AFRODAD has the commitment and the potential to “influence African governments to institute and implement policies and practices for sustainable development and eradication of poverty.” The year 2017 has ended on a positive and promising note. We have worked with great partners, both financial and programmatic. The Secretariat has continued growing stronger under the leadership of a capable Board. Our persistent hard work has brought us closer to anticipated results for our strategic plan 2016- 2020.
We carried out a number of projects under three thematic areas: Debt Management; Domestic Resource Mobilization and International Public Finance. AFRODAD’s presence was felt in various countries such as Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, to name a few.
Details of activities that we undertook are in the 2017 annual report. AFRODAD has contributed to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our work doesn’t stop at research, conferences, meetings or various other activities that we execute. No! When we say we want governments to borrow responsibly or when we look at how domestic resources can be harnessed and protected, our focus is usually on the poor and the most vulnerable. We work towards the eradication of poverty and hunger. When governments move above struggling with too much debt that they are not able to repay, they start handling their mandate of providing their citizens with clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities and so on. Therefore, AFRODAD actually contributes towards achieving all the 17 SDGs in one way or the other.
On the governance side: in order to strengthen the governance of AFRODAD and in line with the Trust Deed, the constitution and the Board Charter of the organisation, four new members were appointed in July replacing those members who had retired from the board as per the board regulations of AFRODAD. These new Board members are Dr Tinenenji Banda (Lawyer from Zambia), Dr Richard Kamidza (Development Studies, Zimbabwe), Dr Fred Muhumuza (Economist, Uganda) and Mr. João José Uthui (Development Expert, Mozambique.
One can see and confidently say that AFRODAD has grown both programmatically and institutionally. The implementation of the strategic plan 2016-2020 is successfully on course. AFRODAD’s presence and impact is steadily growing in Africa and beyond. In order to diligently execute various activities funded by a growing number of exceptional financial partners, accountability measures have been established and they will be respected. Monitoring & evaluation as well as sufficient communication to relevant stakeholders are all part of the plans that the organisation has as it moves forward in “influencing African governments to institute and implement policies and practices for sustainable development and eradication of poverty” in Africa by 2020.
AFRODAD hosted the 2017 Summer School from 06-10 November 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia under the theme “Strengthening Natural Resource Governance in Africa”. Through the summer school, AFRODAD improved participant’s knowledge and understanding of revenue mobilization and management in the extractives sector in Africa. Participants were equipped with crucial knowledge needed to effectively engage, influence policy change and contribute to the effective mobilisation of domestic resources within their geo-political boundaries.
Tax systems are key to increasing, broadening, and expanding the resource base for financing various development initiatives in Africa as well as contribute to solving the unfair and inefficient tax systems that penalizes the poor and favors the rich. AFRODAD continues to run a very active training program and this is important in terms of bringing new key actors and in raising the capacities and strategic focus of existing actors. AFRODAD ensured and facilitated the participation of parliamentarians, CSOs, media, academia and faith leaders. Capacitating faith leaders is important because they contribute to the advocacy efforts to stop IFFs and also to mobilizing citizens to rally behind the agenda in their respective countries using their wider outreach advantage
Responsible lending and borrowing is key to maintain debt sustainability in most African countries. To achieve this objective, in 2017, AFRODAD engaged The Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) to lead the revision of the AFRODAD 2013 Borrowing Charter. The revision is scheduled to be completed early 2018.
Once the Charter review is completed it will be translated from English to French, Portuguese, Arabic and Swahili. This will increase international visibility since it will reach a wider audience. Plans are already in place to launch the charter as soon as it is completed and also to develop a model law of debt management that can be used to advocate for changes in the current laws governing public debt management.
Regional debt profiles for Southern Africa, West Africa, North Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa were produced and published. These profiles assisted AFRODAD’s advocacy work at the regional and international levels. These were shared at all debt events and international platforms that AFRODAD attended or organized. Targeting sharing was also done to such key inter-governmental institutions and civil society e.g. MEFMI and OXFAM.
AFRODAD hosted three regional conferences on debt in Central Africa (July), East Africa (September) and Southern Africa (November 2017). These conferences provided a rich platform to discuss the status of sovereign debt restructuring mechanism.
The conference had sessions on the establishment of a fair and transparent international sovereign debt restructuring mechanism. Delegates debated and proposed a strong African perspective on this. They demanded African governments to push the United Nations to come up with an international framework. It was observed that African government are not as strong as they should be on this issue. Regional civil society campaigns on the demand for mechanisms have been planned for 2018.
During the course of the year AFRODAD made huge progress in terms of strengthening inclusive, transparent and accountable public debt borrowing and loan contraction processes. First, AFRODAD in collaboration with Mauritius Council of Social Service (MACOSS) launched the study report “Analysis of Loan Contraction and Debt Management: The Case of the Republic of Mauritius”.
Second, AFRODAD in collaboration with Rwanda Religious Forum launched the Report on “Analysis of Loan Contraction and Debt Management: The Case of the Republic of Rwanda” on the 27th October 2017 Kigali, Rwanda the Director of Debt Management in the Ministry of Finance pledged to make sure that the government continues to manage debt prudently to enable the country’s development. AFRODAD engaged government officials and members of parliaments, through these launches.
These reports will play an important role in these countries: raising citizen awareness on debt, enlighten citizens on economic issues, etc.
AFRODAD commissioned research in Cameroon and Tunisia. These researches were completed and published. These reports will be used to influence the effective management of public domestic debt resources by African governments.
AFRODAD organized a validation workshop of the report mentioned above on the second day of the Central Africa regional conference that took place from the 27th–28th July 2017, in Douala, Cameroon. AFRODAD collaborated with PFIAD in organizing the workshop. The conference provided a rich platform to discuss core challenges arising from the management of public debt in Cameroon and regional level. Participants were from Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Guinea and Central Africa Republic. Members of parliament from Cameroon and regional government officials from Doula attended.
The findings show a growing trend of both external and domestic debt in Cameroon. Debt is increasingly becoming an option for financing long term infrastructural development projects in Cameroon. There is need to strengthen policies, legal and institutional frameworks and oversight bodies in the loan contraction and debt management. Overall, the oversight role of the Parliament in the management of domestic debt appears weak due to their lack of technical expertise to comprehend some of the loans presented before them. Delegates mandated AFRODAD and the Cameroonian Debt Platform to campaign effectively on debt issues in Cameroon and the Central Africa regions through workshops, civil society capacity building and policy makers’ engagements.
The study on ‘The Developmental Impacts of IFFs in SADC’ provided a comprehensive analysis and increased evidence on the magnitude and negative impacts of IFFs in SADC. By comparing IFFs to key public expenditures on health, education, and human development the organization has been able to make the issue come alive for advocates and decision-makers focused on other key development issues.
Outreach activities undertaken to disseminate research findings and efforts to draw the participation of MPs, CSOs and media from Africa has helped build political recognition on the challenges in the mobilisation and utilisation of domestic resources in Africa. More so, this has increased the intent to develop efficient mechanisms to address these challenges.
There is strong public and potential interest as well as the willingness to address the issues around revenue management in extractives and IFFs.
AFRODAD hosted the 2017 Summer School from 06-10 November 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia under the theme “Strengthening Natural Resource Governance in Africa”.
Through the summer school, AFRODAD improved participant’s knowledge and understanding of revenue mobilisation and management in the extractive sector in Africa. During the school, participants were equipped with crucial knowledge needed to effectively engage, influence policy change and contribute to the effective mobilisation of domestic resources within their geo-political boundaries. More effective and transparent tax systems can contribute to broader governance reforms in Africa. Also, less dependency on external finances can promote domestic ownership of development programmes, thereby helping to improve the allocation of resources in a way that maximises social outcomes. Tax systems are key to increasing, broadening, and expanding the resource base for financing various development initiatives in Africa as well as contribute to solving the unfair and inefficient tax systems that penalizes the poor and favours the rich.
h Members of Parliament of portfolio committees of mining as well as trade.
AFRODAD continues to run a very active training program and this is important in terms of bringing new key actors and in raising the capacities and strategic focus of existing actors. AFRODAD ensured and facilitated the participation of parliamentarians, CSOs, media, academia and faith leaders. Capacitating faith leaders is important because they contribute to the advocacy efforts to stop IFFs and also to mobilise citizens to rally behind the agenda in their respective countries using their wider outreach advantage.
AFRODAD commissioned a study on “Assessing national mining legal frameworks and policies in selected SADC countries against the Africa Mining Vision and SADC Protocol on Mining”. The overall purpose of the study was to provide information on what needs to be done by various stakeholders in order to advocate for the development and implementation of improved policies and legal frameworks governing the extractive industries in the selected countries of the SADC region.
The study on “Assessing the drivers and impacts of fluctuating commodity prices on government revenues in the SADC region (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe)” has been completed. The purpose of the study was to strengthen the evidence base and deepen understanding on the drivers and impacts of fluctuating commodity prices on government revenue in the SADC region.
AFRODAD convened two targeted advocacy meetings with parliamentarians and CSOs for the study report on ‘Impacts of fluctuating commodity prices on government revenue in the SADC region: The Case of Copper in DRC’ in Kinshasa. The meeting with parliamentarians was held at the Hotel Everest in Kinshasa on the 28th of August, 2017. The meeting was attended by 17 parliamentarians. After the presentation and discussions on the report findings and recommendations; important remarks that were formulated during the two advocacy meetings centred on the issues of data inconsistencies from the various data sources and the need to harmonize the statistics in the mining sector for increased transparency.
AFRODAD successfully hosted the high level stakeholder International Conference on Curbing IFFs from Africa at the Holiday Inn in Harare, from the 23rd-24th February 2017. The theme of the workshop was: Strengthening the Role of Parliament and Civil society in combating IFFs, with special focus on natural resources revenue management. AFRODAD launched findings from the report on “Assessing the developmental impacts of Illicit Financial flows from the SADC region”.
From the conference presentations and discussions, participants were able to assess all the issues around IFFs and specify the most urgent issues and actions that need to be taken at national, regional and global level to address these issues. Participants identified issues such as weak regulatory structures in developing countries facilitating IFFs, the need for good governance and transparency to effectively addressing IFFs and the need to strengthen and improve regional and national technical and human capacity of the relevant institutions such as tax authorities to enable close monitoring of the channels of IFFs.
In addition, participants identified collaborations at regional and global levels they felt would be useful and they identified tools that should be used by CSOs in tackling IFFs such as advocacy (media engagement, lobbying and networking with CSOs), trainings, and community mobilisation to create a critical mass movement of people who understand the issues and whistle blowing.
AFRODAD’s call in its engagement with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) was for truly sustainable infrastructure and transformative development cooperation. This resulted in the BRICS formally inviting CSOs to discuss further priorities that the New Development Bank should consider. AFRODAD with other CSOs recommendations of making the Civil BRICS Forum an institutionalised platform has resulted in China hosting Civil Forum in 2017.
In 2017 AFRODAD sharpened research, policy analysis and technical experience in addressing issues of development effectiveness. Key achievement was the contribution to the advocacy efforts for the adoption of the 2016 Nairobi Outcome document of the Global partnership for effective development co-operation.
The AFRODAD policy brief on blended finance, a phenomenon raised in the AFRODAD strategic document resulted in AFRODAD being invited to speak on the issue to labour union during the Colloquium on “Financing for Development in the SDGs ERA. Part of the recognition was AFRODAD being invited by the OECD to be part of the team coming up with guiding principles of Blended finance. In fact AFRODAD was the only representative from Africa in this platform. AFRODAD was also invited to become part of the civil society platform that should lobby the OECD on ODA issues.
To strengthen the governance of AFRODAD and in line with the Trust Deed, the constitution and the Board Charter of the organisation, four new members were appointed in July replacing those members who had retired from the board as per the board regulations of AFRODAD
- Strengthening of the extractive industry revenue management through: capacitating Members of Parliament on revenue management and Natural Resource Governance in Swaziland and through the 2016 Summer School attended by Members of Parliament from South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Namibia. Informed parliamentarians have been able to perform their roles in parliament on issues to do with governance of natural resources.
- Identification and selection of AFRODAD as the main presenter during trainings (Summer schools) of members of parliament on Natural Resource Governance in Southern Africa.
- Domestication of Africa Mining Vision. A broad consensus among multi-level stakeholders at the Pan-African level, national governments, civil society, Mineral companies and the private sector on the importance of a continental Mineral sector governance framework based on the Africa Mining Vision (AMV).
- Stimulation and fostering of a collaborative relationship between state and non-state actors, particularly African civil society, at the continental, regional and national levels for civic oversight over the governance of Mineral sectors.
- Contribution to advocacy efforts for the adoption of the Nairobi Outcome document of the Global partnership for effective development co-operation from the Second High Level Meeting on Aid effectiveness held in 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.
- AFRODAD developed Aid profiles for Africa that have given status of African debt using the African Union Commission classifications.
- AFRODAD successfully secured funds to do Privatization research work in 10 SADC countries in 2017 following its production of a policy briefing titled “Public Private Partnerships of Health and Education sectors; Are the poor in the Analogy?” which noted that government should continue to provide basic health and education services to its people and embrace private participation in these sector with a regulatory eye.
- AFRODAD research and publications have been widely used by researchers in different countries. The analysis has also been used by governments including the government of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania.
- AFRODAD is recognised as a leading African institution on debt and development by the UNDP, NEPAD and the African Union at continental level as well as by global networks on debt and development with whom AFRODAD has organised joint activities and/or has been called to participate in high level meetings and panels.
- AFRODAD’s work on Aid Effectiveness has been recognised globally as well as regionally. AFRODAD is a member of the global coalition on AID Effectiveness. At regional level, AFRODAD cooperated with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency in hosting African meetings on AID effectiveness and coming up with the Africa Position. AFRODAD was also part of the United Nations (UN) high level panel on Aid effectiveness.
- AFRODAD successfully launched a programme to promote domestic resource mobilisation through tax justice and extractive industries.
It has successfully steered itself from a network of partners to a research hub working with organizations at local and international level and successfully created internal capacity to do research.
- AFRODAD has gained globally recognition and is part of the global technical working groups to identify the best debt arbitration mechanisms.
- There has been improved and reliable source for Research and a reliable source for advocacy messages for CSOs through AFRODAD’s compilation and updating of 30 African countries debt profiles and disseminating Debt Profile Reports on various fora.
- Better understanding of the AFRODAD’s Borrowing Charter principles as a result of its launch in Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland and Kenya.
- Improved understanding on Policy Advice on the necessary and required interventions for better sustainability outcomes and improved
- Transparency and Accountability by the Southern African Governments in Loan contraction and Debt Management in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. This has been achieved through updating of domestic debt profile Reports for Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho and Angola
United Nations considered establishment of fair and transparent arbitration mechanism (FTAM) on sovereign debt through calling for the creation of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring. among countries. This was possible through AFRODAD’s work and demands on an international debt-workout framework.
- Establishment of in country dialogue on policy framework for publicly supported private finance in Africa through AFRODAD’s organised policy dialogue on Publicly Supported Private Financing (PSPF).
- The Zambian government and private sector committed to improve accountability, transparency on PSPF investments and to improve the existing regulatory and institutional framework that governs PSPF. This follows the establishment of in country dialogue on policy framework for publicly supported private finance
- There has been more amplification of CSOs demand on African governments to reduce the financing gap that most African countries are experiencing. This was made possible through increase in knowledge amongst civil society on the implications of illicit flows
- AFRODAD became a lead author of a chapter in the United Nations Development cooperation report for 2014.
- Improved relationship between AFRODAD and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe which has acknowledged its valuable work and shares the same view on some of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issues.
- Resolution by the Zambian Government Officials to advance effective oversight on public finance and promote principles of responsible borrowing in the country through the entrenchment of a clear legal framework/an Act of Parliament that enhances the oversight role of the Parliament.
- Improved oversight, transparency and accountability by the Ugandan and Namibian government in loan contraction and debt management processes.
- AFRODAD’s work has been recognized by New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU) which invited the organization to make presentations at various meetings including at the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) summit.
- AFRODAD’s was contracted by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on behalf of the NEPAD Agency to develop the African Mutual Accountability Report to help strengthen Africa’s capacities in the development of domestic and mutual accountability systems and institutions
- The AFRODAD’s engagement with African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) made it possible for them to monitor development aid from the emerging lenders and also monitor the implementation of such agreements.
- AFRODAD’s work in Tanzania saw the Tanzanian parliament resolve on facilitation of debates focused on public debt in parliamentary sessions. Constitutional reforms were also informed by the AFRODAD Borrowing Charter and findings of the Domestic Debt study. All this follows AFRODADS research study on Tanzania domestic debt.
- Increased knowledge and understanding among members of the public on government debts following translation of AFRODAD’s study report on domestic debt into Swahili and being shared to the wider Tanzanian public.
- AFRODAD's Borrowing Charter was used in Liberia, a country emerging from conflict as model in country reforms it financial system. This underscored the significance of the charter as an important public finance management tool.
- Sussex University has AFRODAD publications in its library. This exposes AFRODAD research and positions to a global pool of students and academicians.
- Improved information exchange through joint CSOs strategizing and lobbying for policy demands and exchange of best practices as well as building capacities on the issue of debt and with a wide publications distribution of close to a 1000 copies.
- Raised awareness amongst African policy makers on best practices and guidelines on responsible borrowing. More knowledge and better understanding on Monetary and Financial Affairs on principles and guidelines of prudent sovereign borrowing and loan contraction with the use of AFRODAD’s Borrowing. This follows the launch of AFRODAD’s Borrowing Charter in the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa and its production in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Swahili languages.
- AFRODAD has been elected as the Southern African Regional representative to the Global Accountability Cluster Committee. This is due to its active participation in the aid effectiveness trajectory
- The organization successfully coordinated the establishment of the Zimbabwe Network Against Illicit Flows (ZiNAIF) that comprises of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), Transparency International Zimbabwe (T I - Z), t h e Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) and AFRODAD. The Network has a huge impact in influencing and stirring up debate on illicit financial flows from Zimbabwe.
- AFRODAD’s efforts on policy change saw the commitment of renegotiation of Kayelekera Uranium mine mining contract between the Government of Malawi with Paladin Energy, owners of Kayelekera Uranium mine. This follows research findings and policy recommendations from AFRODAD’s commissioned research in 2012 and a report published in 2013 on the Revenue Costs and Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment in the Extractive Industry in Malawi.
- Renewed development of and discussion on alternative models of domestic debt management in at least one country. The Government of Zimbabwe established a Debt Management office as part of broad reforms to improve the conduct of debt management in the country.
- Enhanced and collaborative partnerships between AFRODAD and its partner organizations. MOUs with other CSOs were prepared after AFRODAD received letters of interest from each of the respective organizations. By coordinating with other Civil Societies, AFRODAD now has a means to carry forward lobby and advocacy activities at local level in the respective countries.
- Training of Members of parliament of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya and Swaziland on their role in government borrowings to effectively play their oversight role on government borrowing.