The 1st edition of the Zambia Social Forum was held in Lusaka (2005), under the banner of “Another Zambia is Possible“. It is not a surprise that Zambia hosted the 1stZambia Social Forum as it had previously held a sub regional social forum in September 2003 and a regional social forum on 10-14th December 2004. Participants were from all walks of life and the main medium of communication was in vernacular. Zambian activists began to use open forum as means to revitalising Africa’s own popular civil society consultations and activism in relation to the World Social Forum process of tackling neoliberal socio-economic-political order.
Following the 1st WSF (Porto Alegre – 2001), processes of open 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.
The consultations among African civil society during the Addis Ababa African Social Forum (2003), resolved to establish hosting of sub-regional and national fora as a way of getting diverse views on Africa’s socio-economic and political issues from a wider constituency prior to editions of African Social Forum and the World Social Forum.
Each sub-region established Regional Organising Committee (ROC) to lead the process within its specific region. For Southern Africa, the ROC held its 1st Southern African Social Forum (SASF) in Lusaka, 9-11 November 2003, under the auspices of Women for Change and theme was “Another Southern Africa is Possible“. This was the first sub-region social forum.
However, a national forum increases solidarity on national social issues. In Zambia, the emphasis has been put on building grassroots’ engagement with political, social and cultural issues.