The first national social forum in Maputo on 25-29 October will examine the theme Another Mozambique is possible. Roughly 5,000 participants are expected to attend the meeting to discuss questions of dependence, economic and social justice, development alternatives, citizenship, participatory democracy and the culture of peace, and the sustainable management of natural resources from a local perspective.

Often solutions to our problems are attempted through imported policies, sometimes imposed on us, Fernando Menete, a member of the organizing committee, told journalists at a recent press conference in the capital. We must look at our problems from a Mozambican perspective so that we do not become a mere echo chamber.

The forum is being organised by nine Mozambican civil society organisations in view of the World Social Forum (WSF) 2007, to be held in Nairobi in January. The WSF is held yearly as a counterpoint to the annual meeting of the global business and finance community at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.