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Stand with Africans to Cancel the debt!
by CADTM Africa , Womin
5 February 2021

Debt cannot be repaid, first because if we don’t repay, lenders will not die. That is for sure. But if we repay, we are going to die. That is also for sure.

Thomas Sankara, 1987

African movements unify to campaign for the cancellation of public and private debt

February 5 - 7

The debt crisis in Africa has been slow burning and is now vastly aggravated by Covid-19. This is one of many crises of climate, ecology, conflict and population displacements, which are pre-existing and reinforce each other. The negative repercussions that the Covid-19 pandemic will inevitably have on the economies, finances and living conditions of communities across Africa - and whose effects are already being felt - challenge us all.

Yet the servicing of external public and private debts contracted with states, multilateral institutions and private creditors absorbs every year the social budgets of our countries. Debt servicing, capital flight and illicit capital flows, as well as ‘unfree’ trade agreements, are sapping Africa of its wealth, compromising state financial resources to protect populations and ensure the fulfilment of fundamental human rights. By way of example, public health spending is significantly less than the minimum levels set by the World Health Organization.

Within this framework, we, African social movements, are uniting across the continent to demand the cancellation of the public and private debt of African states, estimated at US$600 billion. We denounce the failure of international financial institutions as well as public and private creditors to step up and address a growing humanitarian crisis.

Three recent calls for Africa’s debt cancellation have received the support of many hundreds of organisations (see below). We have resolved to unify these calls and strengthen a Pan African movement for debt cancellation. See the calls below.

THIS WEEK is the 34th African Union Summit (#AUSummit), and on February 6 and 7 2021, the African Heads of State will meet. From February 5, we need YOU to help us take action!

WE CALL UPON THE AFRICAN UNION (AU) to stand with all African peoples and join our demand to free Africa from the shackles of debt. We encourage the heads of states to support the call for cancellation of Africa’s debt.


1. EMAIL the letter (available in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic) to your Heads of State and the African Union Chair to DEMAND that the AU join African peoples everywhere to cancel the debt!


  • African Union Commission / Chairperson HE Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat: chairperson at
  • Deputy Chairperson HE Mr Kwesi Quartey: dcp at
  • Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and also ambassador to The African Union (AU), Addis Ababa, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA): HE Mr. E X Makaya makayae at; multilateral.addis at
  • South Africa President’s Office: president at; informationofficer at; BonganiM at (Media Liaison Officer);
  • nokukhanya at

using this simple social media pack, #YEStoLifeNOtoDebt #LiberateAfricaFromDebt #AUSummit

Also visit for more updates.

FIND the three powerful calls HERE.

  • Call for the cancellation of debts and dropping of ‘free trade’ agreements, North Africa and the Middle East.
  • Call for mobilisation of the peoples of Africa and the world for the cancellation of Africa’s external public debt. The Initiative for the Cancellation of Africa’s Public Debt (IADA), which grows out of the call launched by Senegalese President Macky Sall for a total cancellation of Africa’s public debt.
  • Call for total and unconditional cancellation of Africa’s debt! The Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM: Pan Africa) and WoMin African Alliance.

CADTM Africa

SECRETARIAT RESEAU CADTM AFRIQUE, CAD-Mali Djélibougou Rue : 326 Porte : 26 - BP. 2521 Bamako - Mali - Tél./Fax : 20 24 01 34 / E-mail : secretariatcadtmafrique at