A continental workshop on sovereign debt was organized by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung AU Cooperation Office (FES AU) and the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC- Africa), in Dakar, Senegal, 28-29th August 2023. The workshop has convened trade unions to discuss about the ever-growing impact of sovereign debt on workers in Africa and urges the international community to find a sustainable solution to the mounting debt crisis in the continent.
Unions have emphasized the importance of research, education (capacity building) and analysis to deepen advocacy work for inclusive, responsive and efficient debt contracting and management that work for all. Research and capacity building would enable and allow workers and unions needs to identify the causes and warning signs of a debt build-up and crisis - and comes up with a collective strategy to offset its impact. During the deliberation, participants have also highlighted the importance of synergy and collaboration with CSOs and research institutions in Africa and alliance with CSOs and trade unions from the global north to create a solid front against the effects of the crisis.
Thus far, the debt discourse has been dominated primary by state actors and financial institutions and leaves a very limited room for non-state actors and trade unions to engage. This in turn has a created a situation where decisions are made solely to meet the interest of engaged parties, leaving the voice of workers and unions unheard. Colleagues and Comrades urged the international community, in particular the financial institutions to establish a formal line of communication and channel with trade unions when discussing and implementing debt re-structuring programs in Africa, thereby it will address the voice and concern of workers on the ground.
Please find a link to access trade unions statement on mounting Sovereign Debt Crisis and related articles:
For more information please contact Mr. Amanuel Desalegne.