The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) was created 23 years ago as a pan African platform and organisation for lobbying and advocating for debt cancellation and addressing other debt related issues in Africa. Today AFRODAD remains committed to contributing to the long term development of the continent through its contribution to finding sustainable solutions to Africa’s challenges in debt, resource management and financial development.
Over the years AFRODAD has created a niche for itself in debt management and has influenced government policies on debt management, economic governance and the management of development aid. AFRODAD has successfully used research and evidence based engagements to reach out to its stakeholders. The organisation has used advocacy, networking and capacity enhancement to reach out to governments, academia and other interested stakeholders.
A prosperous Africa based on an equitable and sustainable development.
To contribute to Africa’s inclusive economic growth and sustainable development through influencing policy change on debt management and development finance anchored on rights based approaches.
To influence African Governments to institute and implement policies and practices for sustainable development and eradication of poverty.
Once every year, AFRODAD hosts an event that is commonly known as the “Summer School”. You may want to know where the name came from... simple! It takes place when it's hot and dry in Zimbabwe where the AFRODAD Secretariat is based even though we rotate from one African country to another in line with the AFRODAD's Pan-African nature.
The 2018 Summer School was held in Mangochi, Malawi, 19th to 23rd November 2018. The theme was “Raising the voice against Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption and Inequality in Africa”. The training program comprised up to 40 participants drawn from parliaments, civil society organizations, faith based organisations and media houses.
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Debt issues and media: where is the connection?
The word ‘media’ is derived from the word medium, signifying mode or carrier. Media is intended to reach and address a large target group or audience. The word was first used in respect of books and newspapers i.e. print media but with the advent of technology, media now encompasses television, movies, radio and internet. Media of today is playing an outstanding role in creating and shaping public opinion and strengthening society. Media is the sword arm of democracy that acts as watchdog to protect public interest against malpractice as it creates public awareness.
Therefore, one of the avenues that AFRODAD is using to increase awareness and reach out to various actors whose contribution is very critical to developing Africa through borrowing responsibly, strengthening national treasuries through domestic mobilization or ensuring that offered loans are for the interest of citizens… is MEDIA.
But there are many other topics of interest to journalists thus there is need to introduce to them issues that AFRODAD is working on and how they matter to them and to the public at large. With the agenda-setting role, they can not only inform but they also speak in an advocacy capacity to “remind” the people in power about their responsibility towards their nations and the people therein.
Over recent years, AFRODAD has found it crucial to work with Parliamentarians and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to brainstorm on issues of illicit financial flows (IFFs) and how to jointly contribute to stopping such crimes.
The rational for this effort is that volumes of IFFs from Africa are huge and have been increasing over the years. Evidence from literature on the subject of illicit financial flows, including the report of the High Level Panel on illicit financial flows from Africa, argues that if illicit outflows were curbed, and the funds used domestically, the scale of the flows involved would have significant positive impact on development, and this would reduce Africa’s reliance on aid and external borrowing to finance development.
The Borrowing Charter aims at sustainably balancing public debt levels with the necessity to accelerate inclusive development and enhancing public service delivery in Africa. In other words, the Borrowing Charter aims at contributing to improvements in the transparency of the political, institutional and administrative processes used; and the accountability of the State actors involved in the contraction and management of public debt; the issuance of public guarantees; the selection and implementation of debt financed projects; and the formulation and execution of overall fiscal policy within the context of strengthened legal frameworks and the rule of law.
All the actions and expected commitments set out in the charter are in pursuit of the African shared vision of “The Africa We Want: Agenda 2063” for “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”.
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 in place 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.