Africa is in a new debt crisis with the majority of low to medium income countries now officially in the unsustainable debt red zone. For example, Kenya has been in the news recently with reports that 60% of all public revenues generated are going to servicing debts. This has destabilized the macroeconomic environment resulting in depreciation of the Kenyan shilling and skyrocketing inflation to devastating socio-economic effects on the population. The debt burden is threatening a reversal of progressive policies such as free public education that Kenya implemented following the Jubilee Debt cancellation.
The situation in Kenya is now typical across the continent with the debt crisis severely undermining the ability of countries to attend to pressing socio-economic needs including healthcare, education and critical infrastructure. Equally, the debt crisis impedes countries’ ability to respond to emergencies and disasters such as the Covid-19 pandemic as well as recurring floods, cyclones and famine.
In the face of this new crisis, TrustAfrica is leveraging the success of the Stop the Bleeding campaign and working with like-minded pan African institutions, under the Stop the Bleeding Consortium, to build a people-centered movement to campaign for the immediate cancellation of all unsustainable debts and for responsible lending and borrowing going forward to avoid a recurrence of a similar crisis in the future. As part of this effort, the Stop the Bleeding Consortium will push advocacy to secure fundamental reforms of the global financial architecture to shift power from the powerful global north countries that currently preside over an unjust set up and seek to strengthen global south voices. At the same time, we will also be working to ensure that new financial resources freed from debt cancellation are not squandered by political elites but instead are directed to support socio-economic justice!
TrustAfrica’s strategies to secure the goals of this new Africa debt campaign will include knowledge generation to underpin context relevant solutions, convening critical stakeholders, grassroots mobilization as well as advocacy campaigns targeting national, regional and global policymakers to push for policy reforms that will not only address the current crisis but also prevent a recurrence.