TransAfrica Forum Issue Brief
(Vol. 7, No. 2)
by TransAfrica Forum
Washington, DC, United States
Contents: AFRICA IN THE DEBT CRISIS U.S. Ignores Continent's Heavy Debt Burden • South Africa: RUNNING SCARED • CONGRESSIONAL ACTION • AIDING AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT • HAITI UNDER MANIGAT: AN INTERVIEW • CONGRESSIONAL ACTION • MANIGAT OVERTHROWN IN COUP! • U.S. authorities are doing very little about the Third World debt crisis. Some people believe that, in contrast to 1982, the crisis is over. Some argue that, because key commercial banks increased their loan loss reserves recently and because U.S. Treasury Secretary Jim Baker keeps recommending more debt in return for telling Third World nations how to run their political economies, U.S. and Western economies are no longer threatened. Policymakers around the world are being forced to more seriously consider intensified economic sanctions against South Africa because of its continuing repression of the black majority and increasingly flagrant acts of violence and political intimidation in foreign countries, including sponsoring assassination attempts and threatening to cut-off strategic minerals if additional sanctions are imposed. In late February, Pretoria announced a "crackdown" on major anti-apartheid organizations. The 17 banned groups include the United Democratic Front (UDF), a coalition of over 700 activist groups; the Detainees' Parents Support Committee, which advocates an end to torture and the release of the thousands in political detention; and the Coalition of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Pretoria also has increased violent attacks on political leaders, especially exiled members of the African National Congress. On March 29, ANC representative Dulcie September was shot to death in Paris; a day earlier, South African commandos had gunned down ANC member Solomon Molefe in Botswana. On April 7, ANC member Albie Sachs, a lawyer, was maimed by a car bomb in Mozambique. H.R. 1580, which would severely restrict U.S. investment in imports from and exports to South Africa, has been approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee; an identical bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Kennedy, Weicker, and Simon. Africa has an acute need for aid; the continent is by far the poorest, with per capita income below $400 in most countries. The newsletter includes an interview with Raymond Joseph, publisher of the New York-based Haiti Observateur. The newsletter mentions debt forgiveness, the African Development Bank, Zaire, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, commodity export prices, the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the World Bank, and TransAfrica Forum staff Niikwao Akuetteh, Hope Lewis, Mwiza Munthali, Maryse-Noelle Mills, Kelly Brown, and Randall Robinson.
Used by permission of TransAfrica Forum.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root