NBC-LEO Calls for Cancellation of Africa痴 Debt

Note: The Africa Fund has since merged to form Africa Action. The links below to The Africa Fund no longer work.



Resolution by NBC-LEO



The Africa Fund
50 Broad Street, Suite 711 New York, NY 10004 USA

Tel: (212) 785-0124
E-mail: africafund@igc.org
Web: www.theafricafund.org
For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2000
For more Information contact: Richard Knight

National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials

Calls for Debt Cancellation for African Countries

The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) adopted a resolution at its spring conference calling for active debt cancellation and relief for African countries. The resolution urges full appropriation of President Clinton's request for funding of the Cologne Initiative, an international effort of the G-7 industrialized countries to bring debt relief to highly indebted poor countries. The NBC-LEO resolution comes as Congress appears poised to appropriate only a small portion of the money requested for debt relief. NBC-LEO "requests that poor country debt cancellation be supported by the United States to improve the political and economic development of African countries and improve the lives of African people."

The Clinton Administration has proposed a multi-year package for debt relief for the fiscal years 2000-2004 including $320 million for bilateral debt relief and $600 million for multilateral Cologne Initiative debt relief. To date, Congress has done little to support debt cancellation or relief -- last year Congress only appropriated $110 million for bilateral debt cancellation and none for multilateral debt relief. The Senate Foreign Operations bill, now before Congress, has only $75 million for all debt relief for FY 2001 compared to the request of $435 million for multilateral debt relief ($210 million for FY 2000 and $225 million for FY 2001). The House Foreign Appropriations Committee, scheduled to take up the matter on June 13, is expected to adopt no more than one-third of the Administration request.

"By adopting this resolution stressing the importance of appropriating full funding for debt relief and cancellation the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials is providing important leadership and guidance on U.S.-Africa policy," said Jennifer Davis of The Africa Fund. Davis addressed the spring conference on the African debt crisis at the invitation of NBC-LEO President Cleveland City Council Member Roosevelt Coats.

NBC-LEO, with members in 34 states, is a caucus of the National League of Cities working to influence national policy positions to promote the special interests and needs of the African American community. The Africa Fund, founded in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa, works for a positive U.S. policy toward Africa and supports African human rights, democracy and development.

The following is the full text of the resolution:

National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials

Resolution Supporting Debt Forgiveness and Relief For African Countries

March 12, 2000 at Washington. D.C.

WHEREAS the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) is committed to economic and social justice for Africa and to the importance of Africa for NBC-LEO and its constituents; and

WHEREAS Africa is laboring under a debt burden that stifles life, economic progress, and political stability; and

WHEREAS the debt burden translates into $400 for every African man, woman and child on a continent where the average annual wage for most countries is less than $400 per person; and

WHEREAS African countries cannot move forward with needed modernization and improvement of the lives of African people with this continuing debt burden; and

WHEREAS it is in the interest of all cities and their citizens that poverty reduction in Africa be supported by the United States; and

WHEREAS after hundreds of years of exploitation of Africa's natural and human resources, modern African nations lack the ability to repay international debt incurred for survival in the aftermath of this exploitation; and

WHEREAS thirty-five of the world's forty most debt burdened countries are in sub-Saharan Africa; and

WHEREAS in response to the international campaign for poor country debt cancellation, the leaders of the G-7 adopted the Cologne Initiative in June, 1999; and

WHEREAS the Cologne Initiative includes a provision for deeper relief of more highly indebted poor countries and President Clinton has requested supplemental funding from Congress to meet the United States' commitment made at Cologne in connection with this debt eradication plan;


Section One. The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials supports full funding for the Cologne Initiative to address debt reduction and debt elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.

Section Two. NBC-LEO urges the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to include $210 million for the fiscal year 2000 supplemental bill for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Trust Fund.

Section Three. NBC-LEO urges full approval of the $600 million for the HIPC Trust Fund over the next three years consistent with the Cologne Initiative.

Section Four. NBC-LEO requests that poor country debt cancellation be supported by the United States to improve the political and economic development of African countries and the lives of the African people.

ADOPTED BY THE NATIONAL BLACK CAUCUS OF LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS this twelfth day of March, 2000, in Washington, D.C.

Roosevelt Coats, Council Member, Cleveland, Ohio

President, NBC-LEO




Posted on RichardKnight.com


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