Beyond G20: Africa’s Indignation


The free market exacerbates imbalances in wealth distribution in a phase of history, globalization, poisoned by a growing democratic deficit is the thought emerging in a document published by the Episcopal Conference of Tanzania on the eve of the G20 summit in Cannes.

“The free market system creates and maintains large inequalities in income distribution and globalization ended in some areas to exacerbate these imbalances,” writes the author of the text, Father Vic Missiaen, secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops’ Conference. The paper argues that globalization has “reduced the power of democracy”, with governments unable to operate “only at the local level” agenda and world politics “dominated by the great powers.”

The basic assumption is that the “first cause” of the financial crisis ‘”selfishness” and’ “greed”. “The whole system is structured to generate profits – says Father Missiaen – forgetting the other essential purpose of the financial institutions, which would be to protect the savings of the individual and the collective.”

While in Cannes vetoes block an agreement on a financial transaction tax, the bishops of Tanzania want to rediscover “a moral perspective in which the common good and solidarity become global political issues.”

According to Father Missiaen, the objective can be achieved only through the combined pressures exerted by the Church on politics, associations, unions and the information from the system. Fueling such groundwork, the paper said, there must be “a certain moral indignation against the worst aspects of free market economics.” Here are the references to the American ”Occupy Wall Street” movement and to the revolts in North Africa, demonstrations and marches in European capitals and the less imposing but just as significant demonstrations in that have taken place in Uganda, Kenya and even Tanzania this year.

The ‘”outrage” is driven by the paradoxical debates on 0.7% of gross domestic product that rich countries have pledged to allocate for development aid. “They are percentages – writes Father Missiaen – that make no sense when compared with the sums spent on armaments and wars or ended in the circuit of speculative finance.”


MISNA, or the Missionary International Service News Agency, provides daily news ‘from, about and for’ the 'world’s Souths', not just in the geographical sense, since December 1997.

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