Day 1: Solidarity against IMF policies for Africa & Israel's occupation of Palestine Print E-mail
Kenya Times -- Sunday January 21 2007

Outrage over injustice

NICK THIONG’O

Howls of outrage at Western imperialism, songs of solidarity against social injustice, vows to fight neo-liberalism, and calls for an end of Israeli occupation of Palestine characterized the opening ceremony of the World Social Forum at Uhuru Park, Nairobi yesterday.

Former Zambian President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda who delivered the key note address called for concerted efforts for to curb poverty in Africa; saying that political independence without economic emancipation was a half-baked deal.

“Economic independence is not complete without the eradication of poverty,” he said,

In an overt attack on IMF economic policies and monetary advice to African nations that suited the whims of powerful nations, Kenneth lamented that ‘sustainable development in western nations cannot be achieved through exploitation of African states.

Conceding that Africa bedeviled with divisions along politics, ethnicity and economic status, he asserted that there was still a possibility of building in every country a world free of poverty, crime, racism and oppression.

“From experience in our fight for independence, the challenges of exploitation can be overcome. We have achieved it before, we can achieve it again,” Kaunda affirmed.

Kaunda electrified the multi-cultural gathering when he belted out the names of world leaders who had led the struggle for social justice. “Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Mahatma Gandhi, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Abdel Nasser,” recited on fervently as the crowd broke into a charged roar.