In July 1944, 44 countries led by the United States, Great Britain and France founded the WB and IMF at Bretton Woods in the United States. As soon as they were created, these institutions became the defenders of the economic and financial interests of the imperialist powers.
The neoliberal policies deployed over the years by the WB and IMF in Africa have only generated, increased and exacerbated the public debts of African states. This was already the case, in the 1980s, with the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) imposed on African countries as solutions to the debt crisis provoked by these financial institutions. In the end, these SAPs only served to increase the indebtedness of African countries from US$9 billion in 1980 to US$250 billion in 2003, an increase of 180.9%.
Like the SAPs, and despite their failures in Africa, the WB and IMF have not ceased to concoct other neoliberal policies with the same content against African development, thus embarking African countries on false solutions of debt relief, restructuring and suspension; solutions which have only served to maintain the African debt crisis.
After three decades of applying WB and IMF policies, Africa is bleeding profusely under the weight of the disastrous consequences inflicted by its contracted debts, which are crushing it at various levels. Africa has privatized or liquidated almost all its state-owned enterprises for token sums. It remains the region in the world where inequalities in wealth redistribution are most glaring. Today, most African countries, in the name of debt servicing, allocate very few resources to social sector budgets (health, education, employment, etc.). On the food front, Africa is struggling to ensure its sovereignty, disrupted among other things by the WB and IMF, which, in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 food crisis, supported Northern countries in acquiring large areas of African arable land as a precaution against another food crisis. On the environmental front, the establishment of extractive industries in the name of foreign direct investment in Africa, encouraged by the Bretton Woods institutions in recent years, has degraded the quality of life of populations almost everywhere it has been set up: destruction of ecosystems, deforestation and its climatic consequences, pollution of all kinds, financialization and monopolization of communities’ natural resources without consideration for their legitimate rights, etc.
The WB and IMF, which have been in existence for almost 80 years, have gone from strength to strength in implementing neoliberal policies that have led to many cases of social, economic and ecological injustice, often with the complicity of certain African leaders.
WE ARE TAKING ACTION…
In the light of these observations, it is urgent to stop the bloodletting and to treat the fairly well diagnosed disease. With this in mind, African and international social movements are organizing a counter-summit from October 12 to 15, 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco, to coincide with the next WB/IMF Annual General Meeting, to denounce the policies of these financial institutions and demand reparations for the damage caused in Africa.
LET’S MOBILIZE, AFRICAN PEOPLE…
Social movements, grassroots communities, NGOs, human rights defenders, women, youth, let’s mobilize around the organization of this counter-summit to make the voice of the African people heard against the neoliberal policies of the WB and IMF.
Join the African counter-summit movement: