The global fight for debt cancellation was very active on the African continent this month, hosting two separate conferences to celebrate successes and put minds together to come with new ideas to continue the campaign to eliminate illegitimate debt.
In early August, organizations from across the continent came together in Nairobi for the Assembly of Africa Jubilee South. The focus of the conference was “to consolidate the potential for coordinated action in Africa, at both the national, subregional, and continental levels and as part of the global South-North debt movement, contributing thusly to the strengthening of grass-roots mobilization against the debt and IFI policies and in favor of economic and ecological justice and sovereignty.” The Assembly examined the relationships between food sovereignty, climate change, trade and debt, looking particularly at their impacts on organizing on the continent. Nearly 20 countries were present at the assembly, whose aims were to provide a venue for updates, in-depth debt analysis, exchanging political insights on debt, and for those in and outside of Africa to share their ideas and solidarity with participants.
Jubilee USA, an organization that Africa Action frequently works with on this issue, were participants, and Jubilee's Neil Watkins shares some of his conversations and reflections on Blog the Debt. African debt campaigners and others he spoke with highlighted linkages between the debt burden and the skyrocketing prices of food and fuel, as well as climate change.
The Jubilee South Africa National conference, held in Brea, Johannesburg from the 21st through the 24th of August, met to discuss reparations from the Apartheid regime, their support those who are negatively affected by big mining companies, and the role Jubilee South Africa can play in the international Jubilee movements. At the end of the conference, they felt very successful at drawing attention to their issues. Believing that they “touched raw nerves” in the government and banks in regards to their work on reparations, they “have managed to weather these crises” and “are here to stay.” Jubilee South Africa intends to continue its efforts to campaign for reparations for Apartheid violence, solidarity with mining communities, and to expose the “interconnectedness of debt, macroeconomic policy and finance.”