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GNRC Africa Youth Participate in the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya

Two Representatives from the GNRCAfricaPeace Clubs Raymond Kassoga andRogersFungo attended the World Social Forum which ended on 25 January inNairobi,Kenya. The duo joined the Caritas/AACC Ecumenical Platform and participated in various workshops, seminars and processions during the Forum.
Mr. Raymond Kassoga and Mr. Rogers Fungo both from the New Generation Peace Club (NGPC), and the members of the Great Lakes Youth Peace Building Network (GYOPEN), also met with the grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Ms. Ela Gandhi who was pleased to talk to them about non-violence in conflict resolution and transformation. 

Also in attendance at the World Social Forum were some GNRC Africa members working in various fields to uplift the welfare of the children and the young people, and the Coordinator for Africa Dr.
Mustafa Ali.
 
The 2007 World Social Forum was attended by some 50,000 participants from all over the world. 

Among those who attended this year's forum were Nobel Laureates; Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, Ms. Ebadi Shirin from Iran, Ms. Jody Williams from the US and Prof. Wangari Maathai from Kenya.

The Social Forum is an open meeting place for ordinary people to get a platform for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements working for social, political and economic justice.

The 2007 World Social Forum comes to Africa at a time when the continent is caught between intense competitions for its resources, rampant conflicts – some caused by the very same resources competed for, negative influences of globalization, endemic poverty and environmental degradation.

Prof. Wangari Maathai in her keynote address in one of the workshops - Illegitimate Debt Dialogue, stated that Kenya was reeling under more than 10 billion Dollar debt. This, Prof. Maathai said, remained one of the key reasons for the impoverishment of the communities and individuals in Kenya. “Despite the improved democratization process and improved governance in many countries, the debt burden continues to impede the empowerment of people on reduction of poverty in many countries of our developing nations” Prof. Maathai noted.
 

All the Nobel Laureates called for a new world order based on social and economic inclusion, justice and care for the poor. They castigated policies which have over time imposed colonialism and neo-colonialism.

These policies, it was heard in the workshop, have contributed to the devastation of Southern economies, bolstered the disastrous and repressive reigns of dictatorships, marginalized women, disenfranchised youth, intensified the destruction of the environment and unleashed bloody, inhuman and needless military conflicts in many African countries.