Sixty years ago African leaders founded the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union. It called on members states to "...mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation." The OAU had pledged to fight for the political freedom of the continent, fight imperialism, especially military access of colonial nations, and also had socio-economic goals for citizens of member states. These dreams have been deferred for millions of Africans. Our struggles continue.
For decades the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have pursued policies that destroy our economies, our societies, and our environment. Their approach has pillaged our resources and made our people irredeemably poorer while concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the rich few. While doing this, they have shown utmost contempt for our own ideas, agency and leaders. They have driven our continent into debt and maintained Africa’s subordinate position in the global economy as a market for cheap labour and raw materials. They have relegated us to growing flowers instead of food.
The economic system they have promoted has clearly failed. Now, fifty years since the IMF and World Bank held their Annual Meetings in Nairobi, Kenya in 1973, they intend to hold their Annual Meetings back on our continent this October in Marrakech, Morocco, pretending they want to listen to our ideas and dialogue with us. This is a facade. We are not fooled. They have not changed. They cannot.
We demand that our leaders wake up at last to their responsibility of leadership, articulate our interests and promote and implement the myriad African counter proposals to IMF and World Bank policies. It is time to implement Agenda 2063. We, citizens of Africa, commit to remain vigilant and hold our leaders accountable. We say:
On Africa Liberation Day, we say that the future of Africa lies in policies and spending priorities that seek to: eliminate inequality in all its innumerable manifestations, feed the hungry, safeguard health, improve education, promote nutrition, enhance food sovereignty, increase jobs, and sustain livelihoods, as well as national sovereignty. The role of the World Bank and IMF in African countries and our economies has made it impossible for Africans to develop or make real progress. We reject neoliberalism. We reject the IMF and World Bank!
The time to build the Africa We Want is now. It is time for us to remake our broken economies.