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Immediately cancel Mozambique and Southern Africa’s debt!
6 February 2022

The CADTM stands in solidarity with the victims of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Ana. Indeed, the storm brought winds, heavy rains, damage and destruction to parts of Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, affecting several hundred thousand people. Intense rains in Southern Africa have also left a trail of destruction affecting a few hundred thousand people. It is estimated that hundreds of people have been killed by the storm and its aftermath.

At this moment, the affected population is finding it difficult to manage the basic means of survival – food, shelter, medicines, hygiene, etc. It is also observed that the disaster has put lives, livelihoods, and vital crops at grave risk, ruling out the slightest chances of normalization. Moreover, the region faces the risk of Cyclone Batsirai and its impending catastrophe.

According to the UN, extreme weather events like cyclones have become more frequent and intense in Southern Africa – driving hunger and eroding development, causing devastation sometimes in a matter of hours. Climate change has aggravated the risk of extreme weather in the region, forcing millions into a sub-human existence. The region is already plagued by deep poverty, unemployment, access to basic services, etc. According to Human Development Index (HDI) 2019, Southern Africa is the most ‘unequal’ region on the continent in terms of income.

The CADTM strongly feels that the population needs justice, and with Mozambique already embroiled in a deep debt trap and countries like Zimbabwe and Malawi following heels, the region needs urgent debt justice.

The CADTM demands:

  • The immediate suspension of debt payment by Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and all other affected countries of the region.
  • Citizens’ debt audit to ascertain the portion of illegitimate and odious debt. Launch a vast audit program with citizen participation to highlight all forms of spoliation and exploitation of the people.
  • No new loans by International Financial Institutions or other lenders under the pretext of reconstruction or rebuilding the economy. Only grants under citizen control can be accepted.
  • Repatriation of ill-gotten gains stashed away abroad by the ruling classes.
  • Unconditional aid and humanitarian assistance for the suffering population.
  • A strong resolve to reverse climate change.

Beyond the immediate petition, we would like to draw the attention of movements and organisations of Southern Africa and elsewhere to a series of demands that can arm our struggles better.

  • Strictly respect the primacy of human rights over all other rights.
  • Oppose the systematic promotion of the private sector to finance the development of countries of the South, and in particular oppose the promotion of Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs).
  • Put an end to neo-liberal policies and the privatization of public services.
  • Repeal a series of international, multilateral and/or bilateral treaties (economic, commercial, political, military, etc.) that are contrary to the exercise of the full sovereignty of the States of the South and to the interests of the peoples of the South and, more broadly, to the general interest of humanity.
  • Impose heavy fines on companies that have plundered the peoples of the South in various forms in order to contribute financially to a special aid and compensation fund.
  • Finance the countries of the South, excluding official development assistance, by means of zero-interest loans, repayable in whole or in part in the currency desired by the debtor.
  • Expropriate “ill-gotten goods” by the rulers and ruling classes of the South and return them to the populations concerned and under their control.
  • Put an end to official development assistance in its current form as it is essentially an instrument of domination for the almost exclusive benefit of the countries of the North and to replace it with an unconditional “Contribution of reparation and solidarity” in the form of grants, excluding in its calculation debt cancellations and amounts that do not serve the interests of the populations of the South. This contribution must correspond to at least 1% of the gross national income of the most industrialized countries.
  • Issue an official public apology for all the wrongdoings committed by Colonial powers towards the populations of the South, entitling them to reparations.
  • Affirm the right to reparations and/or compensation to peoples who were victims of colonial plunder and spoliation through the debt mechanism.
  • Acknowledge the ecological debt of industrialized countries to the countries of the South and make reparations and/or compensation by recovering the cost of these expenses through a tax or fines levied on the large companies responsible for pollution.
  • Prohibit companies from speculating on the resources and production of the countries of the South.
  • Heavily punish companies guilty of any form of corruption by public officials of the countries of the South.
  • Sanction senior officials and political personnel who in Northern countries have favoured or are favouring the spoliation in various forms of the peoples of the South.
  • Heavily sanction banks (including withdrawal of banking licences) that launder dirty money and are complicit in tax evasion, capital flight, and spoliation of the populations of the South.
  • Subject all bilateral and multilateral investment and trade treaties to a citizen participation audit and suspend their application for the duration of the audit. Repeal all treaties that will be deemed illegitimate and/or abusive.
  • Disobey WTO provisions and terminate all free trade, partnership and investment agreements with the countries of the South.
  • Encourage the exercise of popular sovereignty in the countries of the South to develop fair trade that respects social and environmental justice and to set up real cooperation mechanisms that put an end to looting and promote the emergence of their economies.
  • Support measures for food sovereignty and for ecological and socially fair production in the countries of the South.
  • Exit the WTO and call for an international campaign against this institution and its two counterparts, the WB and IMF, and for their replacement by democratic institutions of solidarity.
  • End dispute settlement mechanisms that allow large corporations to claim huge sums of money from states if the latter take measures in the general interest that reduce the profits of private capitalist interests. The government will then institute a procedure to leave the ICSID (= World Bank body) and the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO.
  • Institutionalize an accepted and legitimate arbitration procedure that consists of prosecuting transnational corporations within its national jurisdiction and increasing their financial penalties according to the gravity of their violation of the sovereignty of peoples, and/or of social and environmental standards.
  • Support the initiative for a legally binding treaty compelling transnational corporations to respect human rights in all their aspects: civil, political, economic, social and cultural.

More details about the above demands can be obtained here: