women and the debt crisis

“Africa is not poor,” she says. “It was made poor.”

Dr. Aminata Dramane Traoré is Coordinator of the Forum for Another Mali. An influential critic of corporate globalization, she is also a doctor of social psychology, author, community leader, and manager of cultural events. Traoré served as Mali’s Minister of Culture for three years before dedicating herself to fighting unfair global economic practices..." She organised the first African social forum in 2002

"Another Africa is possible!" From the social forum's Bamako Declaration, January 2002:

..."A strong consensus emerged at the Bamako Forum that the values, practices, structures and institutions of the currently dominant neo-liberal order are inimical to and incompatible with the realisation of Africa's dignity, values and aspirations..."

"Our priority is the debt," stated Ms. Aminata Traoré... (it) "wipes out all our efforts for education, health and development, and for that reason it needs to be cancelled. Then we need reparations for five centuries of colonialism and slavery. On this basis a new cooperation with the North could help all of us on a road of real development."
-- From Davos to Brazil, Africa makes its case: Debt relief and poverty reduction high among the continent's priorities. Africa Recovery, May 2003.

Civil society in revolt against EU-ACP trade agreements, 6 May 2005, SouthScan, London
"African civil society organizations supported by a number of major European NGOs have moved into clear confrontation with the European Commission on the issue of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA). They say these deals will wreck domestic African agriculture and industry and are warning African politicians not to go along with them...

Mali’s former minister of tourism and prominent feminist and anti-globalization militant Aminata Traore, another leader of the ’No’ campaign, considers that speeches praising the virtues of the EPAs are "totally irresponsible".

In an interview with SouthScan, she warned that Europeans should not be surprised if in the coming years as a result of more crisis and more unemployment in Africa they see more illegal immigration and more wars on the continent. Coulibaly agrees and adds that if demagogue politicians are managing to recruit thugs and militias in Cote d’Ivoire, the main reason is because the youth there have no job prospects..."

See also Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai's speech "Africans Can Do it for Ourselves"

Resources on the debt issue:

A Beginner's guide to the Debt Crisis from Jubilee USA

Forget forgiveness: make the looters pay
by Lisa Peryman, Odious Debts Online May 24/2005

Africa: in bondage to debt

Testimony on the impact of debt burden on women
Witness: Specioza N. Kiwanuka (Uganda)
The International Peoples' Tribunal on Debt
February 2, 2002, Porto Alegre, Brazil


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