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Debt relief initiatives and poverty alleviation: lessons from Africa - 22nd SAUSSC

Author

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  • Tommy Fenyes
  • Winston Campbell

Abstract

The 22nd Southern African Universities Social Sciences Conference (SAUSSC) took place at the Safari Court Hotel outside Windhoek on 1-5 December 2001. The main theme was 'Debt relief initiatives and poverty alleviation: lessons from Africa'. Besides the plenary sessions with three presentations concerning the main theme, the conference also addressed the following sub-themes: 1. Poverty and poverty alleviation in the SADC and Africa (five papers) 2. Governments, NGOs and poverty alleviation (five papers) 3. Governance, foreign aid and poverty (four papers) 4. The debt crisis and debt problems (four papers) 5. Impact of the debt crisis (four papers) 6. Environmental and population issues in poverty (four papers) 7. The social and gender dimension of poverty reduction (four papers) 8. Measuring poverty, and poverty and disease (four papers) The keynote address of this important and successful conference was presented by Prof. Earle AS Taylor (University of Namibia). In his presentation, 'Debt, poverty and a moribund Africa: the classics of regression', he elaborated on the existing, tragic situation that, in spite of the expansive land mass and its rich natural endowment and diversities, the African continent still remains the poorest in the world. With the exception of a few countries, the health and quality of life indices have been receding steadily; technology has made few inroads; development is staid; social services are stagnant or backsliding; and debt service is substantial, staggering and soaring. Taylor vividly examined the cumulative and longitudinal determinants of his serial regression and attempted to chart a new trajectory of hope within the eccentric and rapidly neoglobalising economic system. BC Chikulo (University of North West) presented a paper entitled: 'Debt and development in Africa: problems and prospects', in which debt was presented as the main obstacle to development in sub-Saharan Africa. In response to the debt crisis, the G8 countries have adopted debt-reduction policy measures. Partly because of this, a heightened recognition of the negative impact of debt on socio-economic development has emerged, leading to alternative prescriptions by the nascent African Union (AU). The author warned against begging donors and argued that partners and investors would have to play increasingly important roles in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommy Fenyes & Winston Campbell, 2003. "Debt relief initiatives and poverty alleviation: lessons from Africa - 22nd SAUSSC," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 545-549.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:20:y:2003:i:4:p:545-549
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835032000124538
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