Africa : Strengthening the anti-debt initiatives in Kenya

15 August 2018 by Sushovan Dhar

CADTM collaborated with Kenyan social movements to organise a training on debt audit and also a meeting to strengthen the anti-debt activities in Kenya.

This programme held from July 29-30 at Nairobi (in the slums of Kangemi) witnessed the participation of more than 50 grass roots activists representing various social movements of the country - Kenya Peasant League (a member of La Via Campesina), feminist activists (including Kenyan members of World March of Women), Human Rights defenders, students, health activists and others. There were also members of local progressive churches and the Kenyan opposition party, FORD Kenya. Broulaye Bagayoko (CAD-Mali & Secretary, CADTM Africa), Jawad Moustakbal (ATTAC CADTM Morocco) & Sushovan Dhar (CADTM India) represented the International network.

The meeting discussed the global issue of debt and its impacts in the country

The meeting discussed the global issue of debt and its impacts in the country. Participants were oriented about CADTM, its political and technical charter, the African network, issues of illegitimate, illegal, odious and unsustainable debt as well debt audit with special reference to the Greek case. The Kenyan participants presented the Kenyan debt situation as well as issues of peasant debt, student debt, micro-credit debt and also the debts incurred due to various projects including railway project between Mombasa and Nairobi (SGR – financed by China Exim Bank), etc. The issue of Chinese loans were discussed as the country is Kenya’s largest creditor with 72% of total bilateral debt. The participants formed a co-ordination group to take the struggle forward as well as formally applied to join the CADTM International network.

Jawad Moustakbal (ATTAC-CADTM Marruecos)

This meeting was followed with an East African meeting on debt with activists from Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya on July 31, 2018 at the same venue. The participants presented the debt situation of their respective countries and resolved to jointly work to form an East African anti-debt network. Various key issues were discussed as well as the question of debt audit. Anti-debt activists from Rwanda and South Sudan would also be contacted to extend the network and cover all East African countries, to the extent possible. On learning about the CADTM network and its activities, the participants expressed their interests to collaborate and also join CADTM network.

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