[Documents menu] Documents menu
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 23:01:01 -0400
Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.4.04.9907081026570.18186-100000@milan.essential.org>
Sender: stop-imf@essential.org
From: Robert Weissman <rob@essential.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list STOP-IMF <stop-imf@essential.org>
Subject: African declaration at ATTAC meeting (fwd)

Declaration and Resolutions of the African Delegation at the International Meeting "The dictatorship of Financial Markets? Another world is possible"

By ATTAC in partnership with CADTM/COCAD (Committee for the Cancellation of Third World debt), DAWN (Development of alternatives for Women in a New Era), the World Forum of alternatives, CC AMI/MAI (Coordination of Committees against MAI's clones). Organized in Paris 24-25-26 June 1999.

We organisations of Africa present in the Internal Meeting of ATTAC held at the St Denis University Paris on 24 to 26 June 1999 state that our presence here is to challenge the view that exists of Africa is mass poverty, division, marginalisation, war, despair. We, organisations of Africa affirm that there is within Africa, a rich history of resistance: we have resisted slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, capitalism and in the present context, and are now resisting neo-liberal globalisation. From Cairo to Cape Town, from West to East Africa, national liberation movements, drawing on our cultural heritage and traditions, have given birth to mass popular movements of workers, of rural people, of women, of youth and students. All over Africa, the demand for democratic ownership and control of our economies has formed a central pillar of our struggle for national liberation

It is on this legacy of struggle and resistance that we are building upon in our present struggle against capitalist globalisation, IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment, WTO-inspired liberalisation of trade and investment and neo-liberalist policies of our own governments and national capitalists.

Although our continent is a vast one and despite differences between our different social formations in North, East, West and Southern Africa, we share a common experience of debt-induced austerity, massive unemployment, of the destruction of our environment and are being threatened with or are already being ravaged by wholesale privatisation, by the destruction of public social services such as water, health, education, housing, transport, pensions, communications, electricity, public infrastructure, food security, and are being dispossessed of land and in addition of having our subsistence eroded by the dumping of the North's heavily subsidised commodities.

We also emphasize the fact that neo-liberalist rule has serious negative consequences on women`s rights, emancipation and development, and in addition, is leaving vast numbers of people helpless as epdemics like AIDS reaches dramatic proportions in Africa.

At the same time, under neo-liberalist reign, we are experiencing the implosion of our States and institutions, the disappearance of the little democracy that has been gained by past struggles, a new colonial carving up of Africa and hand in hand with this, the rise of ethnic tensions, xenophobia, communalism, and other obscurantist ideologies. Neo-liberalism is responsible for useless and devastating civil wars; and in certain African regions for the disintegration of our societies only to be replaced in this vacuum by networks of gansters, drug barons, warlords and mercenaries.

Conscious of the devastating effects of neo-liberalist rule on our Continent, Aware of the challenges before us,

We resolve to unite to establish continental, regional networks like Jubilee South and sub-regional networks to:

  • develop a common understanding of the impact of neo-liberal policies and globalisation,
  • build resistance to these and develop common strategies and, find alternatives together to neo-liberalism in Africa;

We resolve to co-ordinate our national and regional campaigns and actions through the following forms:

  • by maintaining contact with each other with the aim of finding common ground for common campaigns and actions;
  • by actively supporting or joining initiatives such as: the Dakar 2000 Conference project on the impact of globalisation, the debt, and structural adjustment on Africa;
  • working towards the formation of an alternative "African Consensus" of African peoples as opposed to the "Washington Consensus." This initiative will be launched in Nairobi from the 1st to the 4th of July 1999.
  • and all such initiatives in our continent and in our respective regions/sub-regions.

Given that the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) being debated at US Senate and Congress level will, if passed, make all trade and aid with the USA conditional to African States becoming servile to US neo-liberalist interest,

Noting that this Act thus constitutes yet another form of colonisation; Further noting that this Act incorporates IMF-WB-WTO and MAI-like conditionalities that constitute a mortal threat to peoples of Africa,

We resolve to:

  • make known to our respective organisations and networks the dangers of the conditionalities in the AGOA;
  • make known to our respective Heads of State as well as regional and sub-regional bodies of our opposition to the above conditionalities and call on them to publicly oppose and reject them;
  • build resistance to all so-called "free trade agreements" whether regio= nal or sub-regional, whether bilateral or multilateral, such as the once that the European Union wants to impose through the Lome Conventions, that contain neo-liberal policies that attack working people, rural people, women, children all over Africa.

We further resolve to collaborate and co-operate with international networks such as Attac, and the Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt (COCAD) campaign that mobilise against neo-liberalism and globalisation. This cancellation of the debt must not be subjected to any conditionalities. We reject the IMF and the WB as instruments of Northern domination and resolve to work towards a new international financial architecture.

We join our voices to all those of the rest of the planet demanding:

  • public control over the speculative capital through taxes such as the Tobin tax;
  • for the cancellation of the debt and together with this, for the return of capital to Africa and for measures such as the abolition of tax havens to stop a new wave of expropriation of our collective wealth;
  • in the process of resistance against neo-liberalist rule, to work towards a democratically forged economic and social alternative where human rights, dignity, equality and peoples' emancipation is fully respected.

We will facilitate the ongoing sharing of information about over shemes from Washington institutions;

We will use this initiative to build a new solidarity based on social movements by actively supporting struggles of people in Africa and all over the planet.

Let us be heard.