WEF on Africa slammed for ignoring civil society voices

WEF on Africa slammed for ignoring civil society voices

SABC article by Fanele Mhlongo on Thursday 27 April 2017 21:20

The People’s Economic Forum (PEF) says it will protest at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Durban next week. The forum comprises a group of community activists and civic organisations.

The forum, which was been launched in Durban on Freedom Day, aims to create a space for people to learn and share information and solutions for economic and financial inclusion.

The People’s Economic Forum (PEF) says they want the voices of the civic community to be heard. They have organised an ideas festival which started on Freedom Day and will end on May 03.

The main issues that are to be discussed at the ideas festival include strategies of radical economic transformation; fees must fall and financial inclusion updates, the World Economic Forum and the country’s junk status.

The People’s Economic Forum has been launched days before the World Economic Forum which will be held in Durban from the 03-05 May.

The spokesperson for the organisers of the People’s Economic Forum, Desmond D’sa, says the PEF is creating an inclusive environment for people to learn and share information about the economy. He says the WEF needs to be opened to the general public as they are the most affected.

“We are marching on WEF because the space is very inclusive; it is exclusive of the civil society and the deliberations and discussions taking place in the WEF will have huge impact in the society many years after they have left because they have bent on the development model that doesn’t create and brings about change and equality in this country. We want to see changes and people can benefit out of the economy and at the moment we do not believe that business as usual is going to help to bring about any changes in the country and benefit the ordinary man in the street.”

D’sa says they are responding to the multiple crises created by political and economic elites.

“Freedom has not reached the ordinary people on the street; if people are still living with the bucket system, people are still being forced and removed out of their home; that really does paint a picture of inequality and oppression and we want to get rid of that with the Constitution. We know that the Constitution of this country guarantees freedom for everybody but it looks like it hasn’t reached quite a substantial amount of our population and on this day we want to echo that it’s time for change and freedom has to reach people. We need to shift the economic programme to ensure that people are part of it. People must be involved in the economy of this country so that lives can change.”

The People’s Economic Forum (PEF) believes ordinary citizens should have been included in the WEF on Africa. More than 2000 delegates are expected to attend the World Economic Forum on Africa at the Durban ICC next week.

SABC article by Fanele Mhlongo on Thursday 27 April 2017 21:20

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