CAPPA – Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa

Shifting Narratives: The Political Economy of Public Spending, Services and Production (PSSP)

From 27 – 30 June 2022, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa participated in the Shifting Narratives Conference , a four-day virtual conference hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL (UCL-IIPP) together with other partners including University of Greenwich, University of Ghana, Azim Premji University and Conicet, the global union federations, PSI (Public Services International), ITF (International Transport Workers Federation), international NGOs Transnational Institute (TNI) and Oxfam, and the Young Scholars Initiative.[spacer height=”25px”]

At the conference, both Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director, CAPPA, and Aderonke Ige, Associate Director, CAPPA spoke at the regional workshop session for Africa, Asia and Latin America, alongside Younoussa Abossouka of Africa Center for Advocacy, Cameroon; Dr. Everline Aketch of Public Services International (Kenya + East African) and Fatouf Diouf of Public Services International, Senegal. The workshop session which focused on water issues, trends, and campaigns against privatization across Africa was jointly organized by Public Services International (PSI) and CAPPA with Sani Baba of Public Services International as its moderator.[spacer height=”25px”]

Akinbode Oluwafemi beamed the light on CAPPA’s Our Water Our Right (OWOR) campaign for water justice in Nigeria. According to him, the OWOR movement was conceived to fight against the privatization of water resources in Nigeria, especially in Lagos State. The OWOR campaign has successfully repealed many attempts of state authorities to hand over public water utilities to corporations such as Veolia and Suez by launching public sensitization outreaches and powerful campaigns that provided indisputable evidence of the failures of water privatization across the world, interrogated the causes of water crises, and forced communities to demand accountability and democratic control in the management of water resources in Nigeria. Due to the successes recorded in its operations, the OWOR campaign which comprises civil society, trade, and labour unions working collaboratively to stop water privatization has now been upscaled across eight African countries namely Cameroon, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana, Gabon, Togo, Senegal, and Uganda.[spacer height=”25px”]

Aderonke Ige, in her presentation titled Our Water Our Right Africa Movement: Building regional cohesion in challenging water privatization” underscored the importance of movement cohesion and unity of purpose in confronting the threats of water privatization on the continent. While analyzing specific water threats and trends across countries in Africa, she dwelt on the dangers of the looming corporatization of water resources spreading across the region and spearheaded by notorious corporate grabbers such as Suez and Veolia, and the roles of International Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in making a case for the privatization of water infrastructure in Nigeria.[spacer height=”25px”]

The “Shifting Narratives” conference brings together a partnership of universities with international trade union confederations and social movements to build new narratives and power for changing and defining a new economic and social role of the public sector.[spacer height=”25px”]

Read more about the conference here

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