A Proposal of Forming Tanzania Social Forum (TSF)

Globalization /People /Society - Thu Oct 21 2004 Source: Afro-nets mailing list

X http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/2341.html (external link)

From: Mwajuma S. Masaiganah

Launching of Tanzania Social Forum will be continuation of the Africa Social Forum and Southern Africa Social Forum that take place annually since Bamako, Mali and Lusaka, Zambia respectively.

"Another Tanzania is Possible"

Background

Efforts of Tanzania to prevail over poverty, disease and illiteracy have, since independence, remained the focus of national planning strategies and development goals. Tanzania's choice of socialism, and latter, of forced capitalism, as a public development policy strategy, all seem to have proved futile. Under- development scourges whose such causes and effects have remained externally as colonial legacy and the prevailing North-South? institutional and structural set up; and internally as attitudes and low hardware, organoware and software productive capacities, have propelled the far-reaching reversal thrust against endeavors to eradicating poverty and lessening of vulnerability.

Indeed, never have the World Bank and, or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sponsored and led fiscal and monetary (macroeconomic) policies, of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs), in their originality, down the road to the hybrid, Poverty Reduction Strategy Programmes (PRSPs); and finally globalisation, seem to be helping Tanzania solve her development and poverty problems, now and, or in the future.

Tanzanians need to do, and they must act now to attain best practices in governance and democracy; provision of education and health services; clean and safe water; human security including food security; high employment levels and the affordable external debt burden, to mention only a few social, political and economic performance indicators. BUT, as scourges of poverty are not Tanzania phenomenal exclusive, but again, the symbolic nature of all highly indebted poor countries, apparently the least developed countries, it is imperative therefore, for Tanzania to be cognizant of this fact and tie her efforts with those of counterparts worldwide.

Hence launching of Tanzania Social Forum (TSF) will be continuation of the Africa Social Forum(ASF) and Southern Africa Social Forum (SASF) that take place annually since Bamako, Mali (2002) and Lusaka, Zambia (2003) respectively. The ASF is a prelude to the World Social Forum (WSF) that was now an annual event that deliberately organised to coincide with the World Economic Fo- rum. The World Economic Forum is a gathering of rich nations and powerful corporations from the North whom makes key decisions on global policies. The timing of WSF is meant to signify civil society voices opposing the high level profit motivated deliberations at the expenses of poor countries and their citizens.

Following the Africa Social Forum Bamako meeting participants resolved to establish sub-regional and national fora as a way of ensuring that anti-globalisation; anti-capitalist and anti neoliberal voices are raised by the people affected by the corporate dominated globalisation process.

Organizational Structure

The Tanzanian Social Forum will be a stakeholder's process organized by a coalition/network of organizations, individual organizations, mass movements and individuals that subscribe to the principles and ideals of the Southern Africa, Africa and World Social Fora and are opposed to globalization, capitalism, and neo-liberal policies that advance market forces at the expense of human life and the environment. There will be a Steering Committee (SC) that will be charged with the responsibilities of making all decisions and oversee the running of the forum.

The Tanzania Social Forum is an open meeting place reflecting thinking, democratic debates of ideas, formulation proposals, free exchange of experience and inter-linking effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo-liberalism, domination of the world capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful and peaceful relationships among humankind and between it and the earth.

The forum seeks to:

  • Provide Tanzania with a platform for social activity to strengthen popular and participating democracy;
  • Critically challenge the impoverishment, gender inequality and discrimination, high levels of corruption, social insecurity, violence, unconstitutional governance, HIV pandemic (alternative approaches);
  • Build a national solidarity network around issues of social, political and economic justice;
  • Create a coalition that will guarantee effective participation in the annual Tanzania Social Forum process, Southern Africa Social Forum, Africa Social Forum and the World Social Forum.

Thematic Focus

The Tanzania National Social Forum thematic focus will include Democracy, Gender, Labor, Debt, Youth, Trade, Arts and Culture, Information and Communication Technologies, Peace and Security, HVI/AIDS, Land Reform, Environment, Agriculture and Food Security, Governance, etc.

Participation

Participation at the Tanzania Social Forum will be open to organisations, social movements and individuals that subscribe to the ideals and principles of the Tanzania Social Forum Chanter adopted from the Africa and World Social Forum Charter of principles and values. Participation will be informed by organisations, social movements and individuals' opinions about issues arising from their experiences with local environments. Activities through which organisations, movements and individuals can air their views will include inter alia seminars, workshops, marches, testimonies, concerts, speeches, researches, debates, teachins, performances, exhibitions, conferences etc.

Participating organizations, social movements and individuals fund their participation to the Social Forum. The participation fee will be set by the Steering Committee each year and will be disseminated to all organizations that may want to participate.

Secretariat

CSOs which where represented at the World Social Forum 2004 and any other will be responsible for organizing the TSF and will form the secretariat, building and improving on the NGO forum organized by TANGO on an annual basis since 2002 and the Gender Festival organized by FEMACT biannually.

Contact of TSF is TANGO PO Box 31147 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tel./Fax: +255-22-276-2208 mailto:tango@africaonline.co.tz