African labour movement delivers petition to Zambian govt, others on debt crisis, illicit flows


The African labour movement has petitioned African governments like Zambia to make bold and transformative solutions to address the debt crisis.

Through the International Conference of Trade Unions (ITU)-Africa, the labour movement wants African leaders to also deal with financial illicit flows which are on the rise and impacting negatively on economies.

In the petition, ITU president, Martha Molema, noted that the huge debt and financial illicit flows were depriving African countries of the much needed resources for development, as well as increasing poverty levels.

Molema demanded that African governments like Zambia implement debt management policies that prioritize the well-being of citizens.

“Our demands are clear, and our resolve unwavering as we stand in solidarity with workers, vulnerable citizenry and communities affected by the burdens of debt, inequitable trade policies and the climate crisis,” she said.

Molema stated that the policies should contribute to the advancement of women and girls in society while ensuring responsible and sustainable borrowing practices.

She urged Zambia and other African governments to promote domestic resource mobilization through progressive and gender responsive tax policies.

“They should be aimed at broadening the tax base, enhancing collection mechanisms and combating tax evasion and avoidance,” Molema advised.

She also advised that African governments should enhance governance and transparency by combating corruption and improving the management of resources.

Molema noted the need to reduce the size of government to make them efficient and effective, thereby fostering economic growth and financial stability.

“Strengthening governance of mineral resources through the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision and ratification of the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) statute, to maximize the benefits of resource extraction,” she said.

Molema called on the Zambian government to share the country’s experiences with debt management frameworks to provide valuable insights for other African nations, thereby averting similar pitfalls.

She went on to encourage governments to ensure access to justice and remedy for workers, particularly women, by addressing legal barriers, promoting fair remuneration, and enhancing awareness of labour rights and laws, especially within the informal sector.

Read More: Group to hold rally to raise awareness about Zambia, Africa’s debt crisis

“Establishing the Debt Management Unit in government to effectively track the management of debt,” Molema said.

She reiterated the labour movement’s unwavering commitment to pursuing equitable and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing workers and citizens across Africa.

Earlier, Zambia Congress of Trade Union President, Blake Mulala, said Africa needed a debt relief because it had become a sinking boat as a result of the huge debt incurred by careless leaders.

Mulala noted that the huge debt incurred by African countries like Zambia was affecting the performance of their economies and livelihood of the citizens.

Labour and Social Security Minister, Brenda Tambatamba, recieved the petition on Thursday in Lusaka which was also presented to China, Cuba, India, the World Bank and other creditors.

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