Globalisation and Sub-Saharan Africa

14 November 2005

Globalisation and Sub-Saharan Africa
International Experts' Meeting
European Parliament, Brussels, 15-16 April 2004
Organised by TNI with XminY, Both Ends and NiZA

Conference Poster

A number of highly regarded representatives from Africa were invited to Europe by TNI and three other Dutch-based NGOs to discuss the EU’s current "economic partnership agreements" with African countries. A seminar was held with the United European Left-Nordic Greens faction at the European Parliament (EP) and a packed-out public meeting was arranged in Amsterdam.

It emerged that the EU is pushing for progressive tariff reductions beyond what is demanded under the Cotonou Agreement or even the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and is particularly concerned to accelerate liberalisation of service sectors in Africa. Most shocking are revelations of the "non-execution" clause in the EU’s proposal to African countries, which seeks to punish all parties in a region through withholding aid should one member violate the trade agreement. The African experts stressed the need for European citizens to be aware of the impact such agreements may have on efforts to address the enormous socio-economic problems being faced by ordinary Africans, including the restoration of social states, and the right to determine development models appropriate to Africa’s needs. The extent to which Africa’s AIDS crisis has been exacerbated by imposed policies to cut back on state health services was highlighted at the recent UN Conference on HIV/AIDS, for example. The issue of African debt as the means by which to impose such policies remains central. The inputs to the EP seminar and the final declaration are available below.

An international experts meeting was held on Globalisation and Africa at the European Parliament, Brussels from April 15th -17th, 2004. The European United Left Group (GUE/NGL) in collaboration with a Netherlands-based Convening Committee sponsored this meeting.

At this meeting African experts presented an analysis of the African reality under globalization. The meeting appreciated the lead-role of the African experts.

The analytical approach presented at this meeting differed from the traditional statistical approach that usually presents a desperate picture of Africa's poverty and marginalization. Africa's reality was analysed instead in the context of global forces.

Declaration adopted at the meeting

Some of the speeches have been transcribed. All the papers are in PDF format.

Thursday, 15 April

First session: The Consequences on Globalisation Policies

Second session: Cancellation of the Debt

Friday, 16 April

Third session: Participation in International Trade

Fourth session: The Restoration of the Social State

  • chair: Marie-Francoise Duthu (MEP, Greens/Efa, France)
  • Keynote address: Adebayo Olukoshi (CODESRIA, Senegal)
  • Reactions: Moses Kambou (University Burkina), Edward Oyugi (SODNET, Kenya)
  • Further African experts with thematic contributions: Francoise Bangre (Roppa, Burkina Faso), Besinati Meppo (CSPR, Zambia), Khetlhomilwe Moletsane (NGO-Council, Botswana), Malcom Damon (EJN, South Africa), Kimpianga Mahomia (university DR Congo)

Saturday 17 April

Towards Sustained Lobbying Efforts