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Churches want to continue the WSF process in Africa

Tuesday 29 May 2007, by CARITAS and All African Council of Churches

We hope that everybody has nice memories about the last forum and that everybody felt at home in Nairobi.

The Churches of Africa met to evaluate their presence at the World Social Forum and to assess the whole process. After our reflection, we recommend the International Council to choose Africa for the next WSF2009.

Following some of the reasons:

1. We do believe that through the WSF the struggle for social justice in Africa has been accelerated.

2. The WSF has been the baptism of new African social movements and a new civil society able to change the destiny of its continent and with another forum they can grow more.

3. Different actors of the civil society organisations and movements working on the same issues have met in order to organize their presence at the forum and this has created positive synergies and collaborations, another forum can reinforce them and build new ones.

4. Another WSF in Africa will give the possibility to correct all the mistakes done this year and organise an even more effective event.

5. Some issues coming from the WSF were reported by African media and are now in the political agenda, another forum will continue to change the political agenda including in it the concerns of the people.

6. The long presence of the WSF in South America has helped the political change of the entire continent and today we have governments closer to the poor. Therefore, remaining in Africa, the WSF can bring positive political changes in Africa.

7. Africa is the most neglected continent where the contradictions of the neoliberalism are stronger and the effects on the life of people more visible. It is very meaningful that the people constructing alternatives meet here at the epicentre of the struggles.

The Churches have participated massively and actively to the Nairobi Forum working on water and climate change, debt, democracy and good governance, rural and urban poverty, slums, pastoralists’ rights, extractive industries, HIV/AIDS, peace building and reconciliation, and other crucial issues together with other actors to give voice to the voiceless.

We are now writing also to the Africa Social Forum to encourage them to present an African candidature to the IC. The Churches will support an African candidature and are willing to collaborate in the process that hopefully will bring us to meet again in Africa in 2009.

Caritas Africa/AACC Ecumenical Platform Towards the World Social Forum

CARITAS: Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations working in over 200 countries and territories to build a world of justice, peace and spread solidarity across the world. As the social action arm of the Catholic Church, rooted in the gospel and Catholic social teaching, Caritas reaches out in solidarity with all those in need regardless of creed, race, gender or ethnicity.

AACC: The All Africa Conference of Churches is a fellowship of 169 members comprising of Churches and National Christian Councils and Institutions. The membership of the AACC accounts for over 120 million Christians of 39 countries in Africa. Of these 134 are from member Churches and 35 are the National Council of Churches. The work of the All Africa Conference of Churches encompasses the whole continent and provides a broader vision for unity among all peoples.