Museum of Black Civilizations
14 November 2022
In the spirit of the Arusha Declaration and the Porto Alegre Declaration we have
come together in Dakar from all corners of the world to face a world in crisis
under the theme of African Economic and Monetary Sovereignty.
We are a group of scholars, policy-makers and activists from Africa, Asia, Europe
and North America, some of us economists, others political scientists, historians,
sociologists and anthropologists. We address this declaration to African
governments, African institutions and external actors and agencies that
constrain Africa’s economic and monetary sovereignty.
Our existing international economic order is at the heart of the contemporary
crises. The Global South suffers disproportionately from these multiple crises.
Africa’s adverse incorporation into the capitalist order is the problem. We are
integral to the system which could not thrive without our exploitation. We
dissent from the dominant paradigm in economics which conceptualizes the
economy in almost quasi-natural terms and describes a benign world devoid of
unequal power relations.
Our global crises are multifaceted: climate breakdown, biodiversity depletion,
pollution, speculative finance, war and rampant inequalities. There is a general
crisis of the neoliberal capitalist order with a turn to a resistant form of
imperialism. Geopolitical turmoil is a dangerous symptom of both.
We do not accept this set of crises but confront and seek alternatives to it in
solidarity with workers, the landless, peasants, women, climate activists and
similar groups. For these reasons, we launch the Dakar Declaration with the aim
of initiating lasting and trusting cooperation with initiatives and movements that
share its spirit.
Ten strategic aims serve as our yardstick for action:
1. Most of our governments will not implement the transformations we
need. We need to become the masses that always push for more.
2. Yet, we need strong states, democratic and responsible states. But even
more than that, we need stronger peoples to defend those states and
push them to always do more for the majority. African states can and
should mobilize African labor and resources to meet Africa’s own needs,
resuscitating the developmental ambitions of the early post-
3. With a world breaking apart into more regional trade blocs, building
regional alliances becomes necessary and possible. The reassertion of our
economic and monetary sovereignty and the subjection of foreign
interests to our internal needs and interests becomes easier. This growth
in policy sovereignty to structurally transform our economies and societies
can enable us to fundamentally tackle long standing issues of poverty,
social development and democratization.
4. We must work to build a new multilateralism where global policy fora and
institutions are inclusive, democratic and reflective of the concerns of the
Global South’s populations.
5. Militarism and imperialism cannot continue to politically mold the world
system. We defend a positive neutralism with respect to the historic
colonial-imperial bloc, and non-cooperation with their interference in
6. Global inequalities arising from ecological breakdown and exposure to
volatilities in finance and commodity prices put the Global South at a
particular disadvantage which we need to overcome.
7. Recurrent debt crises have to end. We need to develop a global approach
to correct the harmful impact of excessive foreign currency debt —
including that issued by the IMF — and odious debts. Widespread, deep,
and swift debt write-downs are essential. They must be focused on
supporting economic transformation.
8. We need to stop the ongoing theft of wealth, committed by transnational
corporations (TNCs), which flows into the Global North when TNCs
transfer their earnings in tax havens and then invest them in financial
markets, all this clothed in the harmless language of “Foreign Direct
Investment”. To that end, measures such as capital controls, restrictions
on tax evasion and illicit financial flows and fair taxation of TNCs must be
actively promoted and implemented.
9. We have to tackle historically persistent inequalities rooted in the
emergence and global expansion of the capitalist system. We also need a
global reparations agenda to address in a fair manner the multifaceted
ecological crisis. We must seek to elaborate this agenda technically,
legitimize it, advocate it, defend it and implement it. We support the
efforts of our African American and Caribbean sisters and brothers in their
specific labors for reparatory justice.
10. We act, teach, research and mobilize in our local and national contexts,
regionally and transnationally. We do these with the aim of building a
lasting movement and acquire real influence in our political processes.
We are calling for a Pan-African, South-South cooperation and global solidarity
for our collective cause. We invite you all to our gatherings during which we
share our experiences, evaluate our progress and plan the next steps. The time