African Debt and Human Rights (ADHR)

Supporting Research, Clarity and Participation in Fiscal Policy Making on Debt and Human Rights

ADHR Podcast     Interaction & Advocacy Hub     Fiscal Eye  
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     Our ADHR research cluster supported by Foundation Open Society Institute and OSIEA aims to support research, clarity and participation in fiscal policy making on debt and human rights in Africa. ADHR seeks to develop an African inspired financial model of development, free from entanglements with illicit financial flows, where debt is utilized sustainably, sought as last resort and secured through financial systems and creditors based on the borrowing state’s terms. The cluster’s vision is to support African economies by increasing transparency, clarity and participation in fiscal policymaking related to debt and to examine the impact on financing progress towards the achievement of human rights.

     The African revenue generation and budget cycle which has been modelled along the colonial version of a tax system for Africa is not effective to secure redistribution towards social spending and has shown vulnerability to external erosion of the tax base. This has resulted in a low taxable base, a ‘race to the bottom’, rising debt, structural inequalities undermining access to public resources by the poor and communities facing continuous discrimination. It has distorted redistribution that directs development away from grassroots levels and progress towards the achievement of human rights. It has also engineered the lack of equal bargaining power within the international financial architecture where the fiscal system of Africa is conditioned to support the fiscal systems of the advanced economies.

     The cluster has several formal agreements for collaboration with:

  1. The UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights to generate research on foreign debt and human rights and facilitate knowledge sharing workshops to support her work.
  2. International Lawyers Project to propose fiscal policy recommendations linking the African debt to financing human rights.
  3. Kenya Revenue Authority to collect data on revenue generated from foreign debt and its spending with which to make clear the fiscal policy related to foreign debt.
  4. Capabuild Foundation to facilitate expert engagement and meetings on fiscal policymaking targeted toward debt sustainability measures.

     The cluster is wholly conceptualised and designed by Dr. Lyla Latif as the Co-Principal Investigator (Content + Deliverables) who works with Bosire Nyamori as the other Co-Principal Investigator (Grant Administration + Reporting) under OSIEA Grant ID: OR2021-83193 “To Support Training on Debt and Human Rights to Increase Participation in Fiscal Policy and Research”. Davis Ndambo provides ADHR with admin and technical support. Our research work is led by: 

  1. Winnie Gloria Nkatha
  2. Winnie Mageto
  3. Omar Mohammed,
  4. Learnmore Nyamudzanga
  5. James Muraguri,
  6. Vallarie Yiega
  7. Stella Nasirumbi,
  8. Joan Atim,
  9. Mukasiri Sibanda. and
  10. Tabitha Agaba

     The ADHR cluster consists of 3 Research Groups:

Debt Sustainability and Debt Related IFFs

Debt Contracts and Debt-based Redistribution Policies

Reconstructing the African Economic Order


Spotlight Video

To understand some of our concerns, it is essential to be aware of the types and forms of revenue draining practices that occur in African countries pushing them towards debt. This video addresses some of these concerns.

Overview: In 2020, Mali produced over 71 tons of gold— an amount worth billions of dollars. But Mali saw only $850 million dollars from that gold. And this situation isn’t unique: a number of other gold-rich countries in Africa aren’t seeing the income they should given the price of gold. So, what’s going on? Lyla Latif digs into how foreign corporations exploit African nations for their resources.