numero 1 du vendredi 10 - Le Forum Social Africain

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numero 1 du vendredi 10 - Le Forum Social Africain
Un autre monde
est possible
FSM 2007
EN AFRIQUE
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - N° 3 - Quotidien du 5ème Forum Social Mondial - Porto Alegre
Le compte
à rebours a
commencé
P. 4
A l’ouverture du Forum social africain hier : 2007 en ligne de mire.
A LONGA LUTA DOS
NEGROS BRASILEIROS
Reparação é
a principal
reivindicação
5e Forum Social Mondial
Porto Alegre, 26 - 31 janvier 2005
PRIVATISATION DU SERVICE DE L’EAU DANS LES PAYS DU SUD
Une catastrophe sur toute la ligne
Denrée rare en Afrique, l’accès à l’eau potable a été rendu plus difficile par le monopole des
multinationales.
Qu’il s’agisse du Niger, du
Tchad ou du Sénégal, la gestion du
service de l’eau, comme celle de
tant d’autres services sociaux, est
aujourd’hui confiée à des multinationales plus préoccupées à faire
des bénéfices qu’à satisfaire les attentes des populations. En lieu et
place des promesses d’un service
de qualité à moindre coût agitées
par les «repreneurs stratégiques»
des compagnies nationales, on assiste plutôt, dans tous les pays
africains qui se sont engagés dans
la voie de la privatisation, à des
tarifications inaccessibles pour la
majorité d’une population aux revenus faibles. Cette problématique
de la privatisation du service de
l’eau a été au centre d’un panel
animé le 27 janvier par un groupe
d’Ong et associations américaines
et latino-américaines.
Autour du thème «L’eau
sous le domaine public est comme
un droit humain, hors des accords
commerciaux», les participants au
débat ont mis à nu les conséquences néfastes engendrées par la mainmise des multinationales sur ce secteur stratégique, dégagé des méthodes de lutte et proposé des solutions alternatives à la privatisation.
Pour une militante uruguayenne
d’une des organisations animatrices du panel, l’immixtion des multinationales dans la gestion de l’eau
«s’est avérée catastrophique dans
les pays latino américains. Il n’y a
eu ni amélioration de la qualité de
service ni accès d’un plus grand
nombre au service. Au contraire,
l’eau qui est un bien commun à
nous tous est vendue très chère aux
populations».
Même scénario donc qu’en
Afrique, même si ce panel s’est
déroulé sans la présence de participants africains. Au Niger, par exemple, depuis la reprise de la Société
nationale des eaux par la multinationale française Vivendi International, l’accès des populations pauvres à l’eau potable devient de plus
en plus difficile, à cause notamment
de la hausse des coûts. «On nous a
dit que les coûts allaient baisser, or
nous sommes à notre troisième
hausse. Et ce qui est plus grave,
c’est qu’aujourd’hui les pauvres
paient l’eau plus chère que les riches au Niger», confie Abdourahamane Ousmane du Forum social nigérien, interpellé sur cette
question.
Des puits dans la capitale
Membre de la Plate forme
nationale des associations de la société civile tchadienne, Mme Sy
Koumbo dresse le même constat
pour son pays. «La situation a
empiré depuis que la société d’eau
et d’électricité a été privatisée. Et
voilà cinq ans que les populations
tchadiennes vivent un calvaire,
après que la société nationale a
été vendue à Vivendi International.
Au bout de deux ans seulement, on
s’était rendu compte que c’était la
catastrophe», déplore-t-elle. Tant
du point de vue de la prestation de
service que de l’accès à la ressource,
qui est revendue plus chère. Ce qui
a contraint de nombreux Tchadiens
à se rabattre sur les forages et les
puits. «Dans la capitale
Ndjamena, de nombreux habitants
sont aujourd’hui réduits à boire
l’eau de puits», déplore Mme Sy.
A en croire M. Boubacar
Diop, membre du Conseil national des Ong africaines pour le développement (Congad), au Sénégal, certains habitants de Dakar
sont également acculés à ce recours
au forage, à cause de la privatisation du secteur. «Il y a eu un
bradage de l’instrument (la société
nationale) qui existait et cela se répercute sur les populations qui
achètent l’eau plus chère
aujourd’hui. Même les possibilités qu’il y avait auparavant de favoriser des dynamiques d’accès
communautaires ont été supprimées», déplore-t-il. Pour lui, la
privatisation des secteurs comme
l’eau et l’électricité a été un échec
en Afrique. Les résultats escomptés n’ont pas été au rendez-vous.
«Il arrive souvent qu’il y ait manque d’eau, qu’il y ait des infrastructures qui ne marchent pas. Et
c’est souvent de l’eau de qualité
douteuse qui est servie aux populations», énumère M. Diop.
Devant ce constat d’échec,
le président du Congad préconise
le maintien de la lutte pour contraindre les décideurs politiques
africains à abandonner les politiques de privatisation en cours, estimant que «l’eau comme l’électricité sont des instruments de souveraineté nationale».
Ousseini ISSA
ttentes
fricaines
A
TAOUKARA TAMBARE
(Guinée)
«L’ Afrique
montrera son
hospitalité en
2007»
“Je crois qu’en 2007
l’Afrique montrera son
hospitalité, en acceuillant le
Forum social mondial, et
que les débats toucheront
vraiment les problèmes les
plus complexes et les plus
proches de nous. J’espère
également que le monde va
connaître les réalités que
nous, les altermondialistes
nous défendons et pourquoi nous luttons pour
changer les choses. On va
aussi proposer des solutions que nous pensons
raisonnables.
C’est un peu difficile, de
dire aujourd’hui si l’Afrique
va se mobiliser. D’abord, on
demande s’il y a une volonté politique. Ensuite, financièrement peut-on faire
quelque chose comme le
Fsm de Porto Alegre. Déjà,
la participation des Africains à ce forum n’est pas
celle souhaitée. Mais
qu’importe, je pense aussi
que si nous représentons
l’Afrique, nous devons tout
faire pour partager les difficultés de l’Afrique et les
solutions que nous Africains préconisons pour les
changements”.
ACCES A L’EDUCATION
Flamme d’Afrique-Flame of
Africa, um ano depois
Foi no Fórum Social Mundial de Mumbai, em Janeiro de 2004, que
este jornal foi lançado. O objectivo de Flamme d¢Afriaue-Flame of
Africa era dar mais visibilidade à participação africana nesses
encontros, facilitar a expressão e partilhar as ideias desenvolvidas
pelos africanos, seus valores e suas expectativas dentro do slogan
“um outro mundo é possível”.
Este quotidiano, que circula apenas por ocasião dos foras, faz aqui
a sua quarta experiência. Após Mumbai, o Chama da África
acompanhou o 1º Fórum Social social da África de Oeste realizado
em Conakry (Guiné) de 28 a 30 de Novembro 2004. Em Lusaka,
durante o 3º Fósum social africano, que decorreu entre 10 e 14 de
Dezembro, fez-se mais uma edição deste jornal. Este 5ª FSM é,
portanto, a quarta etapa de uma experiência que completa agora
um ano de existência.
A iniciativa de animar este jornal resulta de uma parceria entre
Enda Tiers-monde, Instituto Panos da África do Oeste e Mulheres
pela Mudança. Paralelamente ao acompanhamento da participação
africana nos FSM, traduz uma vontade de aumentar o trabalho dos
m ídias e as comunicações para reforçar os movimentos sociais
africanos, assegurando uma maior difusão das ideias e das
perspetivas que se vão surgindo. Os jornalistas que compõem a
redação do Flamme d’Afrique-Flame of Africa vêm de diferentes
países africanos. A par do jornal, eles fazem a cobertura do FSM
para melhor informar o público africano através de outros canais
(listas de difusão e jornais on line).
Rédaction française, lusophone et anglaise
Comité éditorial : Taoufik Ben Abdallah, Diana Senghor;
Thomas Deve ([email protected]) - Coordinateur : Tidiane Kassé
– Rédaction : Hippolyte Djiwan, Ousseini Issa , Vladimir Monteiro,
Souleymane Niang, Constança de Pina, Diana Mulilo, Glory Mushinge,
Console Tleane, Variatu Temele - Montage : Noma Camara.
Contact : [email protected]
Comment emmener et maintenir les enfants à l’école
Comment faire pour que le
plus grand nombre d’Africains ait
accès à l’éducation ? Voilà une préoccupation qui devrait tenir à cœur
les gouvernants africains en particulier, et ceux des pays en voie de
développement de façon générale.
A ce 5e Forum social mondial de
Porto Alegre qui vise un monde
nouveau, la question est revenue
sur tapis. D’ailleurs, est-il possible de réaliser un autre monde sans
accorder une attention particulière
à l’éducation ? Nelson Mandela,
ancien président sud africain avait
répondu à la question en indiquant
que «l’éducation est l’arme la plus
puissante pour changer le
monde».
A travers le thème «Recensement éducationnel : instrument
pour la mobilisation sociale et
l’amélioration de l’éducation», ce
Forum de Porto Alegre a consacré
le jeudi dernier une réflexion à la
question à travers une conférence
animée par les responsables du
projet «Programa Educar» en cours
au Brésil. Selon Mme Helena Albuquerque, coordonnatrice du projet, sa mission est de procéder au
recensement des enfants qui n’ont
pas accès à l’école ou qui y sont
inscrits et qui, pour une raison ou
pour une autre, désertent les classes. Le but de la démarche est d’être
en possession des chiffres qui se
suffisent pour mener une véritable action de plaidoyer à l’endroit
des gouvernants, en vue de mieux
organiser la gestion des ressources
destinées au secteur de l’éducation.
La particularité de ce projet
est qu’il s’appuie non seulement
sur des partenaires étrangers, mais
également sur l’administration
municipale et préfectorale. En clair,
le recensement des enfants qui
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - n° 3 - PAGE 2
n’ont pas accès à l’éducation devient un enjeu de mobilisation aussi
bien des partenaires étrangers que
de l’administration locale. Mais si
à Porto Alegre on procède au porte
à porte pour recenser les enfants
en vue de convaincre l’Etat à prendre ses responsabilités, en Afrique,
et particulièrement en Afrique
subsaharienne, les problèmes liés
à l’éducation présentent d’autres
dimensions. «L’image d’une école
africaine subsiste : un enseignant
solitaire, face à 70 à 80 écoliers. Il
existe peut être un tableau noir et
de la craie. Les élèves ont parfois
(Suite page 3)
5e Forum Social Mondial
Porto Alegre, 26 - 31 janvier 2005
EXPLOITATION PETROLIERE AU TCHAD
Or noir et misère noire des populations de Doba
«Les populations de
Doba attendent de pied ferme
la réalisation des promesses à
elles faites par le consortium
pétrolier Essor. Elles y croient
et sont même réticentes aux
sensibilisations des Ong qui
essayent de les ramener à la
raison». Animatrice de l’Ong
Epozop au Tchad, Mme Séïba
Martine Dénénoudji, rencontrée à ce Forum social mondial,
donne ainsi une idée de la détermination des populations de
la région de Doba. Dans zone
riche en pétrole regroupe neuf
cantons s’étaient vu promettre
monts et merveilles pour ouvrir
les portes à l’exploitation de ces
ressources par la multinationale
française. Jusqu’aujourd’hui,
les attentes ont été vaines. Et
les ressortissants des cantons
que sont Béro, Komé, Miandoum, Timbiri, Békam, Ngagibian, Bessao, Mondlanm et
Mbaissayen, ne veulent pas
que les richesses de leur terre
aillent faire le bien-être des autres pour les laisser dans la misère.
«Avant l’exploitation pétrolifère dans la région, la
Banque mondiale avait certes
consulté des populations. Mais
cett consultation a été faite à
un moment où la zone était
aussi bien sous la pression des
rebelles que celle des forces
loyales», souligne Mme
Dénénoudji. On était loin d’une
atmosphère permettant un choix
serein. «Mais cela n’a pas em-
ACCES A L’EDUCATION
(Suite de la page 2)
des pupitres ou s’assoient sur des
bancs ou au sol. Egalement quelques manuels ou tables d’exercices. D’autres n’ont aucune salle
de cours, mais doivent s’installer
en plein air, sous un arbre…». Ce
dénuement que décrit Ernest
Harsch (Afrique Relance en ligne,
une publication des Nations
Unies), est une donnée fondamentale de l’handicape que traîne le secteur éducatif en Afrique.
Dans un contexte comme celui-là, aggravé par des grèves des
enseignants (ceux du Niger et du
Bénin n’ont repris les cours qu’en
janvier après la rentrée d’octobre
2004), la tâche est immense pour
les acteurs de l’éducation en Afrique subsaharienne. Mais l’immensité du sujet est-il bien perçue par
la société civile africaine ? La question mérite bien d’être posée quand
on se rend compte par exemple que
les Africains sont rares pour ne pas
dire absents, au moment où ces
questions sont débattues à ce Forum social mondial de Porto Alegre. Et pourtant l’expertise ne manque pas sur le continent, capable
d’échanger et de conforter ses acquis.
Hippolyte DJIWAN
pêché de déboucher sur des
promesses de construction
d’hôpitaux, d’écoles, de réseau
d’adduction d’eau potable et
d’électricité, de logements,
sans oublier les promesses
d’emploi». Devant la conscience qu’on avait abusé de leur
confiance, les ressortissants
des neuf cantons de Doba,
sous l’impulsion de la société
civile tchadienne, allaient se
décider à faire face. C’est ainsi
qu’au terme d’un séminaire, le
19 juillet 1999, ils allaient former l’Entente des populations
de la zone pétrolière pour la
défense des intérêts communs
(Epozop). L’association regroupe des paysans de la zone
pétrolière du bassin de Doba,
au sud du Tchad, avec pour
principal objectif amener les
exploitants pétroliers à dédommager les populations.
Dommages
Les dommages causés par
l’exploitation pétrolière à la région de Doba au sud du Tchad
sont énormes. Allant de la pollution de l’environnement aux
violences
inter-ethniques
causé par les rivalités qui naissent autour de ces richesses qui
restent des mirages, en passant
par les maladies infantiles. Entre les mois de mai et juin 2003,
souligne Mme Dénénoudji
«quarante et un enfants soufrant de vomissement dans
vingt villages du canton de
Komè ont été enregistrés. Et il
en est ainsi presque dans les
neuf cantons». A défaut de citernes, de puits et de château
d’eau, les carrières creusées et
abandonnées sont devenus
des réservoirs… d’eau polluée,
les populations n’ayant aucun
autre recours faute d’installa-
Le président Déby (au centre) inaugurant les installations qui font entrer le Tchad dans le cercle
des producteurs de pétrole.
tion de rétention d’eau voire de
puits. Et ces réservoirs sont
aussi des mouroirs ou se noient
les enfants qui viennent y jouer.
Les rares sources d’eau naturelles, comme celle du village de
Mampon, traversées par les pipelines, sont devenues impropres à la consommation, mais
aussi inaccessibles du fait des
installations électriques à haute
tension.
De même, les terres sont
devenues si pauvres que les rares espaces disponibles ne sont
plus productifs. Les arbres fruitiers meurent, l’élevage est devenu quasiment impossible.
Lorsque les animaux s’aventurent vers les sources d’eau pour
se désaltérer, ils meurent plus
tard. Les revendications des
femmes pour exiger le forage de
puits sont restées sans échos.
Et comme si tout cela ne suffisait pas, les violences ethniques
entre les éleveurs nomades du
Nord venues faire fortune dans
les installations pétrolières et les
autochtones deviennent récur-
rentes et se soldent par des
morts et des dégâts matériels
importants. «Le 27 octobre 2003,
par exemple, les affrontements
inter-communautaires ont fait 10
morts, 48 blessés, 202 maisons
brûlées et plusieurs centaines de
sans-abri», témoigne Mme
Dénénoudji. Désillusionnés par
l’absence du paradis rêvé, les
«étrangers», constitués en nouvelle communauté, se livrent à
l’abattage des arbres pour en
faire du charbon ou pour de la
sculpture. Rien que des stratégies de survie. Sur le plan
environnemental, la catastrophe
écologique qui plane sur les
neuf cantons rappelle le drame
de la région Ogoni au Nigeria.
Et les promesses d’hier ?
«Là où l’on doit construire des
classes pour tout un cycle scolaire, à peine trois classes sont
sorties de terre», dénonce Mme
Dénénoudji. Mais la mobilisation des populations flouées
n’a pas été vaine. Sous la pression d’Epozop et du député de
la région de Doba, les popula-
NOIRS BRÉSILIENS ET FORUM AFRICAIN
La place du «frère» toujours vide
La tente du Mouvement noir unifié. Les Brésiliens y attendent
les Africains.
«Nous avons monté cet
espace dans l’espoir de le partager avec les Africains. Mais
comme vous pouvez le voir, nos
frères de la mère Afrique ne
sont toujours pas là. Les bu-
reaux qui leur sont réservés
sont vides», se lamente Emir
Silva, membre de la coordination nationale du Mouvement
noir unifié (Mnu). Fondée en
1978 en réaction au racisme
dans le milieu sportif, cette organisation a participé à toutes
les éditions du Forum social
mondial (Fsm) à Porto Alegre,
dans le cadre de sa lutte pour la
promotion des Noirs brésiliens,
mais aussi pour rencontrer et
échanger avec les Africains.
«Lors du premier Forum
social mondial, le Mnu a pu
établir un dialogue avec des
mouvements anti-racistes africains. Les deuxième et troisième forum ont été marqués
par une relation bien articulée avec le Comité africain et
nous avons même travaillé
dans le même espace. Ces
échanges nous ont permis
d’aborder des questions d’intérêt commun», indique Emir
Silva. Le responsable du Mnu
rappelle, par ailleurs, un résul-
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - n° 3 - PAGE 3
tions ont été dédommagées.
«Les plantations détruites ont
été payées à 550 000 F Cfa le
pied de manguier, 263 000 F
Cfa celui du néré, 162 000 F
Cfa le pied de karité et à
109 000 F Cfa celui du tamarinier». Mais les paysans, une
fois dédommagés ont multiplié
les noces et les ripailles pour
vite se retrouver dans le dénuement total. Et pourtant les conseils des Ong ne manquaient
pas, les invitant à ouvrir des
comptes et y déposer l’argent.
Aujourd’hui, Essor se satisfait d’avoir dédommagé les
victimes. Mais pour Mme
Dénénoudji, les clauses de la
«compensation communautaire» ne sont pas respectées à
100 %, ce qui amène les populations à continuer de revendiquer de meilleures condition de
vie, des routes, des hôpitaux,
des écoles, de l’eau potable, de
l’électricité, des habitations et
de l’emplois. Pendant ce temps
Essor accumule les bénéfices.
Hippolyte DJIWAN
tat concret lors du Fsm 2003 :
l’articulation du Comité international pour la réparation des
torts causés par l’esclavage,
institution initialement créée par
seize pays africains.
Ce forum 2005 n’a pas encore donné lieu à une nouvelle
rencontre afro-brésilienne. Le
Mnu est bien présent à Porto
Alegre comme en témoignent
les trois tentes qu’elle a montées à une centaine de mètres
du Gazomètre. L’une abrite des
expositions artistiques et culturelles et les deux autres peuvent accueillir des débats et des
projections de films. Mais le
leader noir brésilien ne se décourage pas. «Par manque d’articulation, la débat n’a pas pu
se poursuivre à Mumbai. Nous
espérons pouvoir nous réunir
à Porto Alegre avant la fin du
forum et consolider ce comité
avec les représentants africains», conclut-il
V. MONTEIRO
5e Forum Social Mondial
Porto Alegre, 26 - 31 janvier 2005
FSM 2007 JÁ TEM CANDIDATOS
Mali e Quénia na corrida
Taoufik ben Abdallah, du Forum social africain, entouré d’Antonio
Martins du Fsm et Muhti du Forum social indien, à Lusaka. Le
lien se construit entre les mouvements sociaux du Sud.
PREPARATION DU FSM 2007
Le compte a rebours à
commencé pour l’Afrique
Ficeler un dossier à transmettre au Conseil international
du Forum social mondial avant
avril prochain, trouver un pays
disposant d’infrastructures capables d’accueillir des milliers
de participants et dont l’environnement politique permet
d’abriter l’événement en 2007,
mobiliser les populations locales pour donner à l’événement
un cachet mémorable. Cet
agenda qui attend les Africains
au sortir de ce 5ème forum social
mondial de Porto Alegre est
important.
Les altermondialistes africains se disent confiants et capables de relever le défi, en dépit du temps relativement court
qu’il leur reste. «Nous n’avons
pas le choix, parce que la décision d’organiser le prochain
forum en Afrique est prise par
le Conseil international. Nous
avons accueilli cette décision
avec enthousiasme et conviction, donc aujourd’hui nous
sommes interpellés ; c’est un
défi et nous sommes résolument
engagés à le relever», promet
Hélène Rama Niang du Forum
social africain. Et de ce point
de vue, elle pense qu’au sortir
de ce forum de Porto Alegre «la
première tâche consistera à
mettre sur pied les comités qui
vont travailler pour matérialiser la tenue du Forum social
mondial en Afrique de la
meilleure manière qui soit.
C’est-à-dire avec toute la logistique qu’il faut, toute l’organisation qui sied, mais aussi
tout le processus de réflexion
pour arriver à un bon contenu
en terme de programme».
Un avis partagé par le Tunisien Bédoui Abdeljelil, pour
qui «il importe de se mettre au
travail tout de suite au sortir
de ce forum. On va programmer une réunion du Conseil
régional du Forum social africain très prochainement et
chacun va apporter des propositions», confie-t-il. Pour
Taoufik Ben Abdallah, membre
du Secrétaire du Forum africain,
il n’y a pas à s’alarmer par rapport au montage du dossier.
«On n’est pas obligé de tout
ficeler avant avril. Il faut seulement entamer le processus
avant. Il faut identifier le pays
et continuer à travailler», rassure-t-il. Ajoutant que le travail
dont il est question consistera
à organiser les discussions
autour des processus préparatoires 2006 et 2007.
Si le Maroc est admis pour
accueillir le forum régional intermédiaire de 2006, les
altermondialistes africains
n’ont pas en revanche tranché
sur le choix du pays devant
abriter le Forum mondial de
2007. Même si, par ailleurs, des
candidatures ont commencé à
être enregistrées. Notamment
celles du Mali annoncée de façon informelle et celle du Kenyan.
La liste reste néanmoins
ouverte. «Toutes les candidatures sont les bienvenues, le
Conseil africain va statuer
pour regarder selon nos critères quel est le pays susceptible
d’accueillir l’événement. Et
après cela, nous aviserons nos
autres collègues du monde
pour annoncer la nouvelle»,
explique Bakary Fofana de la
Guinée, qui pense cependant
que sur cinquante-quatre pays
africains, seule une quinzaine
peuvent effectivement abriter
un événement d’une telle envergure.
Dans la perspective du
choix du pays hôte, «les critères qui seront mis en place par
le Forum social africain vont
être très rigoureux. Il faut, entre autres, que le pays dispose
d’infrastructures adéquates et
que son environnement politique soit ouvert à ce genre de
manifestation. Nous devons
réussir notre forum social mondial. Il y va de la crédibilité du
continent, il y va de la crédibilité du mouvement social et de
la crédibilité du forum social
mondial», estime M. Fofana.
Ousseini Issa
Quénia e Mali são, até
agora, os únicos países africanos que se disponibilizaram,
ainda que não oficialmente, a
acolher o próximo Fórum Social
Mundial, que decorrerá no continente em 2007. Ontem, 28, o
Fórum Social Africano, numa
demostração de vitalidade e
força, fez a restituição de Lusaka e apresentou ao mundo –
os europeus e brasilerios presentes na sala de conferência
superavam os africanos em
número –os temas que são
actualmente objecto de preocupação e de elaboração de
alternativas em África.
Mostrar a dinámica que
existe em África, apresentar os
temas que são objecto de
reflexão e de elaboração de
alternativas. Foi isso a
restituição do FSA de Lusaka
de Dezembro passado. “O
movimento social africano
trouxe as suas preocupações e
falou da luta que está
desenvolvimento na busca de
alternaticas para libertar a
África. Fez-se isso através do
debate de alguns temas que
consideramos prioritários como
por exemplo, a questão da
dívida, os conflitos, os recursos
naturais, a agricultura, a economia social, o relacionamento
com as instituições internacionais, de entre outros, com
experiências reais vividas um
pouco por todo o continente”,
sintentizou Bakary Fofana, de
Guiné Conacry.
O mote para os debates foi
dado por Virgina Setshet (África
do Sul), que falou do
relacionamento da África com
as instituições financeiras
internacionais. Em tom crítico e
com grito de instigação à
resistência, Vírginia Setsheti,
denunciou a submissão do
continente negro por causa do
peso da sua dívida e apelidou a
forma como essas instituições
se relacionam com a África de
´terrorismo económico´. Já
Thomas Dave, Mwengo,
preferiu central o seu discurso
na cumplicidade dos lideres
africanos que acatam as regras
definidas por essas instiuições
ignoram o lado social e, como
alternativa, apresentou um
programa lançado em Lusaka
denominada “suspender as
negociações”.
A resistência defendida
por Virginia e alternativa
apresentada por Dave é importante, mas João Baptista, da
Liga Jubilee Angola, prefere
realçar a relevância do espaço
e a presença de organizações
de todo mundo para falar de
suas propostas e iniciativas na
Continua pá gina 5
FSM e as feiras
Uma das actividades praticadas durante
os fora sãoas feiras dos livros e outros
objectos necessários para enriquecer a ideia
de um outro mundo diferente e melhor para
a maioria doscidadão.
Temos que reconhecer que a realização
dos foras sociais em Porto Alegre
tranfornaram-se oportunidades de turismo
e negocios. Os hoteis ficam lotados, os
retaurantes e as lojas registam um
movimento sem precedente e há ainda as
pessoas aproveitam e ficam para ver e
participar do carnaval. Felizmente, não são
somente os os grandes negocios que
aproveitam o forum
social. São sobretudo os vendedores
ambulantes de produtos alimenticios e
bebidas tais como farrofa, maçarroca,
pamonha, sanduíches água, sucos e outros
produtos tipicos da região ou do Brasil
inteiro que tiram proveito desse evento.
Nesse mercado paralelo, encontra-se
ainda, os produtos exóticos e o artesanato
local, como por exemplo, colares, braceletes,
aneis, produtos de cerâmica,pintura e outras
quiquilharias feitas por autenticos hippies
que otam o acampamento juvenil.E não é
por acaso que tanto o Germano Rigotto,
Governador do Rio Grande do Sul, estado
onde Porto Alegre é a cidade capital e o
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - n° 3 - PAGE 4
proprio Presidente Lula declararam
abertamente que, para eles, o Forum Social
Mundial não devia sair de Porto Alegre.
Voltanto para a feira em si, o espaço é
ocupado desde grandes editoras até
pessoas particulares. E para algué como eu
vindo de um país que utiliza a lígua
portuguesa como expressão oficial e que não
edita livros de uma forma desejável, vir a um
forum social no Brasil passa necessarimente
por uma obrigatória visita aos locais onde
se vende livros, concretamente pela na feira
do forum. Ha escolha e diversificada desde
temas desde sociologia, passando pela
historia até a literatura infantil encontram
espaço aqui e são vendidos por um preço
economicamente sustentável. Os autores
também variam, sobre Leonardo da Vinci,
Marx, Paulo Freire, Noam Chomski, etc.
Aacabei de consultar uma nota de
lançamentos e vi que esta sendo apresentado neste momento um livro pela Cortez
Editora sobre o Forum Social Mundial 2005.
Trata-se de um manual de uso que conta
com a participação de Chico Whitaker, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, José Correia Leite
e Oded Grajew. Como todo o afixionado por
livros, quero terminar de escrever este artigo
para poder participar neste particular evento.
Viriato TAMELE
5e Forum Social Mondial
Porto Alegre, 26 - 31 janvier 2005
A LONGA LUTA DOS NEGROS BRASILEIROS
Reparação é a principal reivindicação
Os negros representam pouco mais de 40% da população brasileira.
No entanto, parte dessa comunidade é vítima de exclusão social e
económica. Deste modo, decidiram continuar sua luta no seio dos seus
movimentos, através da religião, da cultura e da educação. O combate
envolve tanto adultos quanto jovens.
No Brasil, “país de todos”,
nem toda a gente parece estar
ao mesmo nível apesar dos
esforços institucionais. « Os
negros não têm acesso a
educação, a universidade, ao
mercado do trabalho. O
racismo no Brasil é um racismo
estruturado», indica Emir Silva,
membro da coordenação
nacional do Movimento negro
unificado (MNU). Esta
organização de esquera negra,
uma das oito mais importantes
do país, foi criada em 1978
devido a atos de racismo contra
jovens atletas. Nunca mais
parou o seu combate denunciando a desigualdade racial no
país.
Para Emir Silva, a exclusão
dos negros notase em todos os
meios de produção e desenvolvimento. « Com a abolição
da escravatura os negros foram
jogados ao relento sem
indemnização. A questão
racial é muito séria, emblemática e crónica e o Mnu mantém
a sua linha de atuação para
que o povo negro consiga
chegar ao poder mas sobretudo que tenha a vez na participação do desenvolvi-mento
do nosso país », lança o
ativista.
Também Pedro Homero, um
aposentado de Porto Alegre e
artista plástico, reconhece a
existência do racismo mas
admite alguns progressos na
luta dos negros. « A gente está
resistindo. Já tem a quota para
os negros, já se pode estudar
na universidade. A gente tem
mais prestígio. Estamos
fortalecendo muito », indicou.
No Brasil como nos Estados
Unidos, a questão das quotas
no sistema educativo é uma
questão polémica. « É uma
questão polémica com vários
entendimentos mas eu gostaria
de deixar nítido que não é um
processo discriminatório e sim
uma porta de abertura para
que o caminho da busca das
reparações seja mais rápido »,
precisa Vera Soares, coordenadora do Forum estadual de
entidades negras. A ativista
negra precisa que as quotas
constituem um primeiro passo
no processo de inclusão e por
conseguinte a busca eterna da
igualdade. « Vamos manter a
caminhada, aumentando o
número das quotas até
chegarmos ao 100% e ter
totalmente as reparações»,
acrescenta.
A defesa da comundiade
negra não é apanágio dos
movimentos de defesa dos
negros brasileiros. A cultura e
a religião também desempenham uma função bem importante e seus promotores não se
coibem em mostrá-lo quer nas
suas oficinas quer nos eventos
internacionais como o Fórum
social mundial (Fsm). Uma rica
literatura abordando temáticas
que vão desde o racismo a
capoeira passando pela música
e a diaspora nasceu há vários
anos e inclui escritores
importantes como Paulo Freire
cujas obras versam inclusive
alguns países africanos (os
títulos “Cartas à Guiné Bissau”
e “A África ensinando a gente
– Angola, Guiné Bissau e São
Tomé e Príncipe” são disso
exemplo).
Cristina Fraga escolheu a
religião para atingir o povo
africanista de Porto Alegre. «
Tenho uma loja direccionada
para o povo africanista: temos
orishás, materiais para
oferenda, guais, amuletos e
fazemos jogos (baralho cigano
e búzio) », nota. Cristina
considera a religião importante
para perpetuar a consciência
negra, « ensinando o que é o
certo e os nossos antepassados,
e principalmente voltando
para aqueles grandes babalorishás e alorishás antigos ».
Já Pedro Homero, encontrou na
pintura o meio de defender sua
cultura « Minha temática é o
africanismo. Sou praticante da
religião africana aqui na
região sul desde o tempo dos
meus avôs e estou fazendo esse
trabalho com Orisha e Oxu por
eu ter um referencial. Acho que
isso me facilita mais na minha
arte », lança.
Enquanto fala, alguns negros
olham para seus quadros.
Outros juntam-se a volta de
livraria improvisada instalada a
uns cem metros do Gasômetro
de Porto Alegre. Há também
quem discute, sorri ou troca
informações. A luta passa-se
pela união.
Vladimir MONTEIRO
Mali e Quénia na corrida
Continuaçã pá gina 4
presença de organizações de todo
mundo. “Estamos a partilhar
preocupação e mensagens que são as
mesmas dessas organizações e a falar
dos mecanismos que temos de utilizar
para atingir o objectivo que queremos,
que é a sua solução”, sustenta Baptista,
des-tacando o trabalho de continuidade
pós Lusaka, o que reforça a esperança
de sucesso em 2007.
Aliás, no entender deste integrante
do Liga Jubileu Angola, é essencial
envolver essas organizações mundial
nas lutas contra a pobreza, redução ou
mesmo abolição da dívida, desconsideração dos reembolsos, tendo em
conta os prejuízos a que o continente
foi submetido ao longo da sua história,
etc. Sobre este último aspecto em
particular, segundo Baptista, essa
batalha terá de ter duas vertentes. De
um lado deve exigir a eliminação total
da dívida e a reparação dos prejuízos e
cobrar cooperação no que tange ao
combate a corrupção, desvios de
recursos e má governação. Com isso,
acredita, pode-se mobilizar os países
europeurs e tocar as consciências dos
seus dirigentes que colaboram com os
líderes africanos que compactuam com
essas práticas lesivas da população.
Nesse contexto, o FSM em África
é quase que uma necessidade. Por exemplo, para Moussa Tchangari, Alternativa
Espaço Cidadania, esta é uma
oportunidade impar para que os
africanos se articulem e trabalhem por
forma a mobilizar os movimentos sociais
e os seus próprios países. “As organizações africanas terão de estar no terre-
Negros querem sociedade sem racismo.
Sonho de jovens...
Wellington
(estudante Matemática – Rio de Janeiro)
Não se pode negar que o racismo existe e está presente
em vários lugares. O sonho do jovem negro no Brasil é
conseguir ser tratado de igual por igual, estudar, trabalhar,
ter filhos, andar tranquilo por todos os lugares e viver
sua cultura. O meu sonho é ver a cultura negra espalhada
e respeitada por todo o Brasil, a nossa religião - o
Ubandismo e o Kandomblé que vieram lá da África – ser
respeitada, ver o negro mais na mídia, nas profissões.
Quebrar essa coisa que negro é só jogador de futebol,
pagodero ou sambista. Não tenho nada contra mas o
negro tem muito valor e o sonho dele é ser respeitado e
mostrar o seu potencial, que ele é igual a todo o mundo.
Elaine (estudante Jornalismo – Rio de Janeiro)
O sonho depende do jovem negro. No meu caso, o meu
sonho é conseguir me realizar profissionalmente, dar uma
vida digna para a minha família e fazer com que os outros
jovens possam ter as mesmas oportunidades que eu tive
até agora e que no futuro as dificuldades que hoje
conhecemos sejam menores. Queremos que haja mais
justiça e menos desigualdade entre a população negra e a
população branca.
no e fazer um trabalho de mobilização
seja através de seminários, foras ou
outras actividades e, apartir desses
movimenos, traçar a dimámica do FSM
2007 em África”, indica Tchangari, para
quem o desafio de fazer o forum mundial
no continente é sobretudo mostrar aos
altermundialistas uma África viva e que
se mexe para solucionar os seus
problemas.
Boas vontades que, conforme
Tchangari, esbarram numa presença
bastante diminuta dos integrantes do
FSA nos vários atelier realizados aqui
em Porto Alegre que, na sua grande
maioria, discutiram problemas que
afectam o continente negro. “O número
de africanos aqui presente traduz o nível
de conscientização e de desenvolvimento dos movimentos sociais africanos e nos mostram que um trabalho
de fundo precisa ser feito. Ainda
estamos na etapa da resistência
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - n° 3 - PAGE 5
parcelada. É preciso agora unir forças
para 2007”. Posição diferente tem Fofana
que considera normal haver mais
africanos nas actividades organizadas
pelo FSA porque, assegura, esta-se a
dialogar e discutir os problemas da
África com outros actores e estes podem
nos passar a sua experiência.
No meio desse debate, o crescimento dos movimentos juvenis nos
países surge como um indicativo da
mobilização que começa a despontar em
África. Esta temática, a juventude,
começou a ser debatida em Bamako, em
2002, foi retomada em Addis Abeba e
consolidade em Lusaka. Actualmente,
segundo Ouatara Dakalia, Costa do
Marfim, está-se a discutir uma cooperação com organizações de juvenis
do Brasil e o alargamento do seu campo
de acção e uma melhor penetração em
todo o continente africano.
Constânça de PINA
5 e Forum Social Mondial
Porto Alegre, 26 - 31 janvier 2005
“Call for extra-territorial obligations on human rights”
By Kimani Ndungu
SPEAKERS at a seminar on
human rights and globalisation have
argued strongly that fundamental
rights can no longer be treated as
the responsibility of individual
states given the negative effects of
globalisation.
Addressing participants at a
plenary session examining the
theme of “Extra-territorial
obligations-The Human Rights
response to globalisation”, Gabriel
Fernades of the Brazilian
alternative agriculture organisation
Assessoria e Serviços a Projetos
em Agricultura Alternativa (ASPTA) said it remained disconcerting
that no obligations are demanded
from multi-national corporations
when they engage in their often
destructive activities in the third
world.
He presented a case study on
the soya bean farming sector in
Brazil, as proof of the devastating
consequences
of
genetic
engineering due to the lack of
regulation of multi-national
corporations.
Citing the introduction of
genetically modified soya beans in
the country by the controversial
American bio-engineering firm
Monsato, he said Brazilian farmers
are now forced to make a choice
between planting conventional
seeds or Monsato’s genetically
modified (GM)ones. Those who
choose the latter receive incentives
such as agricultural credits, seeds
on loan and farming advice.
The soya bean market has also
been turned around to suit the needs
of Monsato and while those who
sell the GM beans receive sixty
Brazilian Cents a kilo. Farmers
who sell conventionally grown
beans are forced to submit their
beans to tests first before their
produce can be accepted. The pay
for conventionally grown soya is
also lower.
Fernades said Monsato’s entry
into the farming sector in Brazil in
1997 was done “under the cover
of darkness” and that the
genetically modified seeds “had
been smuggled into the country”
because government was not
vigilant and there was no law to
deal with bio-engineered foods at
the time. In addition, Monsato had
used millions of dollars to lobby
the Brazilian government and
farmers in order to convince them
that the bio-engineered seeds were
profitable as they would withstand
extreme weather and plant diseases
much better, and produce higher
yields.
It is worth noting that Monsato
has met strong opposition and in
some cases outright rejection in its
attempts to introduce bio-farming
in a number of countries. Most of
Monsato’s activities are conducted
under a shroud of secrecy and for
example in South Africa,
environmental activists are up in
arms against the company’s seed
research work in a remote area in
one of the country’s provinces.
They argue, correctly it would seem
given past experiences elsewhere,
that this is just the beginning and
the multi-national will soon begin
distributing its seeds to farmers
across the country once the right
time comes.
Monsato is notorious for its
production of renowned highly
toxic bio-chemicals such as Agent
Orange which was used
extensively by the United States
to defoliate large tracts of forests
and vegetation during the Vietnam
war, as well as Dioxin, a substance
so poisonous, that it is now banned
by the whole of Western Europe
and the United States.
There has not been sufficient
research into the impact of
genetically modified foods and
Prioritise social justice issues
By Glory Mushinge
“ANOTHER World is possible if Social economic and cultural
rights as well as ethical and social justice issues are prioritised
both in the national and international development agenda,”
the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has observed.
JCTR policy analyst, Jack Jones Zulu observed that
development was only driven by indigenous policies rooted in
human values and the aspirations of the local people themselves,
rather than outside corporate interests.
Zulu notes that there was need for unconditional total debt
cancellation for all heavily indebted countries for poverty
eradication, as well as having increased aid from rich countries,
coming in form of grants and not loans.
“Another Word is possible if global economic governance
puts human needs of all first, rather than the profit motive of a
few,” he stated adding that there was need for genuine
partnership based on democratic ideals between the North and
the South.
Zulu went on to highlight that peace was only promoted
through dialogue, respect for fundamental human rights and
rejection of military might and the arms trade.
He further expressed the importance of gender consideration
in the development process, saying that gender concerns needed
to be made central to sustainable development effort and further
stated that the rights of the youth and the children were basic to
decision-making and plan implementation for a just future.
The environmental question was also part of the declaration
bearing in mind that respect and preservation of the earth was a
guiding principle for all economic decisions, regarding
development.
His organisation noted that it was also campaigning for the
establishment of equitable and progressive trade relations
between the North and the South and all World Trade
Organisation(WTO) arrangements.
JCTR declared that there was need to democratise the UN and
Bretton Woods Institutions in order to break the domination of
the Northern rich countries over the Southern countries as well
as the necessity to have serving all people, especially the poor.
critics have warned that the
alteration of plant and animal DNA
could have far reaching
consequences in the near future.
This could include damage to the
body’s immune and reproductive
systems, birth defects and an
increase in multi-generational
cancers.
Addressing the same forum,
Dennis Matwa from the South
African HIV/AIDS lobby group
the Treatment Action Campaign
(TAC) recounted the struggles
that the movement has waged
against
multi-national
corporations in the bid to make
HIV/AIDS drugs affordable to the
poor.
He stated that since the
formation of TAC in 1998, the
group has used a combination of legal
and popular actions to force multinational companies such as Pfizer to
lower the price of medicines, and also
allow the South African government
to permit the parallel importation of
cheaper generic drugs from countries
such as Thailand.
In some instances TAC has
collaborated with the South African
government in its fight against the
multi-nationals. He gave an example
where TAC supported the
government after it was sued by a total
of forty- eight multi-national
corporations for passing the
Medicines Act of 1997, which
legalised the manufacture of generic
drugs in the country and the parallel
importation of drugs in the event of a
“national health emergency”. The
pharmaceutical companies
accused the government of
violating the country’s patent
laws as well as the World Trade
Organisation’s (WTO), Trade
Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS)
Agreement.
Matwa observed that TAC
has
succeeded
in
internationalising its struggle and
has drawn the support of
activists from Western Europe
and America where these
pharmaceuticals are based. He
said this had been particularly
important in their campaign
against Pfizer as the United
States was strongly supportive
of the company as well as other
US-based drug multi-nationals.
Africa’s curse: Her resources
By Console Tleane
THE shaky truce between the
Sudanese government and the
rebels received a major blow
when government forces
bombed a village in North
Darfur this week. According to
several news sources,
government forces are said to
have bombed the village in
direct violation of the terms
and spirit of the peace deal that
is being negotiated mainly by
the African Union.
“This is the latest of several
serious cease-fire violations in
recent days that are having a
devastating effect on civilians
and severely disrupt our relief
operations,” said Kevin
Kennedy, director of the
Coordination and Response
Division of the UN Office for
the
Coordination
of
Humanitarian Affairs, quoted
by Reuters news agency.
“Thousands of people are
being displaced by the
violence and we’re struggling
to reach and assist them in
very dangerous conditions,”
Kennedy said.
About 100 people were
either killed or wounded
during the attack. Thousands
more have been forced to flee
the village.
The latest violation of the
ceasefire by the Sudanese
government, said to be the
100th, has led to the United
Nations withdrawing its staff
for the troubled Darfur region.
This latest news from the
African continent come at a
time when participants from
the continent at this year’s
WSF are engaged in animated
discussions about how to
bring an end to the continent’s
woes.
For Bakara Fofana, the
continent’s rich natural
resources are also its curse.
Making a presentation at a
special session organised by
the ASF on Resistance and
Alternatives, Bokara drew a
link between the ongoing
conflicts and the continent’s
riches.
“Conflicts on the continent
are the direct result of natural
resources. Africa is a bank of
natural resources. Day after
day new mining and oil
exploration opportunities are
discovered, making the
continent more attractive for
those who would like to exploit its
resources,” said Fofana.
Fofana pointed to the complicity
of western governments and
multinational companies. He
argued that in all conflicts on the
African continent there can be
found the direct involvement of
these
governments
and
companies.
Indeed, we cannot forget the
direct and open support for Jonas
Savimbi’s Unita by respective
USA governments. Neither can
the direct interference and
interests of the French
government in Cote-d’Ivoire be
ignored.
The direct involvement of
diamond companies in most of the
conflicts in Africa have led to the
Kimberley Process, aimed at
stopping what have come to be
known as “blood diamonds” trade
transactions and economies. The
Process, which led to the UN
General Assembly Resolution 56/
263 of February 2002, was seen as
carrying the hopes of many
Africans for an ultimate end to
“diamond conflicts”. Yet, very little
can be shown on the ground
about the progress accrued from
that grand initiative.
Are such initiatives genuine
enough?
Like many others, Fofana
expressed his pessimism at the
ingeniousness of some of the socalled peace initiatives. It is
paradoxical, he said, that it is
mainly those who assisted to
wage wars and conflicts who are
often in the driving seat of socalled peace initiatives. He also
criticised the UN system.
“The major flaw with the UN
system, and others, is that they
seek to bring about stability and
not solve the problem,” he said.
But perhaps the problems
presented by Fofana are even
more complex. It is true that peace
efforts are largely led by the very
powers (mainly western) that had
or have a direct economic interest
in the countries that are afflicted
by conflicts.
Yet, there seem to be an
additional problem that now needs
to be confronted. And the ASF
and other forums will have to
confront this problem – the
hidden interests advanced by
certain African countries
themselves.
While praised for its
commitment to assisting to bring
about peace in conflict-ridden
countries on the continent, the
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - n° 3 - PAGE 6
South African government’s
real interests are now coming
under the spotlight. Just this
week, Pretoria was at pains
to deny accusations that its
real interest in trying to
resolve most conflict
situations is to secure
business deals for itself and
South African businesses.
Despite these denials there
is increasing evidence to
support this assertion. Earlier
this year President Thabo
Mbeki sacrificed New Year’s
celebration in what was
reported to be a peace effort
in Sudan.
The actual, or should we
say hidden or parallel, motive
for such a huge sacrifice was
later revealed when it was
reported that South African
and Sudan have agreed on oil
exploration initiatives.
The country’s influential
business daily newspaper,
the Business Day, reported
the following about the
agreement: “The agreement
was reached during a threeday visit by Mbeki to Sudan
last week and signals SA’s
growing
interest
in
expanding its African oil
exploration activities. SA has
expressed similar interest in
the Equatorial Guinea and
Angolan oilfields.” Mind
you, South Africa is also
actively involved in efforts to
mediate peace efforts in
Equatorial Guinea.
The changing face of
African politics, with some
countries emerging as major
powers in their own right,
presents a challenge for
initiatives such as the ASF,
and activists and analysts
such as Fofana, to also look
critically at all the players and
their interests in so-called
peace initiatives.
Failure to also take a critical
look at the damaging and selfserving role of certain African
powers is as dangerous as
endorsing old stereotypes
that African people like
engaging in conflict because
of their genetic make-up.
Some African countries need
to be added to the list of
those who benefit from peace
efforts.
As Fofana said, economic
interests are central to most
conflicts. And economic
interests remain selfinterested, irrespective of
whether they are pursued by
western powers or Africans.
5 e Forum Social Mondial
Porto Alegre, 26 - 31 janvier 2005
Hip-hop linking Afro-Brazilialns to Africa
in the global struggle against capitalism?
By Magari Mandebvu
FOR a group of youth from the
favela of Belem in Sao Paolo, it
is their point of contact with
their Afro-Brazilian identity and
a point of integration in the
wider world.
They came to Porto Alegre
with a co-ordinator of the
Espaco da Convivencia
Meninos e Meninas do Belem,
Maria Cecilia Oliveira, who
explains that Brazilian hip-hop
has its origins in the AfroBrazilian experience of poverty
and marginalisation.
For a long time it was ignored
by the mainstream culture, but
of late the mass media have
tried to present a more
‘representative’ image of
multiracial and multicultural
Brazil. The trouble is that the
logic of the methods of TV,
radio and other mass media
make it easy to present more
black faces, but automatically
edit, sanitise, commercialise
and usually debase the
message of those black people.
Hip-hop has suffered from
this commercialisation, just as
rap music, originating in the
ghetto, has done in North
America. However, the tradition
still exists in the Hip-Hop
Movement of Brazil, many of
whose member groups are
performing informally at the
Forum. There have also been
analytical discussions of
Brazilian hip-hop, but those did
not speak to the youth the way
the music itself does.
Africa does still have a great
opportunity to help members of
the diaspora in the Americas,
such as the youth of Belem, to
find their identity and their
voice. Afro-Brazilians are nearer
to their real roots than are most
black north Americans: their
musical instruments, their style
of music and dance, their
traditional religion and other
features of their culture show
that it is strongly rooted in
Angola.
They may not know the
ancestor(s) who crossed the
ocean, but they do know where
their original home is. There lies
a great opportunity for Africa,
and especially African
participants at this Forum, to
help these long-lost brothers
and sisters find themselves,
find their voice and strengthen
our common voice declaring
that another world is possible.
Lula successfully wades off protesters
By Viriato Tamele
IN THE morning of 27 of
January, most of the
participants at WSF2005 in
Porto Alegre were converging
at Estádio Gigantino to witness
the launching of the Global Call
to Action against poverty.
I was late and feared that my
entry into Gigantino was no
longer guaranteed. While in the
taxi it was broadcast on the
radio that President Lula, who
was a guest at the launch, was
now heading for the stadium.
My fears increased and I told
the taxi driver to take me
directly to the entrance number
two where my invite spelt out
was reserved for express entry
for invited guests. In an attempt
to find a shortcut, the taxi driver
got lost and we had to go back
and jostle our way in the traffic
jams. Fortunately for me, I
arrived before Lula.
I witnessed crowds outside
the stadium who were
demonstrating against him
alleging that he had changed
since he took over as President
of Brazil. This destabilised me
because I did not know what
was going to happen if this was
going to be the atmosphere
inside.
Entry was punctuated by
anxious moments as I had to go
through what I viewed as tight
security, a price that I had to
pay for seeking VIP treatment
as spelt out on my invite.
Once inside, I could not
ignore the PT red colours on
flags, banners and T-shirts.
There was an electrifying
atmosphere as people danced
to the rhythm of an orchestra
that was performing for guests.
Lula eventually took to the
stage was accompanied by
African Social Forum (ASF)
activists Thomas Deve, Wahu
Kaara and Coumba Toure. The
latter were speakers while the
latter was active behind the
scenes as he was part of a G
CAP hosting committee that
had met President Lula on
Crowd demonstrating over Lula
entering Gigantinho stadium.
This was indeed a proud
moment for Africa and added
to the credibility of the ASF as
a pioneer for the WSF
processes in different parts of
Africa.
Present on the high table
were representatives of the G
CAP, John Samuel and Guy
Rider from the International
Confederation Free Trade
Unions.
Well before Lula arrived an
array of groups were chanting
“Lula” and “100% Lula”
respectively.
And when the man appeared
on stage, certain groups in the
crowed went mad and the noise
they made as a manifestation
of their appreciation delayed
the formal beginning of
proceedings.
Candido Grzybowski of
IBASE, a Brazilian based NGO
and a close associate of Lula
was strategically chosen to
chair the launch.
Candido chronicled how
WSF is promoting the
emerging global citizenship by
dealing with concrete analysis
from multiple participants and
their respective movements. He
noted its pro-activeness and
being more affirmative as
witnessed by the growing
campaigns and expansion into
other different geographical
spaces.
Lula’s speech touched on a
variety of subjects and lent
credibility to the concept that
diversity was a deep ingredient
of the Forum. His speech was
subjected to some continuous
booing, but overcome this
because he said things that
drew an equally enthusiastic
applause from the very same
group that was chanting him
down in the stadium. It was
humbling to listen to him
acknowledging that heckling
was as a healthy development
for him over the past twenty
Samedi 29 janvier 2005 - n° 3 - PAGE 7
years and encouraged this
manifestation to mature into
some positive political force,
which he hoped would speak
to issues that had seen him rise
and become President.
Lula becomes first world
leader to embrace the Global
Call to Action against Poverty
and profile it as a worldwide
alliance of hundreds of
organizations, comprising trade
unions, women’s groups, nongovernmental organizations
and faith groups, spanning
every culture across the world
calling on world leaders to fulfill
their commitments on trade
justice, more and better aid and
debt cancellation hence his
gesture of wearing the white
band, which is the symbol of
the campaign.
Lula said that he was on his
way to Davos and he was
invited to G8 where he promised
to carry the same message he
had shared in Gigantinho.
He mentioned the September
United Nations General
Assembly meeting as a moment
of action that he encouraged
the social forum to influence
the in efforts towards fulfilling
the Millennium Development
Goals. Further he noted that it
was a must for social forum
entities to work towards
democratisation of the UN and
other multilateral institutions in
the world.
He stated that there is a need
to build another world, change
the world trade and other
domestic policies all over the
world.
Finally, while this story has
been told in the African Flame
already, I felt it obligatory to
give personal reflections on the
developments of this day
because this was an inspiring
phenomenon that saw me
dashing backstage where I had
another opportunity of Lula
preparing to leave for Davos.
Almost all present were given
a chance to say something to
him until they were exhausted
thus leaving him to grapple with
all the favours he had to
consider.
Fireworks
in ASF
Council
meeting
By Viriato Tamele
AFRICAN Social Forum council
members walked along the river
Gauíba for almost thirty minutes
at the World Social venue, Usina
do gasómetro to the H area where
they were expected to hold an
Africa wide meeting to finalise how
they were going to prepare
interventions in the 2005 Porto
Alegre international council
meetings. They walked in the heat,
which took its toll when they later
met in numerous heated sessions.
Some chairs, a technician, and
booths without interpreters
greeted those who managed to
locate the advertised venue, factors,
which made it impossible to
proceed with the first Porto Alegre
African Social Forum consultations
according to plans the secretariat,
had proposed.
A change of venue was
immediately announced forcing
most African delegates to head back
to Hotel Novotel, where they had
just left.
Because of this, a whole
afternoon was lost.
Some delegates never made it to
the meeting, as they did not get
details of the venue change.
The agenda was very simple,
evaluation of the last África Social
Fórum meeting held last December
in Lusaka, the participation of ASF
members in WSF 2005 and WSF
2007 in Africa.
This meeting was proposed in
December just after Lusaka and
some members were not able to
attend as the final details of the
preparations were undertaken
during the 2004 end of year festive
Another World
is Possible
27th Thurday, January 2005 - Number 1 - World Social Forum, Porto Alegre (Brasilia)
AFRICAN DELEGATES DURINGTHE WSF
season and beginning of 2005 when
most people were taking a break, a
factor that saw fewer people
attending the meeting.
Edward Oyugi from Kenya
chaired the meeting on its first day.
African activists say no to World Bank and IMF aid
By Diana Mulilo
AFRICANS stood proud to
say NO! to economic
terrorism at one of the ASF
sessions held yesterday.
They demanded that
institutions of international
finance capital should return
back what has been stolen
from the continent.
Speaking during a panel
discussion organised by the
ASF a female activist, Virginia
Setshedi from South Africa,
expressed her concerns at
what International Financial
Institutions (IFIs) where
doing to Africa.
In an implied reference to
efforts by organisations such
as Civicus, which, at last
year’s ASF meeting in Lusaka
tried to promote World BankCivil Society dialogue,
Setshedi emphasised that not
all civil society organisations
have dealings with the IMF
or World Bank. She went on
to emphasise that debt is a
tool for capitalist forces.
“We as Africans must be
puzzled or confused about
whose interests IMF has
been working for,” Setshedi
said.
Setshedi related how, in
South Africa, privatisation
has been wreaking havoc in
communities. Instead of
delivering the goods
promised by government
officials, privatisation has
brought a lot of problems
especially in water, health,
and education provision. It
has
also
caused
unemployment. Its privileges
profits before people. For the
African continent the approach
should be to bring people
before profit.
Most land policies on the
continent were formulated with
a direct influence from the
World Bank, with communities
having no say in the
formulation of such policies.
“Iraq people are suffering
from militarisation whereas
Africa is suffering from
economic terrorism,” observed
Setshedi.
Most often, when Africans
demand for what is rightfully
theirs the IFIs usually come up
with new and enticing
strategies such as Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs),
which are also formulated
without any direct input from
people.
One of the major demands for
the continent must be “an
unconditional cancellation on
debt,” said Setshedi. She also
continued to call on the rich to
invest resources in peoplecentred initiatives such as
health and education.
Setshedi urged civil society
groups to go on demonstrating
their powers by boycotting
these institutions, and start
making it clear that it is them
who owe the continent and not
the other way round. “Civil
society organisations need to
join hands in order to fight
imperialism,” Setshedi said.
Civil society organisations
need to wage a war against
imperialism
and
debt
domination.
Turning to the composition
of the WSF Setshedi
emphasised to participants not
to just enjoy seeing friends and
colleagues at forums but to
ensure that forums like this are
used maximally to advance the
struggle
and
solidify
collaboration.
Thomas Deve, an activist
from Zimbabwe, urged
government leaders to stop
negotiating but instead to start
using Africa’s natural resources
to develop the continent.
Deve also highlighted
problems faced by women on
the
continent.
“The
feminisation of poverty will
continue to grow because
women and children are the
majority of Africa’s population,
hence the reasons for mass
jointed efforts in the mass
struggles,” Deve said.
Deve expressed concerns on
how privatisation of water was
a source of concern because
water is life and people cannot
survive with it.
Hassan Sumonu, a trade
unionist, said African
presidents must make demands
for the stolen monies to be
brought to the continent. These
monies are currently kept in
Western banks. Also, African
governments should be urged
to resist further privatising
resources such as water,
electricity, health, and even
education.
The message from the panel
was clear: Africa must stand up
for her rights and demand what
is rightfully hers. And that
won’t come from the World
Bank or IMF.
He faced a major challenge because
it appeared as if the debates were
charged and emotions were running
high, making facilitation almost
impossible.
The agenda was repeatedly
adopted. But repetition of issues
and positions related to procedures
dogged the day rendering invalid a
number of positions ASF had
sought to harmonise at a brief
evaluation undertaken at the
Holiday Inn in Lusaka just after
the December 2004 annual social
forum.
No equipment for simultaneous
translation was made available
since the venue shifting had been a
hurried move, leading to repeated
interjections and apparent
indiscipline when one evaluates
previous meetings that were held
using
similar
translation
techniques.
The evaluation exercise was logjammed on whether to review the
whole process of ASF starting
from Bamako, where the ASF was
held for the first time in 2002.
It was restated that Zambia had
made major strides and taken ASF
to a greater height, but had also
brought in major set major setbacks
in terms of anticipated support and
mobilisation levels in host country.
At the Mulungushi conference
centre, activists had repeatedly
been disrupted by very loud
sessions that were run by Churches
who had booked the main hall and
a lot of other events, which had
nothing to do with ASF, that were
running parallel to the Forum.
Elsewhere, many NGO leaders
from southern Africa and Zambian
activists were engaged with the
Blair Commission on Africa.
Proceedings raised governance
questions in ASF, reviewed the
effectiveness of the Forum’s
commissions established after the
Cairo meeting before finalising the
Porto Alegre 2005 programme.
The burning question that tore
apart delegates revolved around
methods of work the ASF
processes had triggered and
whether these had produced the
intended results.
The secretariat was repeatedly
attacked.
Its leadership had argued that the
Council was not helping it develop
good positions in order for it to
democratise decision making in
matters related to critical issues like
the controversial devolution of the
WSF in 2006.
The latter issue was complicated
by the fact that Morocco had
affirmed directly to the
International Council that its
movements were interested in
hosting the African continental
process. This was problematic for
many Council members who were
of the opinion that Africans must
collectively make decisions within
the framework of the African
Social Forum.
The Council paid tribute to all
those that had pioneered the
African women’s court which they
noted had brought new voices into
the ASF and was indeed a tool for
popular participation.
The council was also briefed of
regional and national social forums
that had taken place and all this
pointed towards a stronger
convergence of African social
movements and progressive voices
and organisations in civil society
experienced for example in the
Arabic and Southern Africa regions
and other national platforms like
Senegal, Malawi, Zimbabwe,
Malawi, Morocco and Somalia to
name a few.
But at the end of the day, the
Council was being challenged to
make concrete and move away from
making general criticisms.

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