The Forum of the People took place under very difficult economic circumstances for Mali; because of insufficient rain and last year’s locust invasion, the threat of famine overshadowed events. Meanwhile, in Gleneagles, at the G8 summit, the heads of state of the eight richest countries of the world (the United States, England, Japan, Germany, Canada, France, Russia, and Italy) put the fight against poverty in Africa on their agenda. The Forum of the People took the opportunity to point out that there are deep contradictions between the G8 nations’ speeches and their acts, and the G8’s most liberal policies themselves contribute to the poverty of Africans. The forgiveness of Mali’s debt, recently announced, will not bring back the billion CFA francs already repaid to debtors, which cost the people in the form of disruptions of basic social services (education, health, water, electricity, telecommunications, transport, etc.).
In contrast to these empty promises, the Forum of the people aimed to create alternatives based on the interest of the people, requiring that their concerns and their aspirations be taken into account in the development plans, programs, and policies initiated by our governments.
The objective sought by the forum was to contribute to the reinforcement of the capacity of associations and organizations of the civil society, in particular the country structures most affected by the misdeeds of the neo-liberal administration of the national economy and the international trade.