African Sovereign Debt Justice Network (AfSDJN)

The African Sovereign Debt Justice Network, (AfSDJN), is a coalition of citizens, scholars, civil society actors and church groups committed to exposing the adverse impact of unsustainable levels of African sovereign debt on the lives of ordinary citizens.

Convened by with the support of Open Society for Southern Africa, (OSISA), the AfSDJN's activities are tailored around addressing the threats that sovereign debt poses for economic development, social cohesion and human rights in Africa. It advocates for debt cancellation, rescheduling and restructuring as well as increasing the accountability and responsibility of lenders and African governments about how sovereign debt is procured, spent and repaid.  

Focusing in particular on Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria and Senegal, the AfSDJN will also amplify African voices and decolonize narratives on African sovereign debt . Its activities include producing research outputs to enhance the network’s advocacy interventions. It also seeks to create awareness on and elevate the priority given to sovereign debt and other economic justice issues on the African continent and beyond throughout 2021. 

COVID-19 and Governance in Zimbabwe

Since the early 2000s, Zimbabwe has faced a tumultuous period which has seen the country go through dislocating economic challenges. These economic challenges have harmed the country’s institutions with the health sector suffering the most. Several outbreaks such as the 2008 Cholera Outbreak clearly demonstrated that the country’s health sector had all but collapsed. That has not been very different for Zimbabwe’s politics that have been dominated by two political parties Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who serve as the ruling party and the opposition respectively.  

Sovereign Debt and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis is likely to make countries in the global south accumulate more debt in a global economic environment where repayment of current debt will be difficult. The speech by Thomas Sankara on the morality of debt repayment asks us very difficult questions which humanity must collectively confront if debt crises are to become relics of past economics. The collective inability by the global south to assert itself on negotiating tables and to recreate itself in the aftermath of various global crises has been a sad misuse of crises.

PanDEBTmic – Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

As the Covid-19 disrupts life as we know it globally and nationally, it will test to the core the ability of the state to defend its citizens from experiencing the most holistic crisis we have ever faced as a country. Kenya has lived through curfews, food shortages, economic difficulties but all at different stages and periods. With growth prospects reduced, lower than expected tax revenues, and Kenya’s debt to GDP levels is already in the doldrums.

Doves, Vultures and African Debt in the Time of COVID-19

To mitigate the risk of speculation, I have proposed  that the international community should create a Debts of Vulnerable Economies Fund (a “DOVE” fund) to help African countries deal with their private sector debt. The fund could be created by an African institution such as the African Development Bank or the African Union. The fund should be financed by governments, foundations, financial institutions, companies and individuals. In order to demonstrate its independence from both debtor countries and creditor institutions it should be managed by an independent board representing all stakeholders.