Securing Sustainable Solutions to the African Debt Crises

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Welcome to AFRODAD 2015 Annual Progress Report, a year that was very important for development. The progress made during the year was satisfactory and the efforts of the many organisations that we work with made it possible for AFRODAD to achieve its objectives. 2015 was the last year of our strategic plan for 2012-2015 in which we reviewed it.

The conclusions from the review of the AFRODAD 2012-2015 Strategic Plan showed that we made significant progress in implementing the strategic plan. All the programmes have been relevant and responded to the challenges of the continent. Programme delivery has been efficient. We met our targets in terms of annual plans and outputs. We successfully steered the organisation from a network of partners to a research hub working with organisations at local and international level. We successfully created internal capacity to do research. In addition we also supported the capacity building of partners to increase their understanding on new issues of economic governance. Despite major achievements a number of institutional and programme implementation challenges exist and will be addressed in the new Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020. The 2012-2015 Strategic Evaluation report is out and 2016-2020 Strategic Plan is now available.

The year 2015, was the year that the third Financing for Development Conference (FFD3) was held in Addis Ababa,Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Climate Change framework adopted to reduce the impact in Paris, and the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on principles to guide sovereign debt restructuring processes.

The major highlight of this report is the historic Third Financing for Development Conference (FfD3) which was held from 13 to 16 July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The FfD3 resulted in the landmark agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) which was reached by the 193 UN Member States attending the FfD3. The AAAA provides a foundation for implementing the global sustainable post-2015 development agenda that world leaders endorsed in September 2015. AFRODAD was part of the strong CSO voice during the Conference which provided technical expertise on issues under negotiations, raising awareness and swinging public opinion on them. Equally, our participation in the processes and events leading to the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (25-27 September, 2015) ensured that Member States of the United Nations adopt the SDGs.

Through leading policy dialogues on aid, unfair trade and financial systems, we ensured that voices from the margins and frontlines who are most affected by the current unjust and unsustainable mode of development in the world are heard. Our work on sovereign debt in 2015 yielded a major global success, not only for AFRODAD but all global debt networks. On the 10th of September the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on principles to guide sovereign debt restructuring processes. The resolution yielded a ‘yes’ vote from 136 countries from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. A ‘no’ vote was registered by six countries: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and Israel. An ‘abstain’ vote, meaning that these countries abstained from voting either yes or no, was registered by 41 countries. The vote means that the UN General Assembly has declared that sovereign debt restructuring processes should be guided by nine basic principles. Unlike the Security Council, which has the power to issue legally binding resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are non-binding. But they carry political weight.

Mobilising resources for financing development remains a challenge for many governments especially in low income countries. The African continent which hosts the majority of low income countries is not an exception as it lags behind in raising finance for development particularly on taxation. This is mainly attributed to limited capacity to collect revenues from companies particularly those engaged in natural resource extraction, narrow tax base, low savings, tax administrative challenges, investment incentives and the subsequent race to the bottom. Through research, advocacy and policy dialogues with government officials and parliamentarians in 2015, we managed to generate a lot of interest from all the stakeholders who have a responsibility in influencing policy making with respect to taxation, capital flight, responsible finance and extractive industries. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to strengthen the existing relationships between parliaments and development finance activists in their mutual supportive role on
issues of domestic resource mobilisation and illicit financial flows.

Capacity building is one of the major strategies of AFRODAD to deliver its mandate. In 2015 a summer school was conducted for members of parliament, journalists, and civil society, with the view to enhancing their capacity to jointly engage on how mineral resources are actually developed and how the revenue generated is ultimately spent to achieving long-term growth and sustainable development. The summer school is an ideal platform for exchange and sharing of experiences on effective monitoring of the extractive sector and the various actors concerned. A capacitated and knowledgeable civil society, media and members of parliament is key in policy making with regard to the governance of mineral resources.

The implementation of SDGs in Africa will be driven by thought processes at national level, sub-regional level, regional level and global levels. AFRODAD will continue to engage at these different levels while implementing its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. As a Pan African organization, AFRODAD will shift to target the global level processes but with first priority focus on the African continental level processes, then sub-regional and intergovernmental level going down to the national level which will provide the basis for research and advocacy for development processes agreed on at sub-regional and continental levels.

As we celebrate our 20th year of operations next year, we are indebted to our national, regional and international partners for partnering with us to fight for policy change for the betterment of African citizens. Our sincere appreciation goes to them for working with us in achieving the successes detailed in this report.


Fanwell Kenala Bokosi, PhD (Executive Director)

       Opa Kapijimpanga (Chairman of the Board of Trustees)