Activists from Eastern and Southern Africa gathered in Nairobi early August to discuss a civil society Economic Policy Project launched by MWENGO, a reflection and development centre for NGOs in the region. MWENGO argues that “there is a wide gap between the far reaching social implications of economic policy on the one hand and the select preserve of those able, in African civil and political society, to participate in serious debate on such policy”. The new initiative aims at exploring ways to increase “capacity for the public to understand issues of economic policy, and to petition for their own economic rights”.
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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