In 2015, civil society organizations in Africa initiated a significant new campaign to address the marginalization of the continent in the global economy. The US-Africa Network is working with allies to build a meaningful response in the United States.
In January 2015, in Addis Ababa, the African Union formally adopted the report of its High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows, chaired by former South African President Thabo Mbeki. The report documented the urgent need to curb the enormous drain of financial resources lost to the continent due to trade fraud, other tax evasion strategies of multinational corporations, and corruption—estimated at more than $60 billion a year.
In June in Nairobi, representatives of six Pan-African civil society networks launched the Stop the Bleeding Africa Campaign, to begin mobilizing citizens around Africa—and around the world—to demand practical action to implement the report. The US-Africa Network was honored to be invited to participate in this inaugural meeting, and was represented by Anyango Reggy and Katherine Philipson. Reggy also delivered an solidarity message at a large event in Nairobi where the campaign was launched.
In November 2015, the US-Africa Network convened a planning meeting in Washington, D.C. with representatives of the Stop the Bleeding Africa Campaign, several U.S. nongovernmental groups, and US-Africa Network participants from several U.S. cities to begin thinking together about how to best mobilize solidarity in the United States. The meeting was a collaborative effort, regarding both developing the agenda and providing the needed funds.
Alvin Mosioma (Tax Justice Network – Africa, Nairobi) and Luckystar Miyandazi (ActionAid International, Nairobi) attended the meeting, and Briggs Bomba (TrustAfrica, Stop The Bleeding Africa Campaign, Dakar and Harare) called in from Harare. Representatives attended from these U.S.-based organizations: the FACT Coalition, Financial Transparency Coalition, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Jubilee USA, Open Society Foundations, Priority Africa Network, and American Federation of Teachers (Chicago). The Solidarity Center of the AFL-CIO also participated in and hosted the meeting. (See photos from the meeting.)
A lively public event was hosted by the Department of African Studies at Howard University where colleagues from Africa and the U.S. could address a larger audience.
Following the planning meeting, the US-Africa Network created two resources about the Stop the Bleeding Campaign which are being used to inform people in the U.S. about the Campaign and to begin to explore the impacts of global corporations on people in both Africa and the United States regarding tax dodging, workers’ rights, and under-funding of development and meeting human needs. Our challenge is to reveal connections upon which we can build effective political solidarity.