The African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) is a civil society organization established in 1996 as a regional platform and organization for lobbying and advocating for debt cancellation and addressing other debt related issues in Africa.
Over the years, AFRODAD has worked and re-positioned itself as an instrumental and key player in influencing policy makers in national governments and their institutions at regional and global levels. AFRODAD’s focus has encompassed the use of economic resources for development.
AFRODAD activities majorly focus on Debt Management, Development Aid, and Economic Governance. It has used research, advocacy, networking and capacity building as key strategies in its programme and institutional development work. Below are enumerated milestones and success stories as witnessed over the years.
- Strengthening of the extractive industry revenue management through: capacitating Members of Parliament on revenue management and Natural Resource Governance in Swaziland and through the 2016 Summer School attended by Members of Parliament from South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, and Namibia. Informed parliamentarians have been able to perform their roles in parliament on issues to do with governance of natural resources.
- Identification and selection of AFRODAD as the main presenter during trainings (Summer schools) of members of parliament on Natural Resource Governance in Southern Africa.
- Domestication of Africa Mining Vision. A broad consensus among multi-level stakeholders at the Pan-African level, national governments, civil society, Mineral companies and the private sector on the importance of a continental Mineral sector governance framework based on the Africa Mining Vision (AMV).
- Stimulation and fostering of a collaborative relationship between state and non-state actors, particularly African civil society, at the continental, regional and national levels for civic oversight over the governance of Mineral sectors.
- Contribution to advocacy efforts for the adoption of the Nairobi Outcome document of the Global partnership for effective development co-operation from the Second High Level Meeting on Aid effectiveness held in 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.
- AFRODAD developed Aid profiles for Africa that have given status of African debt using the African Union Commission classifications.
- AFRODAD successfully secured funds to do Privatization research work in 10 SADC countries in 2017 following its production of a policy briefing titled “Public Private Partnerships of Health and Education sectors; Are the poor in the Analogy?” which noted that government should continue to provide basic health and education services to its people and embrace private participation in these sector with a regulatory eye.
- AFRODAD research and publications have been widely used by researchers in different countries. The analysis has also been used by governments including the government of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania.
- AFRODAD is recognised as a leading African institution on debt and development by the UNDP, NEPAD and the African Union at continental level as well as by global networks on debt and development with whom AFRODAD has organised joint activities and/or has been called to participate in high level meetings and panels.
- AFRODAD’s work on Aid Effectiveness has been recognised globally as well as regionally. AFRODAD is a member of the global coalition on AID Effectiveness. At regional level, AFRODAD cooperated with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Planning and Coordinating Agency in hosting African meetings on AID effectiveness and coming up with the Africa Position. AFRODAD was also part of the United Nations (UN) high level panel on Aid effectiveness.
- AFRODAD successfully launched a programme to promote domestic resource mobilisation through tax justice and extractive industries.
It has successfully steered itself from a network of partners to a research hub working with organizations at local and international level and successfully created internal capacity to do research.
- AFRODAD has gained globally recognition and is part of the global technical working groups to identify the best debt arbitration mechanisms.
- There has been improved and reliable source for Research and a reliable source for advocacy messages for CSOs through AFRODAD’s compilation and updating of 30 African countries debt profiles and disseminating Debt Profile Reports on various fora.
- Better understanding of the AFRODAD’s Borrowing Charter principles as a result of its launch in Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland and Kenya.
- Improved understanding on Policy Advice on the necessary and required interventions for better sustainability outcomes and improved
- Transparency and Accountability by the Southern African Governments in Loan contraction and Debt Management in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. This has been achieved through updating of domestic debt profile Reports for Botswana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho and Angola
United Nations considered establishment of fair and transparent arbitration mechanism (FTAM) on sovereign debt through calling for the creation of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring. among countries. This was possible through AFRODAD’s work and demands on an international debt-workout framework.
- Establishment of in country dialogue on policy framework for publicly supported private finance in Africa through AFRODAD’s organised policy dialogue on Publicly Supported Private Financing (PSPF).
- The Zambian government and private sector committed to improve accountability, transparency on PSPF investments and to improve the existing regulatory and institutional framework that governs PSPF. This follows the establishment of in country dialogue on policy framework for publicly supported private finance
- There has been more amplification of CSOs demand on African governments to reduce the financing gap that most African countries are experiencing. This was made possible through increase in knowledge amongst civil society on the implications of illicit flows
- AFRODAD became a lead author of a chapter in the United Nations Development cooperation report for 2014.
- Improved relationship between AFRODAD and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe which has acknowledged its valuable work and shares the same view on some of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issues.
- Resolution by the Zambian Government Officials to advance effective oversight on public finance and promote principles of responsible borrowing in the country through the entrenchment of a clear legal framework/an Act of Parliament that enhances the oversight role of the Parliament.
- Improved oversight, transparency and accountability by the Ugandan and Namibian government in loan contraction and debt management processes.
- AFRODAD’s work has been recognized by New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU) which invited the organization to make presentations at various meetings including at the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) summit.
- AFRODAD’s was contracted by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on behalf of the NEPAD Agency to develop the African Mutual Accountability Report to help strengthen Africa’s capacities in the development of domestic and mutual accountability systems and institutions
- The AFRODAD’s engagement with African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) made it possible for them to monitor development aid from the emerging lenders and also monitor the implementation of such agreements.
- AFRODAD’s work in Tanzania saw the Tanzanian parliament resolve on facilitation of debates focused on public debt in parliamentary sessions. Constitutional reforms were also informed by the AFRODAD Borrowing Charter and findings of the Domestic Debt study. All this follows AFRODADS research study on Tanzania domestic debt.
- Increased knowledge and understanding among members of the public on government debts following translation of AFRODAD’s study report on domestic debt into Swahili and being shared to the wider Tanzanian public.
- AFRODAD's Borrowing Charter was used in Liberia, a country emerging from conflict as model in country reforms it financial system. This underscored the significance of the charter as an important public finance management tool.
- Sussex University has AFRODAD publications in its library. This exposes AFRODAD research and positions to a global pool of students and academicians.
- Improved information exchange through joint CSOs strategizing and lobbying for policy demands and exchange of best practices as well as building capacities on the issue of debt and with a wide publications distribution of close to a 1000 copies.
- Raised awareness amongst African policy makers on best practices and guidelines on responsible borrowing. More knowledge and better understanding on Monetary and Financial Affairs on principles and guidelines of prudent sovereign borrowing and loan contraction with the use of AFRODAD’s Borrowing. This follows the launch of AFRODAD’s Borrowing Charter in the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa and its production in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic and Swahili languages.
- AFRODAD has been elected as the Southern African Regional representative to the Global Accountability Cluster Committee. This is due to its active participation in the aid effectiveness trajectory
- The organization successfully coordinated the establishment of the Zimbabwe Network Against Illicit Flows (ZiNAIF) that comprises of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), Transparency International Zimbabwe (T I - Z), t h e Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) and AFRODAD. The Network has a huge impact in influencing and stirring up debate on illicit financial flows from Zimbabwe.
- AFRODAD’s efforts on policy change saw the commitment of renegotiation of Kayelekera Uranium mine mining contract between the Government of Malawi with Paladin Energy, owners of Kayelekera Uranium mine. This follows research findings and policy recommendations from AFRODAD’s commissioned research in 2012 and a report published in 2013 on the Revenue Costs and Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment in the Extractive Industry in Malawi.
- Renewed development of and discussion on alternative models of domestic debt management in at least one country. The Government of Zimbabwe established a Debt Management office as part of broad reforms to improve the conduct of debt management in the country.
- Enhanced and collaborative partnerships between AFRODAD and its partner organizations. MOUs with other CSOs were prepared after AFRODAD received letters of interest from each of the respective organizations. By coordinating with other Civil Societies, AFRODAD now has a means to carry forward lobby and advocacy activities at local level in the respective countries.
- Training of Members of parliament of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya and Swaziland on their role in government borrowings to effectively play their oversight role on government borrowing.