AfCoDD III: Reimagining, Rethinking, Reorganising, and Remobilising for an African World Order

Keywords : ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS - “STOP THE BLEEDING” Newsletters Senegal Structural Transformation For Africa’s Development

From August 30th to September 1st, 2023, Dakar host to the third edition of the African Conference on Debt and Development (AfCoDD III), organized by the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) and its partners. This significant event, themed "The 4Rs for Africa Rule-Maker : Reimagining, Rethinking, Reorganising, and Remobilising for an African World Order," brought together leaders, activists, policymakers, from across the continent including ITUC-Africa representatives, to engage in critical discussions on Africa’s economic situation and the debt crisis that has long plagued the continent.

The conference was structured around three fundamental pillars:

1. Political Transformation: This pillar delves into Africa’s role and engagement within the current debt and financial architecture. Historically, Africa has often been a rule taker and debt taker. AfCoDD III aimed to lay the groundwork for a new political consensus, one where Africa becomes a rule maker and a formidable debt negotiator. The conference also explored the intersection of Africa’s foreign policy with economic, trade, and security policies, aiming to develop a comprehensive policy framework that aligns with the continent’s interests.

2. Research and Ideation: The second pillar of AfCoDD focuses on contributing to Pan-African knowledge and intellectual perspectives regarding debt, development finance, and the structural transformation of Africa. During the conference, a journal featuring selected research papers was launched, fostering the exchange of ideas and knowledge on these critical issues.

3. Public Mobilization: This pillar emphasizes the importance of national civic movement building, extending beyond the current debt crisis. It recognizes the need for citizens and governments in developing countries to seize the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to demand new debt resolution mechanisms that prioritize the legality, legitimacy, and sustainability of debts.

The debt crisis in Africa has reached critical proportions, exacerbated by the ongoing effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic. African governments are grappling with the dual challenge of protecting their citizens from the pandemic’s impact while meeting their debt repayment obligations. AfCoDD III called for meaningful debt solutions that prioritize the well-being of African citizens. Central to the discussions at AfCoDD III was the urgent need to break free from the short-termism that has often characterized macroeconomic planning in Africa. For too long, the continent has been trapped in a cycle of debt dependency, and it is high time to envision a different path. Delegates deliberated on strategies to enhance production and industrialization, promote domestic resource mobilization, and address illicit financial flows.

AfCoDD, launched in August 2021, is one of the flagship programs orchestrated by the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD). Its overarching goal is to bring together African citizens to engage in critical discussions, debates, and decision-making processes concerning Africa’s economic, political, and social self-determination.

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