Linked with The Jubilee South Network JS, with the Forum for African Alternatives, with Millennium Development Goals and debt cancellation, and with EUROPE SELF-SERVING IN TRADE TALKS WITH AFRICA.
Demba Moussa Dembele is the coordinator of the Forum for African Alternatives, a Jubilee South member organization in Senegal.
He has written a report for the World Development Movement (WDM), Download: Debt and Destruction in Senegal – a study of twenty years of IMF and World Bank policies, 71 pages, November 2003. (World Development Movement).
He says: ” am doing research on economic globalization and training for other activist non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The training is not only for Senegalese NGOs, but for NGOs throughout the West Africa sub-region: Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and so forth … But the World Bank money going to Africa is not helping Africa. Poverty has never been as high, as acute, as since the World Bank and IMF came to our continent. They themselves recognize that they have failed, that their policies have led to much poverty. But they call this collateral damage! They have destroyed industries in Senegal, in Zambia, in Tanzania, in Burkina Faso, in Uganda, in Nigeria and Mauritania. Everywhere they go they have the same kind of policies: trade liberalization, investment liberalization, privatization. The policies have failed … ” (full interview text).
Demba Moussa Dembele – Senegal
He works for Jubilee South JS.
His book: AFRICAN VOICES ON DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. This is a wide ranging informative compilation of essays which offer the very best advocacy for Africa – by Africans. Glenys Kinnock MEP … (full text).
Through the African Forum on Alternatives, Senegal, he signed on August 19, 2007 the following statement, together with other organisations: “Stop oil aid: We, the undersigned representatives of development, environment, human rights, community, and indigenous rights groups, are calling on wealthy countries and international institutions to stop using foreign assistance and other public resources to subsidize the activities of international oil companies. These subsidies fuel overconsumption in wealthy countries, benefit an already highly profitable and well-established industry, and exacerbate many of the most urgent problems facing humanity today. It is time to end oil aid”. (full text).
He says also: “Senegal is among the 18 countries that normally should benefit — I put it to you in quotes — from what G8 finance ministers said about a month ago to cancel 100% its debt. But I must tell you in Senegal itself, the president and the finance minister have been very cautious.
There was no jubilation, because they think there will be conditions for this cancellation, and they’re waiting to see the fine details of that promise before maybe making a final judgment. So from our standpoint as civil society organizations, we don’t think it will be making a difference because this promise of cancellation is not an outright cancellation. It will be cancellation maybe within the next 30 or 40 years because some of the World Bank and IMF debts are for 40 years, so it is a long-term process.
It is not something that’s happening now, and that’s what is as here in Scotland that campaigners from around the world who are gathering here said, that – it doesn’t make any difference in the lives of ordinary citizens, and I think in Senegal that will be the same” … (full interview text, July 6th, 2005).
Read: Food for 12 Billion. So Why Did 854 Million Go Without? – As you are suffering from over-consumption, I am suffering from under-consumption. We need to strike a balance,” said Mary Wahu Kaara from the ‘Kenya Debt Relief Network’* with reference to the North and the South … (full long text). (* = named on Eco News Africa, on News from Africa, on New Rules for Global Finance, on Odious Depts, on Choike.org … and so on).
(An excerpt of the report): … The 71-page report argues that:
- the past twenty years of IMF and World Bank policies in Senegal have been unsuccessful in terms of national economic performance and social indicators;
- electricity privatisation and liberalisation of the groundnut sector had enormous economic and social costs;
- IMF and World Bank intervention in Senegal has eroded democratic institutions’ ability to formulate national economic and social policies;
- IMF and World Bank policies have imposed unilateral trade liberalisation on the country, undermining its bargaining position in trade negotiations.
The study concludes that twenty years of IMF and World Bank intervention in Senegal has left the country “with little chance of achieving almost all of the MDGs, unless there is a significant change in thinking … (full text, November 2003).
And he says: ” … When one reads between the lines, one finds nothing new in the London statement. It repeated the same platitudes heard many times before – promises of “debt relief”, but on a “case by case” basis and with strings attached in the form of the usual conditionalities. For instance, the statement says that to qualify, a country must have “sound, accountable and transparent institutions”. We all know what this means — a state and public institutions able to implement neo-liberal policies. The London statement is likely to be one more item on the already long list of empty promises and failed “debt relief” plans … “. (full text).
Radio New Internationalist – The strength in the roots, May 4, 2007.
Colludo, whodunit to the world’s poor? The report – campaign briefing, October 2003: dept and destruction in Senegal;
a book: From the slave trade to ‘free’ trade: How trade undermines democracy and justice in Africa, edited by Patrick Burnett and Firoze Manji;
a spanish Blog Autónomo 2007;
Links to previous articles in Pambazuka News, 2007-06-21.