Malawi will be hosting the 3rd edition of the Southern Africa Social Forum 2006 in Lilongwe, Malawi from 13-15 October 2006.This year's SASF is expected to bring together thousands of participants from community-based groups, social movements and civil society organizations from SADC under the theme, 'People's Solidarity against Poverty and Oppression'.
THE 3ND EDITION OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN SOCIAL FORUM
Malawi will be hosting the 3rd edition of the Southern Africa Social
Forum 2006 in Lilongwe, Malawi from 13-15 October 2006.
This year’s SASF is expected to bring together thousands of participants
from community-based groups, social movements and civil society
organizations from SADC under the theme, ‘People’s Solidarity against
Poverty and Oppression’.
The Southern Africa Social Forum is a prelude to the African Social
Forum (ASF) and World Social Forum (WSF) that take place annually. The
first Southern African Social Forum was successfully held in November
2003 in Lusaka, Zambia and the 2nd edition was hosted by Zimbabwe in
Harare from 13 – 15 October 2005.
The Social Forum is not an organization, not a united front platform,
but "…an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate
of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and
inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil
society that are opposed to neo-liberalism and to domination of the
world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to
building a society centered on the human person". (From the WSF Charter
Your participation and contribution
Malawi Social Forum (MSF) is pleased to invite you to apply for
participation in this landmark event.
We envision your participation and involvement in the following ways 1)
Pay your travel costs to and from Lilongwe and accommodation costs. 2)
Make the three day event stimulating by bringing in your experience,
enthusiasm and commitment.
MSF will in addition take responsibility for 1) coordination and
administrative costs related to planning the event 2) Report writing and
It is our sincere hope that you will plan to attend the Social Forum in
October. In the mean time you can help MSF Secretariat in its planning
in a concrete way by completing and returning the attached form either
by fax or email.
We look forward to hearing from you.
E-mail: [email][email protected]
Or phone the Malawi Social Forum Secretariat at Malawi Economic Justice
Network (MEJN) on telephone numbers t265-1-750 533 Fax +265 1 750 098
Cell 265 8 222 035
3rd EDITION OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN SOCIAL FORUM
“ People's Solidarity Against Poverty and Oppression”
Lilongwe, Malawi, October 13-15, 2006
The Southern African Social Forum (SASF) is a continuation of the Africa
Social Forum, (ASF) that takes place annually, since Bamako (2002), as a
prelude to the World Social Forum (WSF) that was initiated in Port
Alegre (Brazil) in 2001. The latter is an annual event that is
deliberately organized to coincide with the World Economic Forum
(Davos). The timing is meant to signify civil society opposition voices
to the high-level one-sided pro globalization and neo liberalism
deliberations between the world leaders and international financial
Following the Bamako Forum and the Addis Ababa Forum, a process of
consultations have taken place around Africa to find a way of
effectively exposing the current social, political and economic
injustices for better government and state action. A forum creates a
platform for various interest groups of civil society to discuss issues
together pertaining to social, political and economic justice. In
addition, a forum increases solidarity in the sub-region and Africa as a
whole before going to the global social forum, in this case in
preparation for the next World Social Forum to be held in Africa in 2007.
The need to host a Southern African Social Forum (SASF) arose from the
second African Social Forum held in Addis Ababa, 5-9 January 2003.
Participants resolved to establish sub-regional forums as a way of
getting diverse views on Africa’s socio-economic and political issues
from a wider constituency prior to Africa Social Forum (ASF) and World
Social Forum (WSF). Each sub –region was designated to form its own
Steering Committee of at least five persons. Six persons that
represented mass movements in their constituencies were selected as
members of the Southern Africa Regional Steering Committee (SARSC).
The Malawi Social Forum (MSF) concept was brought by the people that
attended the World Social Forum (WSF) which was conceived as an
international forum against neo-liberal policies and capitalist led
globalization. The first World Social Forum (WSF) was initiated in Porto
Alegre Brazil in 2001. The World Social Forum is now an annual event
that is deliberately organized to coincide with the World Economic
Forum. The World Economic Forum is a gathering of rich nations and
powerful corporations from the North who makes key decisions on global
policies. The timing of the World Social Forum is meant to signify civil
society voices opposing the high level profit motivated deliberations at
the expense of poor countries and their citizens.
Thus the Malawi Social Forum (MSF) emerged out of a need to combine
efforts at national level in order for the country to be represented
meaningfully and audibly at the World, Continental and Sub Regional
Social Forums. Malawi Social Forum intends to open debate, inform the
general public and conceive a plan of action on critical factors to
The Malawi civil society held a successful Malawi Social Forum (MSF)
from 19 – 21 October 2004, under the theme of “Another Malawi is
Possible and A Better Malawi is my Right”.
Malawi Social Forum (MSF) operates on the following mission statement:
“Malawi Social Forum exists to serve as a civil society platform to
pursue and advocate for a self-determining Malawi, defined by political
and economic nationalism through dialogue generation of alternatives,
exchange of experiences and rejection of domination by capitalism,
neo-liberalism, and imperialism”.
Malawi Social Forum has had a chance to participate in different social
forums at global, regional and sub – regional levels. It is after this
experience that Malawi Social Forum accepted to take up a challenge to
host the 3rd edition of the Southern Africa Social Forum.
2.0 Key Components of The Southern African Social Forum
As African people with similar problems, the 2nd edition of the Southern
African Social Forum [SASF] will provide space for advocacy for a better
quality of life and development for all. The Forum will more specifically:
i) Provide the sub-region a platform for social activists to strengthen
popular democracy and mobilization.
ii) Critically challenge the status quo of abject poverty, gender
inequality and discrimination, high level corruption, social insecurity,
unconstitutional governance, HIV & AIDS pandemic, etc.
iii) Build a sub regional solidarity network around issues of social,
political and economical justice.
iv) Create a loose coalition that will guarantee effective participation
in the future Southern African Social Forum [SASF], the African Social
Forum [ASF] and the World Social Forum [WSF].
2.1 What are the Issues?
• Solidarity to fight Poverty and Oppression
• Popular Democracy meeting people’s needs
• People to People solidarity in Southern Africa
3.0 Justification Of SASF 2006
The ZSF has been nominated as host of the Southern African Social Forum
(SASF) 2006 in October this year. This in itself is a good opportunity
for Malawi to continue building solidarity beyond our borders as the
struggle against poverty in its entirety continues. It is also hoped
that the SASF will facilitate active participation for countries from
the SADC region at the World Social Forum scheduled for January 2007 in
Nairobi, Kenya. There will be no Africa Social Forum this year and the
preparations for the World Social Forum will be done at regional level
working hand in hand with the Africa Social Forum Council.
3.1 State of preparedness inline with the upcoming SASF event.
Malawi Social Forum (MSF) - Host
The Malawi Social Forum National Council agreed that instead of having a
national event, MSF should hold thematic regional social forums in the
three regions of Malawi. It is hoped that through the organizing of
thematic social forums in various parts of the country, social movements
and other NGOs will enhance their participation in the Social Forum
activities. It was also noted that if we hold regional social forums we
will cut on cost. However it was stressed that the people in the regions
should set their own agenda according to their priority issues with a
guideline from the National Council to assist the people in setting the
agenda. It if stressed that social forum activities should be guided by
Malawi Social Forum mission statement which reads. “Malawi Social Forum
exists to serve as a civil society platform to pursue and advocate for a
self-determining Malawi, defined by political and economic nationalism
through dialogue generation of alternatives, exchange of experiences and
rejection of domination by capitalism, neo-liberalism, and imperialism”.
The following are the main objectives for holding regional social forums;
• To mobilize members (Grassroots)
• To resuscitate social forum spirit of members
• Plan for the coming SASF
• Collect issues from the grassroots to build Southern Africa Social
Forum agenda through;
o Group discussions
o Skills building sessions / presentations
o Leaflets carrying MSF information like the mission statement etc that
will deepen the peoples understanding on issues of social forum
The Malawi Social Forum National Council also agreed to form thematic
working commissions to link people working on the same issues, and
ensure that their issues are presented in a coordinated manner.
Other countries in the region are making the same efforts especially
Zimbabwe Social Forum. However other countries like Mozambique, South
Africa are still striving to make their national forums effective. Apart
from having active social movements, Civil Society organizations and NGO
The Southern Africa Social Forum (SASF)
The intention is to get diverse views on Africa's socio-economic and
political issues from a wider constituency prior to the Africa and World
Social Forums and to ensure that the issues are presented in a more
co-coordinated manner during the World Social Forum.
The 3rd edition of the Southern African Social Forum will be hosted by
Malawi Social Forum in Lilongwe, Malawi, 13 - 15 October 2006 under the
theme “peoples solidarity against poverty and oppression”; it is hoped
that the SASF will consolidate the on-going solidarity building beyond
borders for the Malawi Social Forum. It is also hoped that the SASF will
facilitate active participation for countries from the SADC region at
the World Social Forum scheduled for January 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya.
There will be no Africa Social Forum this year and the preparations for
the World Social Forum will be done at regional level working hand in
hand with the Africa Social Forum Council.
World Social Forum (WSF)
The World Social Forum is now an annual event that is deliberately
organized to coincide with the World Economic Forum. The World Economic
Forum is a gathering of rich nations and powerful corporations from the
North who makes key decisions on global policies. The timing of the
World Social Forum is meant to signify civil society voices opposing the
high level profit motivated deliberations at the expense of poor
countries and their citizens.
The WSF 2007 will be held in Nairobi, Kenya. It is hoped that Nairobi
will be the meeting point of global civil society; the social forum will
provide an opportunity for African activists and civil society
organisations to put on the agenda, global solidarity towards Africa’s
development and increase opposition to imperialist Neoliberalism.
It is expected that the participation of African civil society will be
higher compared to previous forums which have been held in South America
and once in Asia. This increase in participation is expected to be
caused by the reduction of travel expenses for African groups traveling
to the event in Nairobi.
Symbolically, Africa is hosting this event to bring a wide range of
issues of development closer to the continent for the benefit of showing
the world the true representation of issues being discussed.
4.0 The SASF Event 2006
The event will be modelled along the WSF approach. The workshops,
seminars and conferences will take place along autonomous activities.
The Consultation Theme for SASF 2006 will be: People’s Solidarity
against Poverty and Oppression.
The collective seminars, workshops will focus on the following sub themes:
1. Poverty eradication
2. Land informal settlement, housing and rural movements
3. Governance, constitutionalism and democracy
4. Debt , Trade Justice and the Neoliberal Agenda
5. Regional & Continental Integration
a. Xenophobia and Imperialism
b. War in Africa
i. War and regional Security
6. Nature and Role of the African State and Imperialism
7. Gender, Sexism, Feminism, Masculinity and the Marginalised Community
10. HIV/AIDS and the rights to Health
11. Media and Globalisation
12. Liberation Theology and Faith Based Organisations
13. Alternatives to Neoliberalism and Capitalism
15. Arts & Culture
16. Food Security
4.1 Logistics SASF 2006
This activity will be the focus for the SASF secretariat, as there will
be intense preparations, the venue for the event will be CIVO Stadium.
Information on types accommodation Rates will be made available.
Availability of cheap food stalls will also be put in place by the host
committee. Indigenous caterers have been engaged to provide services
during the forum. The secretariat will ensure that spaces for
exhibitions and sales (of organizational material) will be put in place.
SASF will be open to the use of vernacular languages hence translators
will be available during the forum. Cheap inner-city transport between
the forum venue and the places of accommodation will be available.
4.2 Self –organized or autonomous activities
As usual, participating entities have the responsibility of organizing
and defining the content of seminars, workshops and panels that fall
under their responsibility. These activities will provide concerned
organizations and movements with the possibility to express themselves
thoroughly and facilitate a more systematic work on alternatives.
4.3 Information, Education and Communication Materials
For the SASF event to be a success there is need to make the concept
known by both the local people and SADC citizens, hence the need to
place adverts in both electronic and print media. This entails the
publication of SASF daily newsletter that will be run during the event
.The concept paper will be published in two languages i.e. English and
5.0 Expected Outcomes
The Southern African Social Forum [SASF] would be creative in order to
achieve the envisaged progressive outcomes, such as:
i) A functional and operational long term Regional Steering Committee;
ii) Functional and operational Social Forums within Southern Africa;
iii) Collective and enhanced political pressure on politicians and all
decision makers on behalf of the citizenry with regard to people
centered policies on social and economic justice policies;
iv) A framework of alternative political positions emerging from the
deliberations and discussions during the SASF for the various
participating entities and social movements;
v) A permanent presence of a living “free” networking space to
strengthen solidarity among the peoples of Southern Africa (at
sub-regional and national level)