• process zambia sf

last modified September 17 by facilitfsm


Presentation-ZAMSOF-WSF-2020-2-2-17092020.docx         

 

preparation of (SADC 2020) People’s Summit

 

About ZAMSOF 

  • Zambia Social Forum (ZAMSOF) is an open space that provides free platform for ordinary citizens to discuss democratically on issues that affect them. The forum aims to formulate affirmative actions that inform advocacy planning and allow citizens to engage at policy level for social change in their respective thematic areas they represent.
  •  The Forum is a network of Civil Society Organizations, individuals and Community groupings, which is part of the World Social Forum of (SAPSN), African Social Forum (ASF) and World Social Forum (WSF) that takes place annually and bi-annually respectively. ZAMSOF aims at “improving participation of the general citizenry in the policy making processes for the national sustainable development in partnership with affected communities.” The Zambia Social Forum is also strategically held as a prelude to the World Social Forum (WSF). The forum further serves to build community, regional and global solidarity around issues of social, ecological, political, and economic justice in the quest for sustainable development. The forum is an activist platform to strengthen popular democracy and mobilization on various issues and provide human alternatives to the neo-liberal discourse. The open spaces also serve to critically challenge the status quo, which puts markets and profits before people. 

Operating Environment

  • Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Social movements are operating in an environment which is not conducive for them to function well. The spaces are shrinking and the environment the social movements are operating under are repressive and disturbing. These are the conditions that hinder the full participation of CSOs. The registration processes, subjective policies are a drawback especially for those working in sensitive spaces. The CSOs and social movements in their quest to contribute to democracy are accountable to the people that government should engage. The fundamental rights and freedoms including but not limited to freedom of association, of expression, and political participation, the right to peaceful assembly and information are very limited in the four districts this project was undertaken.

ZAMSOF Geographical   Areas   of  Work from 2016 to 2020 and beyond  

  • From 2016 to 2020 Zambia Social Forum implemented programs with support from GIZ under the theme called “Community engagement programs” focusing on developing local area plans using the Human Rights Based Approach within Lusaka in 12 selected wards.  There was another project with Action Aid Zambia supported and it is also focusing on Climate Justice and Food Sovereignty. It is an ongoing project which will come to an end next year in October 2021.  The other project was implemented with Sight Savers in 2016 from seven (7) Districts of Zambia namely, Choma, Kalabo, Chama, Isoka, Lusaka and Petauke Districts which came to an end in January 2020. We are also involved with the People’s Coalition promoting farmers’ rights to food production and food sovereignty. 

PROJECTS COVERED PROCESSES - SAPSN, WSF, NSF

  • 1.      Project:  Building Grassroots Collective for Climate Justice and Natural Resources Sovereignty Project. The main objective of the project was to “Build capacities and Enhance community knowledge and skills on climate justice and strengthen effective utilization of natural resources” in selected communities of Kalabo, Isoka, Chama and Choma. 

  • 2.      Project:  “Seeing Is Believing” Project – Eye Care Health Project bringing sustainable provision of quality eye health services in the rural areas. The project primarily focused on contributing to the sustainable provision and increased demand for eye care services in the four districts of Zambia. These are…..   The program addressed the needs of predominately poor and rural communities who didn’t have access to eye health services.

  • 3.      Project: Community Engagement and Empowerment project – Building the capacity of the community members in wards including local Area planning using human right based approach bearing in mind climate change, Gender issues, governance, Community engagement meetings aimed at empowering communities to take control of their own development processes were held in Kamulanga, Kamwala and John Howard wards.

  • 4.      Process- National Social forum/ Regional engagement on solidarity work – ZAMSOF is in constant touch with National Social forum processes such as Norwegian and Iraq Social forum and various national within Southern Africa Region.     

 

KEY political ISSUES  

  • The sharing from the Forum process dwelt much on the  present Government of Zambia which is  faced with severe challenges and one of the decisions been made by Government  Officials who are trying to reserve Mining Revenues to fund the Budget and avoid further Mine Closures leading to a drop in investments in the sector. Our Advocacy approach is Communication through holding of Mining Indabas to respond to this challenge the Government has proposed a New Tax Regime as part of the 2020 Budget. The Regime contains three significant changes.
  • •Review of   Royalty Payments on Copper through the introduction of a “Price-based Royalty, “the rate of which varies according to Price or Red Metal and the other area is the Removal of Valuable Profit Tax.
  • The past rate was pegged at 9% of Mineral Royalty.

1.0 Issue of Extractive Industries  

  •  The Forum also shared the issue of Mines and Safety Regulations by making decisions to step up Enforcement, Formulation and Monitoring of Occupational Health and Safety in Mining Companies and to communicate to CSOs in the area of submission of concerns in the Fiscal Framework, Environment, Employment, Relocation and Resettlement of Host Mining Communities for inclusion in the Revision of the Mines and Minerals Development Policy.

  • The Government further made a decision to Encourage Mining Companies by putting up Rotational Work Schedules as a way of avoiding the spread of Covid-19.


   b)   Food sovereignty

  • • On Food Sovereignty the Forum process shared that the Right of People and Communities is to define their own policies for Agriculture, Fisheries, Consumers and Trade of Food as long as these Policies are Ecological Sustained, Contribute to Social justice and not to restrict the possibilities for others to do the same. It further Questions what is produced, how it is produced and who produces it.
  • The Governments position on Food Sovereignty is farfetched in that they claim that they are promoting Organic Farming and yet there is too much support of the Synthetic Fertilizer Input Support Program which is highly political. Has CSOs we do dialogue with Ministry of Agriculture at the local level who are in support of the promotion of Agro-Ecology concept, the policy as to be tailored towards Food sovereignty and not only Food Security.

1.  NGO ACT OF 2009 

  • Our Advocacy position on the NGO Act is that it is progressive especially on the part of Perpetual Registration meaning that Registration will not have time limitation unlike the 2009 Act that carried a period of 5 Years subject to renewal. The Government have to make a final decision on the Enacting of the Act so that NGOs are well positioned and abide by the new regulations. The only challenge is the submission of Audited Accounts that have to be endorsed by ZICA affiliated Accountants, this in our opinion might be expensive to hire these professionals, and we feel Government should flex that condition so as to protect small NGOs. The other part is to enhance a Communication Strategy that speaks to Transparency, Accountability and performance of NGOs.

2. BILL 10

  • The Forum process also shared that Most of the parts of Bill 10 are progressive however the following must be looked into:
  • •The merging of political parties after the highest party fails to reach 50 + 1 to merge with any Party with lesser votes may filter partial legitimacy.
  • •The placing of the Civil Service on contractual basis may bring about insecurity after leaving Employment in terms of pensionable benefits.
  • •The reversing of the Mayoral Elections from the General public to within the Councillorship will make mayoral duties become less Authoritative.  
  • CSOs are constantly dialoguing with Government and currently the Bill is in Parliament and it is been tabled for debate.
  • Ø  All the issues mentioned above we do engage and Dialogue with Government Sectors responsible for such particular Pillars of our concern and that is done through Solidarity Forums interface meetings with policy makers at Local, National and Regional levels.

3. PUBLIC ORDER ACT – amid COVID -19        

  • Ø  The Public order Act shrinks Civic spaces for CSOs and other Political Players meaning that it favors the Government of the day. They may halt any Community of Political gathering especially if you are discussing any issues that they may be against.

CONCERTED EFFORTS and DIRECTION OF NEXT STEPS

  • 1. Anchoring content development workshop for thematic cluster assemblies prior to the annual Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) People’s Summit that was held alongside the SADC Heads of State   Summit.
  • 2. National Consultative Processes Report on Social and Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Zambia   Currently happening and we would like to see its implementation.   
  • 3. Advocating for the speedy implementation of the Economic Recovery Path through Tax Relief by Governments and Cooperating Partners. This we expect to come out in October 2020 during the Budget presentation and it will also depend if at Talks with IMF and World Bank materializes concerning debt relief and other packages although as CSOs we are against Government borrowing massively.
  • 4. Advocating for the domestication of the OECD, UN guiding principles and other regional protocols.
  • 5. Advocating for the Promotion of local content through Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Publish What You Pay and other local and international Binding Treaties.
  • 6.  Domestication of the African Mining Vision in 2020 to 2030.
  • 7. Re-training of Ward Development Committees and to strengthen their capacity in Community Projects design and implementation. This activity has already started in Mufulira District we need to advocate for National wide Re-Training of Ward Development Committees (W DCs).
  • 8.  Advocating for full operationalization of the SADC National Committee, this is underway.

 UPCOMING EVENTS

  • A) National Mining Indaba
  • B) On going Radio Programs with the Local Authority on Local Governance participation-
  • C) UN General Assembly on United Nations Environmental Program Virtual Meetings-
  • D) Community Engagement and Empowerment- Community Response to Covid-19 in five wards of Lusaka City district –September to December 2020
  • E)  Zambia National Social Forum – November/December 2020 
  • F) World Hunger day on 16th October, 2020
  • G) International Volunteers Day
  • H) Seed and Food festival which will be held on 16th October, 2016.

 Conclusion

 In spite of the unfavorable, social, economic and political environment, Zambia Social Forum was able to implement a number of activities which contributed to the global government of improving the living conditions of every person regardless of their social, political or religious affiliation. Through the Human Rights based approach the forum was able to remain on course to ensure that all citizens regardless of their vulnerability were capacitated to defend their socioeconomic rights while influencing policy discourse on various pressing issues such as climate Justice, Agro-ecology and food sovereignty through meaningful engagements and dialogues with policy makers for the betterment of their communities.

 

SADC 1. Anchoring content development workshop for thematic cluster assemblies prior to the annual Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) People’s Summit that was held alongside the SADC Heads of State   Summit.