African CSOs, labour activists organise first Africa Week of Action Against Water Privatisation

Civil society and labour activists from Africa campaigning against water privatisation will organise the first-ever Africa Week of Action Against Water Privatisation from October 11-15, 2021.

The week of action, which coincides with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings held from October 11 to 17, will deepen pushback actions against water privatisation in Africa through a partnership of labour and civil society.

Recognising the World Bank as one of the biggest drivers of water privatisation around the world, especially in Africa, the week of action taking place during its annual meeting will serve as an important counterweight to the pro-privatisation agenda. It will bolster the movement for the human right to water in Africa by identifying and deepening connections between struggles in eight countries on the continent.

The Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition, which is organising the week of action, also targets deepening collective support for countries at risk of a range of water privatisation schemes, including across West, East, Central, and Southern Africa.

Activities lined out for the week of action include: an international press conference on October 13; meetings with policymakers across the region; awareness-raising about the dangers of water privatisation through protest marches, social media engagements and town hall meetings with excluded communities, and endorsing of a position statement by the Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition.

Participants at the virtual press briefing will include activists from Cameroun, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. US-based Corporate Accountability, Public Services International (PSI), and a leader of Black Lives Matter, Grassroots will participate. Speakers will include Akinbode Oluwafemi of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, Dr Melina Abdullah of the Black Lives Matter, Grassroots, and Dr Everline Aketch of the PSI. Others are Younoussa Abbosouka of Africa Center for Advocacy in Cameroon and labour activist from Senegal, Oumar BA.

Solidarity statements are expected from members of US Congress, Leo Heller, the second Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, and Professor Sofiri Peterside of the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, among others.

The highpoint of the briefing will be the unveiling and launch of a report – “Africa must rise & resist water privatisation” which catalogues threats of water privatisation in Africa and provides the pathway to addressing the water deficit on the continent within the realm of the public sector. The report makes implementable recommendations targeted at water corporations, national governments, regional bodies, and multilateral institutions.

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