Resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Note: The links to The Africa Fund no longer work.

 

Posted by
The Africa Fund
June 24, 1998


U.S. Conference of Mayors Calls for Debt Relief for African Countries

The 1,000 member U.S. Conference of Mayors at its 66th annual meeting in Reno, Nevada, adopted a resolution calling on the President and Congress to provide leadership in working toward significant debt reduction and cancellation of debt owed by the poorest African countries.

"By adopting this resolution the U.S. Conference of Mayors is providing important leadership and guidance on U.S. Africa policy while also pointing to the critical link between human development and mutually beneficial trade relationships," said Susie Johnson, Projects Director of The Africa Fund, who addressed the International Affairs Committee at the conference on Africa's efforts to overcome economic obstacles to growth.

The resolution notes that "twenty-two of the world's poorest 30 nations are in Africa, which continues to struggle under a crushing burden of debt." The resolution also notes that debt repayment impedes Africa's ability to meet basic human needs, with many African countries spending more on debt repayment than on education and health care.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan organization of more than 1,000 cities with populations of more than 30,000. Each city is represented in the Conference by its mayor. The resolution's primary sponsor, the Hon. Wellington E. Webb, Mayor of Denver, was joined by Hon. Dennis W. Archer (Detroit, MI); Hon. Emanuel Cleaver II (Kansas City, MO); Hon. Robert B. Jones (Kalamazoo, MI);  Hon. Gary Loster (Saginaw, MI); Hon. Robin Lowe (Hemet, CA); Hon. Meyera E. Oberndorf (Virginia Beach, VA); and Hon. William E. Ward (Chesapeake, VA).


The following is the full text of the resolution:

 

DEBT RELIEF FOR AFRICAN COUNTRIES

1. WHEREAS, twenty-two of the world's poorest 30 nations are in Africa, which continues to struggle under a crushing burden of debt now totaling $323 billion, a significant portion of which is owed to multilateral development agencies; and

2. WHEREAS, many African countries spend more on debt repayment to bilateral government creditors, multilateral agencies like the International Monetary Fund and others than they do on education and health care, spending more than one quarter of their total export earnings on debt servicing; and

3. WHEREAS, debt repayment impedes Africa's ability to meet basic human needs, siphoning away funds needed to strengthen human capacity, weakening civil society and inducing a downward spiral of economic, social and political decline; and

4. WHEREAS, social and economic development are inextricably intertwined processes that are critical to achieving sustainable development and equalizing opportunities for all of Africa's people in the context of harmony and social justice; and

5. WHEREAS, the highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs) debt relief initiative sponsored by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund provides recognition of the debt crisis, it is not a comprehensive strategy to deal with this burden, has so far only benefitted a handful of African countries and does not provide for definitive debt cancellation which is necessary if Africa's cities are to achieve economic growth and engage in mutually-beneficial trade that can create jobs in the U.S. and Africa;

6. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors agrees that the crushing debt burden inhibits trade and is crippling the lives of Africa's people; and

7. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the President and the Congress of the United States to provide leadership in working toward significant debt reduction and cancellation of debt owed by the poorest African countries to the world's richest industrial nations, known as the G-8, and to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

Founded in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa, The Africa Fund works for a positive U.S. policy toward Africa and supports human rights, democracy and development.
For more information contact Susie Johnson or Richard Knight at
The Africa Fund
50 Broad Street, Suite 711
New York, NY 10004.
Phone: 212-785-1024.
Fax: 212-785-1078.
E-mail: africafund@igc.org

 

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

 

Posted on RichardKnight.com

 

[Back to Cancel Africa's Debt] [Home]