Background about this movement
The African Economic and Monetary Sovereignty Sovereignty initiative began almost three years ago in preparation for the first conference on The Quest for Economic and Monetary Sovereignty in 21st Century Africa, which was held in Tunis (November 6-9, 2019). An edited volume from the conference will be published by Pluto Press (2021), and a second edition of the conference will take place in Dakar in 2021 (post-pandemic hopefully!). Many of the participants at the Tunis conference urged us to continue building on the conference momentum, and to reach beyond academic and government circles and into civil society movements.
Since the pandemic began, we have seen several declarations about the pandemic effects in Africa, most notably this one from African public intellectuals and and this one from African Feminists calling for deep structural reforms to build more resilience during the pandemic. We wanted to add our voices to this momentum by highlighting the importance of enhancing economic and monetary sovereignty in Africa and implementing an alternative economic development model.
While communicating these ideas to African leaders is important, we believe it is critical that we engage with grassroots movements, NGO leaders, activists, labor organizers, and average citizens, which is why we provided several translations in African languages and other languages from the Global South. We wanted to speak directly to the average person in their own language without the filters of government institutions and mainstream media. We are hoping that this letter will spark a broader public discourse about an alternative economic development policy framework, and that it will provide a coherent anti-austerity narrative for the Global South. We also decided to include several audio readings of this open letter in multiple languages in a genuine effort to reach people who cannot read, people who are visually impaired, and because many native/ancient languages and cultures rely primarily on oral communication.
Available Translations: Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Catalan, Chichewa, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Danish, Dutch, Fijian, Finnish, French, Fulani, German, Greek, Hausa, Hindi, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Italian, Japanese, Kipsigis, Korean, Malagasy, Malay, Marathi, Maya, Northern Sotho, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Southern Sotho, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Wolof, Yoruba.