Theme: A Just and Green Recovery for Africa: A Call to Action
Africa’s debt burden is heavy, very heavy, and servicing this debt is taking precious resources away from the continent that could otherwise have been used for development, the provision of social services, or the purchasing of anti-COVID-19 vaccines. With the health and economic crises that followed the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the flow of financial coming to the continent has shrunken, at a time when the need for resources is perhaps even greater than before the crises. We therefore need all the resources that are available on the continent to overcome the crises and build better futures. Calls for the cancellation of the external debt, or, at the minimum for a prolonged moratorium on the servicing of the debt (at least until 2022) are becoming louder and more pressing, and are coming from many people and institutions, including a growing number of African governments.
On 15th March 2021, ActionAid, TrustAfrica, Africans Rising, Oxfam, the West African Civils Society Institute (WACSI), the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), East African Civil Society Organizations Forum, CIVICUS, African Forum on debt and Development (AFRODAD), and ANCEFA came together in round table discussion on the African debt, as a side-event of the 53rd Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The Senegalese Minister for the Economy and Cooperation, Mr Amadou Hott, delivered the opening address, following the welcoming remarks of Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, ActionAid board chair and IMF special advisor. Participants discussed reports of studies carried out in several African countries as well as presentations on possible responses to the debt burden.
On Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 the Kiisi Trust Fund hosted the first ever Clean Air Summit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in partnership with Environmental Rights Action, Centre for Human Rights and Development, Suburbia 180 Foundation, and Citizens Information and Development Initiative, with the aim of creating a template for a systematic, coordinated, result oriented and science-based approach to dealing with the black soot air pollution in Rivers state. Since 2016, residents of Port Harcourt, Eleme and other adjoining towns and villages in Rivers State, Nigeria have observed an increase in the daily blanketing of the atmosphere of an oily soot compound, causing serious source of concern to the 5 million people who reside in the state.