream’ economy. Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe; Telephone is highly compromised. They are also not +263-4-30 38 46 or 33 98 3. able to benefit from trickle down effects The communal sector is the original from the formal sector or abroad in the traditional or pre-capitalist sector with all The formal sector shows a bias toward absence of facilitating interventions. the variations this entails in the African large-scale enterprises and against context. The present-day communal the evolution of dynamic micro, External distortions sector is also highly differentiated and small, medium enterprise. It favours The global environment has had has a number of linkages with the formal relatively capital intensive methods of the tendency to perpetuate the and urban informal sectors. However, the production that are not warranted by the underdevelopment based on enclavity. majority of the households are involved amount of labour available, given high For example, with regard to its interaction in low productivity farm and non-farm unemployment rates. It is biased toward with the formal sector, this has been such pursuits in which surplus generation externally driven demand given that the that it reinforces both primary export is low and primarily not directed at majority of the domestic population lacks and import dependency in a manner that accumulation but consumption. In most effective demand. It favours imports of does not facilitate the transformation capital and intermediary goods as well 18 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Feature and upgrading of the domestic economy. is dominated by an export-oriented the present system, where mobilisation is Terms of trade have generally been to the strategy, based on foreign investments seen as a threat to the existing system, and disadvantage of the formal sector in African and ownership). where the representative democracy can economies. Monopolistic tendencies sign away the future rights of people). and protectionism among the developed 3. Grassroots-led regional integration (as countries have made it difficult to acquire opposed to the current fragmentation of Framework for an alternative policy competitive advantage that would allow the region by the Empire). Based on the above analysis and guided the developing countries to compete on an by the 10 principles, the ANSA Declaration equal level with the developed countries 4. A strategic, selective delinking from then submits a detailed alternative policy and even allow them to reconfigure their neo-liberal globalisation (as opposed and strategy for sustainable human exports and imports. African countries to further deepening of integration development in Southern Africa. It does due to a lack of domestic demand and within the existing iniquitous global that both in general terms as well as for due to lower growth rates have not been system), and preparing for leveraged the various sectors like manufacturing, able to attract foreign investment to negotiated relinking in a restructured agriculture, trade and mining; for macro- the degree needed to promote dynamic and transformed global production and economics and finance; for policies like growth and development even when distribution system. education & training, science & technology they have attempted to live up to the and infrastructure; and for cross-cutting policy recommendations of international 5. An alternative policy on science and issues like gender and culture. institutions such as the World Bank and technology based on harnessing and the IMF. owning the collective knowledge and It should be well understood that the wisdom of the people (as opposed to the ANSA Declaration only sets out the More generally the international economy present blind emulation of techno-science general alternative policy framework has been dominated by private and public of the empire). for the region. It is necessary that each interests which have systemically pushed 6. A strategy of alliance and networking country will formulate and push for its own for economic transaction regimes that with national, regional and global specific alternative policy and strategy work primarily to serve their interest progressive forces (as opposed to the within this regional framework. The ANSA rather than the development needs of present system of co-optation of social programme is actively working towards countries such as those in Africa. forces in the capital-led globalisation this follow up. A training and advocacy process). programme is also being developed. As another consequence of the above problems, African countries find 7. A strategy with a politically governed As said before, the ANSA programme themselves in a dilemma whereby redistribution of the wealth and is not a separate academic exercise; it disarticulations at the national level, opportunities from the so-called formal is aimed at stimulating and facilitating coupled with external dependency, sector in society to the informal sectors the growth of a mass movement, the militate against effective regional co- (as opposed to the present system of ideal being that the numerous localised operation and national development misallocation of resources, and the centres of resistance and initiatives for within a regional context as well. integration of the informal sectors alternatives will in the end pressurise for through their providing cheap inputs and change from a common perspective. The ANSA Declaration a reservoir of semi-employed labour). This analysis shows why a neo-liberal ‘free’ ANSA therefore seeks active co- market system can not solve our problems 8. A strategy where women’s rights are operation and mutual reinforcement and, at the same time, provides a concrete in focus as the basis for a healthy and with progressive individuals, unions, framework for alternative policies and productive society (as opposed to the churches, youth and women groups, strategies, which can indeed bring about present system based on the exploitation social movements etc. within the region, sustainable, human development. It is the of women labour). the continent and beyond to join forces foundation upon which a comprehensive to pressurise for often very practical and ANSA Declaration has been developed, 9. A strategy where education addresses local alternatives, placed within a broader which, in turn, serves as the basis for the needs for sustainable human vision and strategy. ANSA’s further plans and activities. development, and which is aimed at improving the technical and managerial as A start has been made already with The declaration sets out the 10 principles well as research and development skills the Economic Partnership Agreements of the ANSA strategy: of workers and those directly in control of (EPAs) where Trade Unions in the SADC matters of production and governance (as are getting together to deliberately and 1. At political and social level, a people- opposed to education for a bureaucratic systemati cally lobby and campaign for led strategy (as opposed to IMF-WB- and academic elite). alternatives to the anticipated EPAs WTO-donor-led). which are being imposed on us by the 10. A strategy where peoples’ mobilisation EU. Privatisation and commercialisation 2. At the economic level, an alternative and visible demonstrations, and open issues are definite other possible areas of production system, one that is based on hearings, in support of the evolving ethical action and levers for a common demand domestic demand and human needs and and developmental state, are seen as for an alternative policy. the use of local resources and domestic embodying the democratic strength of the savings, that is autocentric development society, creating a dynamic, participatory *Tendai Makanza is the Associate Programme (as opposed to the present system that and radical democracy (as opposed to officer at ANSA. African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 19
  • Debates and Viewpoints Agenda For Creating Another World Democratization implies the recognition and definition of human rights, their formulation in terms of juridical rights, the institutional guarantee of their genuine respect. Individual freedom and the emancipation of the human being from all forms of oppression are inseparable from people’s empowerment. Writes Samir Amin* D emocratization is a process which Political ideologies and projects should the fields of action. In its expansion, could not be reduced to a static be analyzed and discussed from the angle the capitalist market is also trying to and definitive formula, like the one of their positive or negative contribution appropriate the disposal of all renewable evoked by “representative democracy” to democratization as defined here, based and non-renewable natural resources of (multiparty-ism, election, human rights). on the universal values depicted in diverse the planet, thus aggravating the long-term Democratization – synonym of people’s cultures. Democracy building at all levels perspectives concerning the survival of power – concerns all aspects of social of social reality constitutes the objective humanity. The privatization of land should life, and not exclusively the management of democratic and progressive people’s be recognized as a particularly serious of its politics. movements concerned and associated danger for the survival of the peasant half with the South South Solidarity Network. of humankind It concerns all relations between Alternatives to the capitalist market and individuals, within the family, in places of the present global economic order An alternative development matching the work, in their relations with the economic, satisfaction of human needs should not be administrative and political decision- Capitalism is not a “market economy” but limited to “poverty reduction”, itself largely makers. These relations are both individual a capitalist market economy. Here, the generated by the logics commanding and collective (class relations which are market is regulated by the domination of the expansion of capitalist markets. A by nature unequal in the capitalist society, the capitalist interests, which prevail over genuine alternative development should founded on the private appropriation of those of the exploited and ruled classes, help transform livelihoods in the direction the means of production by a minority, whose members are reduced to the status of the real emancipation of the popular excluding the people). Those limits are of labor force providers and conditioned masses and of individuals. “Indicators” limits of democracy – whenever it exists and passive consumers. The capitalist of the progress achieved in that direction – in capitalism. market, efficient though it may be by should be identified and determined. certain of its aspects, remains guided by Democratization implies that one the capitalists’ individual searches for On a world scale, the capitalist market surpasses those limits, and thereby going profit. The people’s alternative requires economy is founded on the inequality beyond capitalism along the road of that the market be put at the service of of national partners. The logic of its building the socialist alternative. The ruling the people’s social and democratic aims, expansion tends to aggravate and not to ideology and the democratic “blueprints” other forms of regulation based on the reduce those inequalities, unacceptable to proposed in its spirit separate “political” objectives of socialism in the making, and and rejected by the peoples of the South. democracy from social demands, of particularly the effective realization of the To the current practices and projects (in which expressions are the struggles of the largest equality possible. the fields of trade, foreign investment ruled and exploited classes against the and capital flows, debt) proposed by the unilateral logic of capital. Democratization The centralization of capital in institutions of the prevailing capitalist implies that political democracy be contemporary capitalism has come to globalization (IMF, World Bank, WTO, associated with and not dissociated from such a degree that a few hundred financial European Community, and others), the social progress. groups are dominating most national people’s movements should put up economies as a globalized economy positive alternatives responding to their Democratization concerns practice in all and shaping markets in their exclusive own objectives. segments of social life: the family, the interest. This capitalism of oligopolies enterprise (place of work), political parties, concentrates real power, economic, Alternatives to the present international trade unions, peasant and women’s social and political, in the hands of an political order organizations, local and neighboring oligarchy, enemy of humanity as a whole. Peoples need peace, nations and communities, and all other organizations In its expansion, the capitalist market individuals need security. Neither of these of civil society. Democratization implies is trying to appropriate new spheres of is permitted by the imperialist nature of the recognition and definition of human social life with a view to turning them the capitalist system. On the contrary, rights, their formulation in terms of juridical into places to extract profit for capital. because it is fundamentally unjust, rights, the institutional guarantee of their Programs for the privatization of State the maintenance of the international genuine respect. Individual freedom enterprises and of collectives of producers order necessary to the expansion of the and the emancipation of the human or citizens, the commodification of oligopolistic capitalist market requires the being from all forms of oppression are essential public services (education, deployment of violence, including military inseparable from people’s empowerment. health, housing, access to water and threat and its effective implementation, There is no advanced socialism without electricity, transportation) respond to against all movements, peoples and the integration of human rights in those of that objective, by nature running counter nations repudiating submission. That’s working collectives and the people. to people’s power of which it is reducing State terrorism. 20 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Debates and Viewpoints The program for “military control of industrialization would require a transfer regulations on international rivers, which the planet” by the armed forces of the of rural inhabitants to urban centers. But is largely ignored by international law and United States and its junior allies (NATO this should be regulated in accordance governed – whenever it is – by bi-national in particular), the deployment for that with the pace of the absorption capacities or multi-national treaties often subject to purpose of 600 US military bases over of productive urban activities; and the desirable negotiations. the five continents, the “preventive formulas of agricultural management wars”, already under way (Iraq) or being should take this into consideration. Access to means of production necessary threatened (Iran), are expressions of this There is no question of keeping the to the advancement of agriculture militarization of globalization. “overpopulated” rural areas in immobilism. (credits, equipment, seeds, pesticides and There could have been mistakes by thinking fertilizers, commercialization institutions) The execution of such programs of the that an accelerated collectivization, could not be left to “market rules” alone. imperialist powers, particularly of the ahead of technological possibilities and The people’s alternative and the socialist first among them, scorns the aspirations requirements, could overcome the related orientation require the intervention of of all peoples of the South for peace and contradiction. Experience has shown adequate State policies in these fields and security. It lies directly or indirectly at that an access to land, guaranteed to the opening up of action fields for peasant the roots of the squandering represented the peasantry as a whole in formulas initiatives (cooperatives in diverse forms). by the arms race. It inspires directly or linking small-scale family production with indirectly numerous so-called “local” the market, is conducive to a rapid and Scientific and technological advances conflicts, often instrumentalized. big increase of agricultural production, related to agricultural and food production in terms of peasant self-consumption could not be guided by immediate The people’s alternative requires rations and commercialized surpluses profitability requirements alone. The recognition of the equal rights of peoples alike. Continuation of this progress would capitalist rationale is a short-term one and and nations in globalization. It requires certainly require the invention of new is therefore not always sustainable. The respect for the sovereign independence forms adapted to every stage of the path introduction of GMOs, for instance, leads of nations. The people’s struggles also of socialist oriented development. But, to little-known risks for the reproduction aim at orienting the sovereignty of States such forms should never be based on any of the productive capacity of the soil (as toward the effective sovereignty of abandonment of the principle of access shown by the example of the destruction peoples, by means of democratization of to land for all to the benefit of eventual of the soil in Argentina), for the vital the society. illusions about private appropriation of maintenance of the bio-diversity, as it land. leads to unknown risks for human health. Land and agriculture Their introduction is dictated by the simple Access to land is a question of survival A systematic reflection on popular wish of agribusiness transnationals to for the three billion peasants of Asia, peasant development programs is subjugate thereby peasant producers and Africa and Latin America, i.e. nearly half necessary more than ever. This reflection to regulate markets at their convenience of humanity. No form of development could not propose the same formula for alone. The people’s alternative requires is acceptable if it sacrifices the lot of all, for the diversity of situations created that research criteria would be different. those human beings. Yet, the capitalist by the capitalist expansion is extreme. path of development, based on private Wherever this expansion has already National policies should follow the appropriation of land, which is treated as promoted gigantic inequalities in the form objective of food sovereignty (basic self- a commodity similar to others, sacrifices of Latin American, Southern African and sufficiency of nations) and reject that of precisely the rural population “surplus” on Indian latifundias, radical land reforms simple “food security” (capacity to pay for the altar of increase of the “profitability” will be a must. imports aimed at balancing food deficit) of the capital invested in agricultural which the World Bank and the WTO want production (modern equipment and The capitalist expansion program to impose. “value” of land). The obvious result of runs nowadays through partial this option is the transformation of the “modernizations” (qualified as “green National policies concerning the rural planet into one of slums, from Sao Paulo revolutions”), of which beneficiaries are world cannot be reduced to the single to Mumbai, from Mexico to Bangkok, from only a minority of wealthy farmers and component of agricultural production. Cairo to Casablanca and Johannesburg. agrarian capitalists and which make Making available to rural communities agriculture as a whole utterly dependent on essential services (education and health The people’s alternative – that of socialist agrobusiness. The alternative formulas of in the first place) similar to those enjoyed oriented development – rests on the a gradually modernized rural development by city dwellers constitutes an essential judicious principle that land is a basic to the benefit of all cannot be the same. objective of social justice. natural resource, and the property of the Theoretical research and practice should peoples, particularly the peasantries living help invent their modalities. Structuring agricultural development off it. The two great Asian revolutions Access to land should go along with policies and those concerning have confirmed the performance of making means for land exploitation industrialization constitutes the backbone that principle and thereby avoided the available to peasants. of the global development of society. uncontrolled rural exodus which has The conception of these policies and struck at the rest of the three continents. First among these means is water which, their structure in the socialist oriented The pursuit of this alternative implies total for that matter, cannot be any more than development obviously runs counter to respect for that principle at all the stages of land a “commodity similar to others” the one resulting only from the functioning the long socialist transition. Certainly, the (commodified). The peoples’ access of oligopolistic markets of really existing urbanization accompanying a necessary to water raises the difficult question of capitalism. The former is founded on the African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 21
  • Debates and Viewpoints principles and objectives of the “worker- the race to lower salaries. To counter of labour fronts, the overexploitation of peasant alliance”, the realization of which this, the building of coherent fronts linking the “rightless” that are mainly emigrants, cannot be left to the sole responsibility these still largely fragmented fronts legal or illegal. of the central political power. The represents the unavoidable demand of democratization of society requires the definition of paths of socialist oriented The objective of the fragmentation of the that a large space should be opened to development. working classes is not new. Capitalism collective negotiations (between peasant has always, for instance, picked up organizations and workers’ trade unions, In particular, at the present stage of patriarchal ideologies to discriminate between the peasant rural world and deployment of the imperialist capitalism against women, as well as racist ones consumers’ organizations), with the of globalized oligopolies, the most urgent against migrants and eventual minorities. support of the people’s State . task for organizations of workers and the The success of the popular movements working people in general is to reconstruct of discriminated minorities concerning Agricultural production is, at the present “united labour fronts” capable of imposing the shaping of convergences between time, subject to a globalized offensive full employment and the specification of their own demands and those of other, from oligopolistic capital, promoted by its decent conditions. apparently “favoured”, segments of WTO authorities. This offensive is part of The formulas of organization and action labour constitutes the only guarantee for a so-called “market opening up” strategy, inherited from the previous period of history a social progress linked to the genuine in fact for the unilateral opening up of (trade unions in particular), effective democratization of society. markets of the South to the expansion in their times, have been eroded by the demands of the oligopolistic capital of current transformations in the organization Alternatives to discrimination the North. Thus, the battles waged within of work. These transformations do not Capitalism is a social system founded WTO (after the accession of almost all result “spontaneously” and unavoidably on the principle of discrimination. The countries of the world to this institution from the new technologies applied. They discrimination putting the masters conceived and constructed by the are mainly the product of the strategies (often “owners”) of means of production imperialist powers alone) now concern of capital aiming to aggravate job against the popular majorities, who are among other things the visible or disguised insecurity, to create a reserve contingent deprived of such means, is fundamental, subsidies to agricultural exports from of unemployed, to fragment conditions and it determines capitalism. There is the North (the Doha Round). The views done to working people. In the capitalist no “market economy” (in the liberal of the diplomacies certain countries of countries of the South, linked to the rural sense of the term) which is not a market the South, which initiated a challenge to exodus, this evolution has impoverished society. And the market discriminates “WTO rules”, should be supported and en masse the urban popular classes, of and fragments.The most flagrant of these of strengthened by concerted people’s which a growing proportion is made up of discriminations has always struck at initiatives capable of defining coherent “informals”. women. Certainly, the societies prior to coordinated alternatives and immediate capitalist modernity did not ignore these objectives for the common struggle. The current people’s movements have discriminations. But, far from alleviating already demonstrated their inventiveness their violence, capitalism has integrated Alternatives to the capitalist exploitation of in the organization of these struggles by them into its practice of exploitation with a labor applying real and advanced democratic view to instrumentalizing them and putting The liberal ideology in essence and in practices. They still have to go a long way them to its own objectives. When these practice in the capitalist societies are to turn from largely defensive strategies to objectives seem to allow some progress based on the dissociation of the formulas coherent and offensive political projects in the status of women, capitalism tries to of representative political democracy – capable of advancing the people’s limit the effects. whenever existent – from the fields related alternative. The list of these struggles and to the social progress of the exploited the constitutive objectives of the people’s The struggles of the female half of and oppressed classes. The extension of alternative are wide open to all aspects of humanity for the full juridical and real political rights themselves to the popular the social life, in the places of work and recognition of all their rights (in the classes (universal balloting for instance) in the cities (education, health, housing, statutes of family organization, at places has been the fruit of the struggles and essential services). The accentuated of work, in the exercise of citizenship) are achievements of the peoples, and never polarization between affluent “centers” not just democratic struggles (of which “granted” from above. The labour rights (15% of the population of the planet) they constitute a fundamental element, (for workers’ organization, strike) and and “peripheries” (85% of the world’s without which speaking of democratization more generally social rights (education, population), always dominated and of society is but empty talk); they are, and health, social security, etc...) are also the often empty-handed, sometimes to may increasingly be, constituent elements fruits of these cultures. The list of demands the extreme, which is peculiar to the of the socialist alternative to capitalism. is far from exhausted and constitutes the capitalist expansion at all stages of its The list of segments of the popular classes very object of current numerous popular deployment, is at the roots of a migratory subject to effects of discrimination is long: struggles, in the South and the North, as pressure from the South to the North, migrants, ethnic or religious minorities, the present time is that of an offensive by extension of the rural exodus in the South. patients suffering from AIDS and other capital aiming at reducing them, under Here, the liberal logic is caught red- pandemics, etc. Their respective demands the pretext of “market opening up”. Here, handed for incoherence. It recommends will acquire still greater strength if they the strategies of capital are targeting the the worldwide opening up of markets to are linked to others in the struggle for a extreme fragmentation of the “labour commodities and capital, but refuses it to socialist oriented people’s development. markets”, to put the countries of the South labour! This incoherence reveals the real in positions of devastating competition by aim of its objectives: the fragmentation 22 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Debates and Viewpoints Knowledge and intellectual property incapable of integrating the necessary in various regions of the South (Africa, Knowledge is a common asset of humanity. long-term perspective. This objective limit, Southeast Asia). The projects concerning It should not be treated as a “vulgar insurmountable in spite of everything said the groupings linking countries of the commodity”. Its private appropriation runs about the subject, is particularly obvious North with countries of the South, like counter to the fundamental principles of as regards non-renewable (petroleum the so-called “partnerships” between the humanist universalism. in particular) or renewable (water, European Union, Africa and others, are of forests) resources. The exchange of non- the same nature and carry unacceptable The financial oligopolies controlling renewable natural resources exported forms of neo-colonialism. These formulas the current world system pursue the by the South for the import of renewable obviously run counter to the people- objective of organizing monopolistic goods is by nature unequal; it sacrifices centered development perspectives of markets to their own benefit, contrary to the future of the peoples of the South to all peoples. The people’s movements the claim about “transparency” which is the benefit of the immediate consumption should reflect on and promote regional supposed to be the highest virtue of the of the North. The avowed objective of perspectives that are different by nature in market! To that end, they promote the the imperialist powers is to reserve for their objectives and the means deployed. fragmentation of the production of things their exclusive benefit the use of those completely alike in use value by abusing resources while banning access to and The initiation of people- and nation- “registered trademarks”. The WTO – use of the latter by countries of the South centered alternatives is perhaps already in their instrument – promotes a “global – even by openly violating alleged market progress in South America with the ALBA legislation” which not only protects rules. Yet, it is by opening such an access initiative, which has come to complete the technologies allegedly particular to for the peoples of the South that the North and correct the Mercosur. It is necessary each of those “trademarks”, but also would be compelled to “adjust” itself to a to give this initiative, and others that may overprotects those monopolies under the better use of the resources of the planet. draw inspiration from it, a content defined false pretext of defence of “intellectual The people’s alternative requires control by the peoples concerned. and industrial property”, thus ensuring of these resources by the peoples, the an abusive profit to those monopolies invention of new criteria matching their General Conclusion and raising an unsurmountable obstacle economic usefulness on the basis of Each of the above-mentioned themes for against countries of the South engaged in long-term respect for the social demands research and action falls within the general industrialization. of justice, the opening of international perspective of elaboration of strategies negotiations guided by the proclamation of of people’s struggles going “beyond At the same time, those imperialist and genuine respect for those principles. capitalism”, and embarking on the long monopolies try – with WTO protection road of socialist oriented development, – to rob the peoples of their often The climate change constitutes henceforth based on the interests and demands of the millenary traditional knowledge in the a grave challenge to humanity. Due to popular classes, subjecting the regulation fields of agricultural production and squandering by capitalism (greenhouse of markets and the implementation of State pharmacopeia. Under the false pretext effect) or maybe by transformations policies to the objective of progressive that their “laboratories” have indentified of the universe beyond the reach of strengthening of the socialist orientation the specificities proper to peasant human beings, this change constitutes and not of weakening the movement. agricultural and pharmaceutical products, anyway a challenge requiring a long-term This option of fundamental principle the imperialist monopolies intend to “ban” consideration when global strategies requires a radical criticism of “really peasants of the South from pursuing are chosen. Here again, the dominant existing capitalism”, which is not the their production practices and compel imperialist system sacrifices the future “market” praised by the ideologues of a them to “rebuy” the selected seeds and of the South to the sole preservation of ruling system founded on the inequality of the products of the concerned peasant the privileged positions of the North. The classes (liquidating all real possibilities for societies’ own knowledge! socialist oriented alternative promoted people’s empowerment) and inequalities by the people’s movements should be of nations (the really existing capitalism is Ecology and climate justice capable of compelling the governments of imperialist by nature). The path of socialist The environment and ecology problems the South to integrate this aspect in the oriented development should not be are diverse in nature, concerning the formulation of development strategies and reduced to a “single formula” valid for all, squandering and exhaustion of non- compelling the international system (the similar to the one which the “Washington renewable and renewable natural World Trade Organization in particular) to consensus” or “post-Washington resources, destruction of biodiversity, respect its requirements. consensus” tend to impose. The roads climate change, etc. Their “treatment” of this development are multiple and by the market rationale not only fails People-centered alternative regionalism and should be determined concretely by each to produce any long-term solution, but integration people, proceeding from its own concrete also implies unacceptable social and The existing imperialist global system conditions (in particular the heritage of international injustices. From that point of gives absolute priority to the globalization the unequal development promoted by view, capitalism is henceforth an obsolete of the capitalist market and conceives capitalism/imperialism) and its specific system and the socialist oriented path – to the regional cooperation and integration political culture. “Global non-consensus” be shaped in the long process of transition systems as simply “sub-systems”, should be the guiding principle for the from capitalism – constitutes the only constituent blocks of the globalized rebuilding of a multi-polar and negotiated humanistic alternative. system. That’s the way with the European globalization. Capitalism in particular and the market in Union, the North American Free Trade general are founded on certainly rational Area (United States, Canada, Mexico) as *Samir Amin is the director of the Third but always short-term calculations, well as the “common markets” set up World Forum based in Dakar Senegal African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 23
  • Reviews Fighting Disability in Kenya W e, the 200 delegates of the Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference in Nairobi, Kenya at the Panafric Hotel on 15th to 17th September 2008 from the African regions, met with the aim to enhance the capacity of leaders from the disability and development sectors on effective mainstreaming of disability in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in African countries. Noting that MDGs have no specific reference to persons with disabilities and therefore have been left out in the campaign processes, policies, planning, programmes and implementation ; Concerned also that disability has not been mentioned in the midway MDG report; Further acknowledging that the convention on the rights of Persons with disabilities has just come into effect to among other things strengthen the resolve for inclusion; We note with dismay the continued categorisation of people with disabilities as vulnerable which further marginalises us and consigns us to invisibility, we wish to be recognised as actors in development processes. We resolve as Delegates that we shall; • We communicate the outcome of this meeting to our governments to review, prioritise and include issues of disability in their country statements during their high level meetings on MDGs in New York • Call on our governments to move and support a motion during this year’s UN general assembly, calling for the establishment of a new UN special agency on disability; to provide leadership, harmonisation, coordination and enhanced monitoring and reporting. • Engage our governments to ensure that People with Disabilities are protected from adverse effects from rising costs and related vulnerabilities and participate and benefit from existing social protection schemes • To lobby governments through the African Development Bank and related partners to establish an African disability equity fund to support economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and business of people with disabilities • Uphold the principle of gender equity in disability • We recognise the efforts of parents, friends and guardians of people with disabilities and recognise them as part of the wider disability movement • To promote the use of positive language • To encourage the use of professional campaigners including goodwill ambassadors in promoting disability inclusion We resolve that as Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) we shall • Review through their governments the Accra development plan of action and cause its implementation for the benefit of PWDs in Africa • Advocate to ensure that disability issues are mainstreamed in all government, UN agencies and development partners policies, plans and programmes particularly those related to MDGs • Endeavour to understand the structures of various government, UN agencies and development partners with view to engaging with them more effectively for full inclusion of Persons with disabilities • Advocate development partners to include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes • Engage and influence the social development process • Participate in the Social Protection processes to ensure people with disabilities are included • Advocate and lobby to be included in national poverty reduction strategies and other national development plans and initiatives • Explore avenues of partnership with private sector in their economic empowerment • Utilize our individual and collective capacity to cause the implementation of programmes related to the MDGs for the benefit of Persons with disabilities • Build our own capacity to engage with our government on the commitments and agreement at national and international levels • Ensure that whatever is agreed at regional or national workshops cascades downward to the grassroots and rural areas. • Familiarise ourselves with the disability policies of different development agencies and ensure that they benefit us • Strengthen our unity, common voice and planning, implementation and monitoring processes whilst at the same time recognising diversity in disability • Restructure and reform our internal governance structures to adopt modern management and good governance systems and increase transparency and accountability to our members • Nurture and mentor youth with disabilities into leadership succession plans and support them towards social economic empowerment 24 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Reviews • Make a paradigm shift from charity model to human rights and social development • Strategically engage with media for both awareness and advocacy and built our capacity to engage with media • Sensitise and capacitate the media to various disability needs and to urge them to be inclusive in their presentation and reporting • Link with African Universities to promote evidence based disability research and to promote disability inclusive academic programmes We call on the SADPD to • Establish a programme to develop human resource capacity for policy analysis to act as a watch dog in monitoring disability inclusion • Allocate responsibilities roles and duties to the Regional Federations and other partners in order to ensure effective, well – monitored follow up and implementation strategies We urge all Government to • Ratify and domesticate and implement the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities • Work with DPOs in nominating the members of the panel of experts in the convention • Recognise DPOs as agents of change and therefore as partners in development planning and programmes • African governments to include Persons with disabilities and disability into their poverty reduction and development programmes. • To put into place affirmative action to enhance participation in political social and economic sectors. • Include disability data collection within the general national data collection systems recognising diversity in disability. • Use data to inform planning and service delivery and monitoring and • Highlight and include disability in the existing MDG indicators in partnership with the disability movement. We call on Development Partners to • Prioritise disability as a tool for planning and analysis for development assistance and international cooperation in all their international cooperation and assistance (aid, debt relieve and trade) • Include and consult People with Disabilities and their respective organisations in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting • To include disability as a requirement / condition for funding development programmes We urge the UN through member states • To establish a specialist agency on disability in the league of UNICEF or UNIFEM to provide leadership and global accountability on matters related to the disabled people • To prioritise include and partner with the disability movement in its entire millennium campaign initiative We urge the AU and related bodies to • Set up a Disability Desk within all African regional bodies to monitor the implementation of both the convention and human rights violation of people with disabilities within the respective regions. • Mainstream disability into their programmes and performance management systems • Establish peer review mechanism and performance management system for disability in Africa • Ensure political and social economic representation in NEPAD and to develop terms of reference for their participation. • Work with DPOs to reveal urgently the structure and mandate of AFRICAN REHABILITATION INSTITUTE (ARI) • Renew the African decade of persons with disabilities for another ten years by means of a proclamation by the meeting of the heads of state planned for January 2009 • Facilitate self- representation of Persons with disabilities in all commissions, Pan Africa Parliament and other structures These resolutions are the outcome of the conference, formulated and spoken by the delegates at this esteemed conference. African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 25
  • Reviews Tool kit on Elections and MDGs N ational and sub-national elections • Ensuring environmental benefits from accomplishing the MDGs, provide important opportunities sustainability because they are about creating societies to establish, reaffirm or redirect • Developing a global partnership that are more stable, equitable and well development priorities. This short for development off. guidebook describes how and why the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) The MDGs are linked to a high-level Why do the goals matter during elections? can be important to this process— international political agreement—the When the MDGs enjoy high visibility in an towards the larger end of achieving Millennium Declaration, signed by leaders election, through civil society advocacy or human development and a better, more from 189 countries in 2000. The declaration under the umbrellas of political campaigns, equitable world. endorses important framework principles they connect politics to the real issues such as freedom, equality, shared in people’s lives. Voters can chose the The book is primary intended for civil responsibility and human rights. Both people they want in office on the basis of society representatives interested in national government signatories and the support for development objectives that MDG advocacy during elections, although international community have obligations matter to them. In casting a ballot, they it has also been designed as a resource to strive to reach the goals, including by weigh in on public policy directions, the for political candidates. It walks readers providing sufficient resources. adequacy of public service delivery and through basic strategies and tools to Each goal has specific targets and the allocation of resources. campaign for the goals, and lay the indicators to guide progress under a groundwork for political commitments to 2015 timeframe for achievement. This Campaigning for the goals also provides specific development achievements. makes them highly practical tools for opportunities to raise public awareness both advocates and policy makers in about the MDGs, and discuss specific But first, two basic questions must be articulating a vision for development and local and national actions to attain them. answered: What are the MDGs? And why planning the steps to achieve it. Political commitment to new policies or exactly do they matter during elections? resources can form and grow, paving the The goals encapsulate several decades of way for follow up once the polls close and What are the MDGs? national and international debate on what newly elected politicians take office. In short, the MDGs offer eight ways the most important, basic entry points for to change the world. Most national development need to be. They are both All of these possibilities help solidify the governments and the international universal—we all need health care and foundations of democratic governance, community have adopted the goals as education, for example—and adaptable such as political responsiveness and commitments to: to different environments. They specify transparency. When interest and • Ending extreme poverty and broad objectives, meaning that each participation in an election grows— hunger country and even locality can decide because people can see how the outcome • Achieving universal primary the specifics of how to get there, across relates to them—political legitimacy is education diverse political and economic systems. bolstered as well. • Promoting gender equality and empowering women Progress in achieving the MDGs involves The widespread appeal and simplicity • Reducing child mortality everyone. Politicians, civil society of the MDGs make them a natural fit for • Improving maternal health representatives of all stripes, private sector election campaigns. Their straightforward • Combating HIV and AIDS, concerns, members of households—all messages can easily be translated into malaria and other diseases have something to offer. Everyone also communications tools and strategies 26 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
  • Reviews tailored to a variety of audiences. Civil and carry out an MDG campaign during beginning with an elaboration of advocacy society groups may campaign for the goals an election. More resources are available techniques in Chapter III. Chapter IV through media outreach, rallies, voter and should be consulted on subjects such delves into outreach to three major education and/or face-to-face meetings as political analysis and media outreach. election players: political candidates with candidates, among other options. and parties, voters and members of the Politicians can turn to them to make The book’s chapters are organized to media. It highlights possible campaign new connections with constituencies, cover during and after phases of a typical objectives, messages and actions related including through MDG commitments in election. Parts of the content may be more to each. Chapter V sketches ways to political platforms. appropriate to audiences in developing maintain advocacy momentum after the countries. This was a deliberate choice. election is over. For both civil society groups and Seven of the eight MDGs must be politicians, the MDGs are a unifying theme implemented there—and resources like Chapter VI, primarily for political that can draw people together around this book are less accessible in some candidates and parties, discusses some common purposes—even in relatively places. That said, Goal 8, which requires of the benefits of including the MDGs in divisive political climates. Candidates action by developed countries, is critical election campaigns. It features details on may not agree on the same approaches to to achieving all the others, so readers in how to use the goals during the campaign achieving the goals, but they can endorse those countries may want to take note of and once in office, including how to them as overarching human development relevant sections of this publication and engage voters. objectives important to most constituents. adapt it accordingly. Civil society groups might not normally Rounding out this guidebook, is a set work on the same issues, but they can The first five chapters are mainly geared of tools linked to each chapter. You can come together to make a concerted joint towards civil society advocates, and the consult them as you read through the push for a broad framework that will sixth towards political candidates and main text, or together after you finish. accommodate and strengthen them all. parties. All chapters, however, contain Each chapter also contains “Campaign information that can be valuable to Tales”—boxes illustrating different The book has been formulated by the UN both audiences. To cultivate potential campaigns or advocacy techniques. Millennium Campaign, which supports relationships and partnerships, each These may provide ideas or inspiration and inspires people from around the world group may also benefit from learning to readers as you develop your own to take action in support of the MDGs. The about the considerations of the other. campaign strategies. Many demonstrate following pages draw on the experiences how much is possible, in all regions of of the campaign, as well as other national Chapters I and II highlight pre-election the world, when people come together to and international advocacy efforts, and the advocacy planning and strategizing. hope, plan, act and usher in progressive expertise of people in politics, media and The first chapter explores some basic change. public policy. A framework theme is that assessments that should be done before advocacy campaigns take many forms, but an MDG campaign kicks off, including In producing this publication, the United they all involve people working together of political trends and voting patterns. Nations and the Millennium Campaign aim on different activities orchestrated to It looks at making the choice to embark to support general democratic political achieve a common outcome. They are on a campaign and the decision to form processes, as interpreted within individual most successful when they convince a coalition, or not. The second chapter countries, and uphold the principles of the people outside the campaign to take presents the outline of a basic campaign Millennium Declaration and the MDGs. action—to vote, for example, or to support strategy, from defining objectives, target The book should in no way be read as the passage of new legislation. audiences and key messages, to drafting an endorsement of particular political a plan for action. parties, candidates or platforms. The book is mainly intended, for what may be the first time, to draw together The next two chapters move deeper into Thomas Deve is the UNMC Africa Policy the different elements required to plan campaigning during the election itself, Advisor African Development Dialogue January - April 2009 27
  • Book Reviews William Gumede, The Democracy Gap: Mamdani contends that Darfur is not the Africa’s Wasted Years, Zed Books, 2009. site of genocide, but rather a site where This book is a timely and powerful the language of genocide has been used analysis of the fate of democracy in Africa as an instrument. The author believes that and asks why it has been so difficult to the war on terror provided an international sustain. At the end of colonialism, the context in which the perpetrators of liberation movements promised so much violence in Darfur could be categorized in the name of freedom and democracy. as “Arabs” seeking to eradicate “black However, most of the governments that Africans” in the region. Dambisa Moyo, Dead Aid, Farrar, Starus & sprang from these movements have Giroux, 2009 behaved in undemocratic ways. Even the Challenging these racial distinctions, Moyo argues that aid is easy money. If opposition parties which came to power Mamdani traces the history of Sudan and governments had to rely upon private after the end of corrupt and authoritarian the origins of the current conflict from financial markets they would become regimes have not done much better. atleast the 10th century and demonstrates accountable to lenders, and if they had For ordinary citizens, the cost of this how the divide between Arab and non- to rely upon taxation they would become “democracy gap” has been devastating- Arab ethnic groups is political rather than accountable to voters. Aid is like oil, -uncountable numbers have lost their racial in nature. enabling powerful elites to embezzle public lives, there has been a staggering loss of revenues. She catalogues evidence, both human potential, development has been The author persuasively argues that the statistical and anecdotal. stunted and societies have imploded. conflict in Darfur is a political problem, with a historical basis, requiring a political But the core of the books is that there is Wangari Maathai, The Challenge for Africa, solution - facilitated not by the U.N. or a a better alternative. Governments could Pantheon, 2009. global community but rather by the African find money for development through Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Union and other African states. The financial markets, both international and laureate and founder of the Green Belt book’s introductory and closing chapters domestic. Historically, the governments Movement, offers a refreshingly unique are essential reading for those interested of those countries that have successfully perspective on the challenges facing in the topic. developed funded investment by recourse Africa, even as she calls for a moral to international markets. In order to revolution among Africans themselves, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Something Torn and borrow, they needed decent credit who, she argues, are culturally New: An African Renaissance, Basic Civitas ratings; to get the ratings, they had to be deracinated, adrift between worlds. Books, 2009. transparent and prudent. The discipline The troubles of Africa today are severe African scholar Thiong’o examines the of transparency and prudence were as and wide-ranging. Yet what we see of collateral damage of colonization, focusing important as the money in promoting them in the media, more often than not, on the erasure of indigenous people’s development. Some of the stronger are tableaux vivantes connoting poverty, cultural memory along with the renaming African governments have at last started dependence, and desperation. Wangari of people, places, and objects to reflect down this road. She also sees huge scope Maathai presents a different vision, the culture of the colonizer. Africans in the for innovations in micro-finance, such as informed by her three decades as an diaspora as well as those who remained the group borrowing pioneered by the environmental activist and campaigner for on the continent were treated to the same Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. democracy. She illuminates the complex erasure of all that preceded European and dynamic nature of the continent, and conquest and colonization. Patrick Chabal, Africa: The Politics of offers “hardheaded hope” and “realistic Suffering and Smiling, Zed Books, 2009 options” for change and improvement. Thiong’o sees similar patterns among In this book, Patrick Chabal discusses the With clarity of expression, Maathai other cultures, whether the conquered limitations of existing political theories of analyzes the most egregious “bottlenecks people were Irish or Native American. Africa and proposes a different starting to development in Africa,” occurring But his specific concern is Africa, point arguing that political thinking ought at the international, national, and where European colonialism has left the to be driven by the need to address the individual levels--cultural upheaval and continent fractured and searching for immediacy of everyday life and death. How enduring poverty among them--and deftly wholeness. do people define who they are? Where do describes what Africans can and need to they belong? What do they believe? How do for themselves, stressing all the while He points to a long tradition of African do they struggle to survive and improve responsibility and accountability. disaporic writers longing to reconnect their lives? What is the impact of illness to African culture. “Creative imagination and poverty? Are some of the critical Mahmood Mamdani, Saviors and Survivors: is one of the greatest of re-membering questions the book seeks to answer. Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror, practices,” and Thiong’o argues for a Pantheon, 2009. “re-membering” of indigenous African In doing so, Chabal proposes a radically Mamdani continues to challenge political culture and language and ponders different way of looking at politics in and intellectual orthodoxies in his re- whether an African renaissance sure Africa and illuminates the ways ordinary examination of the conflict in Darfur. to happen following the dark ages of people “suffer and smile.” colonialism would be expressed in While acknowledging the horrendous European languages. “Memory resides in violence committed in the region, language,” he asserts. 28 African Development Dialogue January - April 2009
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