BUILDING ALTERNATIVES FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
Globally, since early 1980s, economic development has been characterized by a mismatch between economic growth and social development as evidenced by income disparity, violation of human rights, social inequality and exclusion even in countries with high economic growth performance. This experience has been worse in Africa where 33 of the 48 Least Developed Countries are found. This mode of growth which doesn’t translate into inclusive development and decent livelihoods for majority of the populace has been largely as a result of the neoliberal development paradigm. The paradigm which, to date, is dominant in informing the development agenda, policies and practices especially in Africa and the global South advocates for liberalization, privatization and deregulation, with minimal State intervention. .
Furthermore, the results of the neo-liberal agenda have been largely disappointing, mostly for Africa. The neoliberal Agenda has led to the rise of powerful economic actors including corporations, investors, private financial actors and development finance institutions who are influencing trade, fiscal and related policies, and setting the development agenda and narrative in their favor. This has negatively impacted on Africa’s prospects for structural transformation and inclusive sustainable development, Human rights and environmental sustainability. All these factors are related and mutually reinforce development challenges on the continent amidst the escalating indebtedness and financial stress; Increase in unemployment especially for women, youth (for young people currently estimated at 60%) and climate change. Read More
The current COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the futility of the neoliberal agenda to deliver inclusive sustainable development. In fact, it has provided an impetus for strengthening the search and demand for a strengthened central role of the State in development, people centered social and economic policies and the promotion of Economic Social, Cultural and environmental rights before profit.
Therefore, the need to rethink the contemporary dominant neoliberal paradigm by providing an alternative development paradigm is very critical in order to address the continuing development challenges. The thematic area on “Building alternatives for social and economic justice” is therefore informed by the failures of the current neoliberal ideology, and the increasing quest and discourse for an alternative development paradigm. SEATINI believes that there is need to push for a rethink, both at national, regional and global levels, of the free market paradigm given its adverse implications on the rights of the most economically vulnerable groups in society i.e. women, especially in the rural sector towards the realization of inclusive and sustainable development in Uganda and the EAC region. We also believe that in order to seek her own path, Africa has to begin thinking outside the neoliberal paradigm, not only in relation to theory, but in terms of today’s practical problems
This thematic area provides a platform for development scholars, practitioners, policy makers, policy advocates and researchers to think beyond the box, distil the information and incubate new development ideas through enhancing their capacity to appreciate the need for an alternative paradigm. In order to achieve this, the Thematic Area will bring together different actors in the academia, policy makers, universities, trade unions, farmers, MSMEs, youth, and women to debate and appreciate the current neo liberal paradigm and its relation to the current economic and social injustices facing Africa. Subsequently, this will enable them to think through alternatives to trade, fiscal and related policies and processes at national, regional and global level since they are currently negatively affected by these neoliberal informed policies.
SEATINI contributes to increased literature on the alternative development paradigm; and also enable stakeholders to influence and contribute to policies that promote Economic and social injustice.
Our work under Social and Economic Justice
Policy Advocacy and inter-generational dialogues
Networking and Partnerships