Press release from the CADTM international network

7th World Social Forum: the African challenge

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

, by CADTM

With the 7th edition of the World Social Forum about to take place from 20 to 25 January in Kenya, all eyes are on Africa. Following the success of the polycentric WSF of Bamako in bringing about a convergence of regional social movements, it is now the turn of all Africa to take up the challenge of mobilizing anticapitalist forces. The stakes are high because the objective is not only to consolidate the presence of the WSF process in Africa, but also to increase the visibility of actions undertaken by social movements and African activists. In its current phase, the WSF is therefore much more than a mere summit organized in protest to the Davos economic forum but a true platform for constructing alternatives to neo-liberal globalization.

The importance of World Social Forums within the global justice movement

The decision to hold the 7th WSF in Africa was taken in 2005, and since then, the results have been remarkable. As of today, more than 10,000 external participants from all over the planet have registered for the WSF. Over 1,000 activities are planned for the self-organized programme on themes as diverse as change in international institutions, cancellation of the debt, migrations and development, food sovereignty, women, privatization of public services, human rights, the fight against war, etc. The Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM, an international network with its international secretariat in Liège) will take an active part in discussions on topics such as the audit of the debt in Southern countries, the construction of a new international architecture, the creation of a Southern Bank, the ecological debt, to name just a few.

Beyond these four days of exchange and debate, the WSF aims to be a platform for contact and convergence designed to establish directions for work and concrete actions in the coming years. The various international networks can take full advantage of this forum to put together their common agendas for mobilization.

This forum is part of a movement to create solidarity links with Africa and other parts of the world to fight effectively against the neo-liberal system. For example, it is the place to hear and to learn from the experiences of certain Latin American countries, such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and to hasten the wind of change across the world.

The challenges of the Forum

However, several issues and concerns remain regarding the 7th WSF and the participation of local populations, and African people in general. Will these populations be sufficiently represented? Will the people of Kibera, the largest shantytown in Africa, and a living proof of the failure of neo-liberal policies, be participating in this forum? Will various obstacles, either financial (high registration fee) or logistical (translation) make their attendance problematic? In addition, one should not forget the influence of the large NGO’s on grassroots movements, or the poor representation of local social movements in the WSF preparation proccess - factors that will no doubt hinder mobilization efforts. Finally, one must also take into account the present context of war and conflict in the countries neighbouring Kenya.

The future of the WSF in the global justice process

This 7th World Social Forum is a turning point in the global justice movement. It is, in fact, the last “traditional” annual world social forum. Following a decision in October 2006 of the international Council on the forum process, there will be no 8th WSF in 2008. In its place, there is to be a global and worldwide action whose precise form has yet to be defined. Will this action take place over several days? Will there be priority themes? These are some of the questions still requiring answers. The fourth day of the 7th WSF (24 January 2007) will be a day of convergence and concrete proposals, and it is hoped that the demands and claims of the social movements will be heard. This last day should therefore serve to obtain a clearer view of the future of WSF processes. The international Council, which will convene on 26 and 27 January after the close of the WSF, should then summarize the situation and take a position on this matter. The objective for the African social movements and global justice movements as a whole is to take up these major challenges so that the slogan “Another world is possible” becomes a reality. The 7th World Social Forum in Nairobi is thus a step towards the construction of an authentic alternative to the social inequalities created by the current system.

Contacts:

Damien Millet, president of CADTM France, france cadtm.org, 00 33 6 60 54 27 13

Eric Toussaint, president of CADTM Belgium, international cadtm.org, 00 33 486 74 47 52 until Thursday 18/1 at 19H00.

List of telephone numbers for reaching the CADTM delegation:

Eric Toussaint (CADTM Belgium): 00 254 736 878 088 as from Friday 19 January afternoon (GMT 1pm + 3)

Jean Mpelé (CADTM Congo) : 00 254 736 89 89 28.

If you are calling from Kenya, remove 00 254 and add 0, which gives you 0736 878 088

Already on the spot: Olivier Bonfond (CADTM Belgium): 00 254 736 878 081

Salissou Oubandoma (RNDD Niger): 00 254 734 63 06 41

Christine Vanden Daelen: 00 254 736 962 182

Myriam Bourgy: 00 254 736 962 163

Jos Geudens: 00 254 736 942 080 (CODEWES Belgie)

During the 7th WSF, the delegation from the CADTM international network is staying at the following address : Terminal Hotel, Moktar Daddah Street (opposite the City market) in Nairobi.

Further information on CADTM activities in Nairobi on www.cadtm.org http://www.cadtm.org/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=3 programme : http://www.cadtm.org/texte.php3?id_article=2385


Kenya : 20—25 january 2007

7th World Social Forum in Nairobi

CADTM program of activities (and others)

21 JANUARY 2007

Activity n°1

Audit of Southern debt ( public launch of manual on audit ) and lawsuit against the WB : the case of DR-Congo Kupeleleza kwa deni ya kusini na kusamba juu ya benki ya ulimwengu : mufano ya congo

Brief description : DR-Congo is characterized by odious debt, misappropriation of money and goods, massive projects that have never profited the Congolese population and huge contracts. An audit process will serve to determine where the loans have gone and help to repudiate the debt. Moreover the responsibility of the WB is at issue in several cases.

Speakers : Arnaud Zacharie ( CNCD Belgique) ; Victor Nzuzi ( NAD-CADTM D.R.Congo) ; Iolanda Fresnillo ( ODG España - IDO ) ; Luisa Morgantini (president of development commission of the European Parliament ; member of the group European left unity - GUE) ; Trevor Ngwame ( CCS - Rep. South Africa)

Moderator : PK Murthy (WSF India)

Organized by : CADTM - CNCD - Jubilee South

Thématic space n° 3 : Building real democratic political structures and institutions with full people’s participation on decisions and control of public affairs and resources

Schedule and place : Room number 14 IN, upstairs door from 5.30 till 8.00 pm

Activity n°2

New context : transfer of the external debt to internal debt; advance repayment.

Mawazo mupia : kuamishwa ya deni ya inje paka ku deni ya ndani; kurudishiana kwa kutangulia .

Brief description : For some years we have been witnessing a new situation in many countries, in which the external debt tends to decrease and the internal debt (towards national banks of the country) tends to grow, as part of the capitalist class in the South benefits from the structural adjustment programmes imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. Thanks to their high level of reserves, several countries have made advance repayments to the IMF. What are the consequences of this new situation?

Speakers : Mimoun Rahmani ( ATTAC-CADTM Maroc) ; Chamki Fathi ( RAID ATTAC Tunisie) ; Lidy Nacpil (Jubilee South) ; Eric Toussaint (CADTM Belgium)

Moderator : Luc Mukendi (CADTM Lubumbashi)

Organized by : CADTM - Jubilee South

Thematic space n° 9 : Liberating the world from the domination of multinational and financial capital

Schedule and place : Room number 14 IN, downstairs door from 5.30 till 8.00 pm

Activity n° 3

Historical, social and ecological debt : the question of reparation.

Deni ya zamani, ya kijamili na panafazi ya kwikala : swali ya matengenezo.

Brief description : For centuries, Northern countries have furthered their development by pillaging Southern countries. A development that is unsustainable because it is responsible for the growing problem of pollution - a root cause of climate change and huge “natural” disasters. The debt, already repaid several times over, is an instrument used by Northern countries to force Southern countries to apply policies that are favourable to the North. People in the South are entitled to reparation for all the wrongs inflicted on them and can legitimately say, “We are the creditors!”.

Speakers : Claude Quemar ( CADTM France) ; Camille Chalmers ( PAPDA Haïti) ; Aminata Toure Barry ( CAD Mali) ; Samir Amin (FMA Egypte) ; MP Gyose ( Jubilee South RSA) ; Rock Nianga ( CADTM Congo Brazza) ; Dennis Bruttus (CCS - Rep. South Africa)

Moderator : Christine Vanden Daelen (CADTM Belgique)

Organized by : CADTM - AITEC - Jubilee South

Thematic space n°8 : Guaranteeing economic, social, human and cultural rights, especially the rights to food, healthcare, education, employment, housing and decent work

Schedule and place : Room number 14 IN, downstairs door from 8.30 till 11.00 pm

Activity n°4

The World Bank, a never-ending coup d’état (presentation of the new book from CADTM)

Benki ya ulimwengu , unyanganyi wa kiti wa kiongozi kwa wakati wote ( kuonesha kwa kitabu ya mwisho ya cadtm (kamiti ya kwepushwa deni ya ma inchi enye kupatikana mu njia ya maendeleo)

Brief description : This book, written by Eric Toussaint, a doctor in political science and president of CADTM Belgium, looks closely at what goes on behind the scenes in the world of geopolitics and international finance. Contrary to popular belief, the mission of the World Bank is not to reduce poverty. Instead of fighting it, the World Bank and the IMF reproduce poverty by serving as instruments for the subordination of indebted countries to the interests of the most industrialized countries.

Speakers : Eric Toussaint ( CADTM Belgium) ; Ajit Muricken ( VAK India) ; Moctar Coulibaly (CAD Mali) ; Emilie Atacha ( CADD Bénin); Patrick Bond ( CCS - Rep. South Africa)

Moderator : Myriam Bourgy (CADTM Belgique)

Thematic space n° 3 : Building real democratic political structures and institutions with full people’s participation on decisions and control of public affairs and resources

Schedule and place : Room number 14 IN, downstairs door from 11.30 am till 2.00 pm

23 JANUARY

Activity n°5

A different international institutional architecture : the Bank of the South.

Majengo ingine ya katiba ya ulimwengu : benki ya kusini.

Brief description : The IMF and World Bank are despotic institutions that should be abolished since they serve the rich rather than serve humanity. The Chavez government in Venezuela is working on an alternative project to implement a Southern Bank, first in Latin America, where countries will pool their reserves and lend them interest-free or at a very low rate of interest, and even give grants to the poorer countries.

Speakers : Olivier Bonfond ( CADTM Belgium) ; Ghazi (AITEC- IPAM); Isabelle Likouka ( CADTM Congo Brazza) ; Demba Dembele ( FMA - Senegal) ; Marta Ruiz (CNCD Belgique) ;

Moderator : Jean Mpélé ( CADTM Congo Brazza)

Organized by : CADTM - AITEC - CNCD

Thematic space n° 9 : Liberating the world from the domination of multinational and financial capital

Schedule and place : Room number 14 IN, downstairs door from 11h30 till 2h00 pm

Activity n°6

Migrations and development. Real problems, wrong solutions.

Kuama na maedeleo. ma neno ya kweli , majibu ya ongo.

Brief description : The ever-increasing incidence of migrations goes hand in hand with the debt problem suffocating Southern economies. Since the mid 1980s, the application of structural adjustment programmes imposed by the IMF and the World Bank has created social disasters in Southern countries, with ever-larger numbers of people deciding to leave their countries at great risk to their lives. The Northern countries mainly responsible for these disasters use repression as a tool, imprisoning innocent people in closed centres, using them as a cheap workforce and maintaining a climate of fear to prevent them from fighting for their rights.

Speakers : Imane Falah ( ATTAC Maroc) ; Jean Mpélé (CADTM Congo Brazza) ; Oubandoma Salissou (RNDD Niger) ; Helmut Markov (member of the group European left unity - GUE) ; Mercia Andrews ( TCOE Rep. South Africa)

Moderator : Solange Kone ( FNDP Côte d’Ivoire)

Thematic space N°2 : Building a world order based on sovereignty, self-determination and rights of the peoples

Schedule and place : Room number 14 IN, downstairs door from 8.30 till 11.00 am

Activity n° 7

IFI and Trade: which campaigns ?

Speakers : Ghazi Hidouci (AITEC-IPAM) ; Alexandre Seron (CNCD Belgique) ; Mamadou Diouf (CADTM Senegal) ; Paul-Emile Dupret (GUE - Belgique) ; Solange Kone ( FNDP - Côte d’Ivoire) ; Virginia Magwaza Setshedi (CCS - Rep South Africa)

Moderator : Obandoma Salissou (RND Niger)

Organized by : AITEC - CADTM

WSF Activities by Others and CADTM

Activity n°8

Debt Audits and other related strategies

Organized by : Jubilee South - JDC UK - CADTM

Schedule and place : January 23rd, Room number14 IN, downstairs door from 2.30 till 5.00 pm

Activity n° 9

Debt Repudiation Campaign & Strategies

Organized by : Kendren - Jubilee South - CEJ - CADTM

Schedule and place : January 23rd,Room Amilcar Cabral -1, upstairs door from 8.30 till 11.00 pm

WSF Activities supported by CADTM

Activity n°10

Debt, Privatization of Basic Services, and the Role of IFIs

Organized by : JS APMDD - SAPSN - Grassroots Africa - AIDC

Schedule and place :January 23rd, Room number 4 IN, downstairs door from 11.30 till 2.00 pm

Activity n°11

Debt and food sovereignty

Organized by : Agricultural Missions Inc (US based organization, part of IFI OUT Network, will bring international delegation)

Schedule and place : January 21st, Room number 14 IN, downstairs door from 2.30 till 5.00 pm

Round table “Rebel voices of the World” 23 january 14h30 - 17h. Maude Barlow (Canada), Walden Bello (Philippines), Boris Kagarlitsky (Russia), Dot Keet (South Africa), PK Murthy (India), Éric Toussaint (Belgium), Immanuel Wallerstein (USA), Chico Whitaker (Brazil)

Organized by : ATTAC France 04

Schedule and place : January 23rd, Room number 2 IN, upstairs door from 2.30 untill 5.00 pm

WSF Fourth Day (4th day)

Activity n°12

Planning Global Actions on Debt

Organisateurs : Kendren & CEJ together with all the world organizations and movements working on debt.

Schedule and place : January 24th, Room Mekatilili wa Menza-3, from 11.30 untill 2.00 pm, opposite gate 7

Activity 13

Social movement Assembly ( SMA )

Organized by : All the world social movements

Schedule and place : Room Mekatilili wa Menza-1 , from 8.30 till 11.00

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