ECHOES FROM AEFJN No. 2 - March / April 2013


Agro-ecology: for life


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For years, Pierre Rabhi has been recognised as a pioneer in agro-ecology. At a conference he presented the dangers of industrial agriculture for both family farmers and consumers. Agro-ecology and living simply help us say goodbye to the agro-industrial model and the dictatorship of money. Read more



India under pressure from Europe to sign a trade deal that will harm access to medicines

The European Union is exerting pressure on India to sign the EU-India Free Trade Agreement by April 2013. Although the EU has removed from the negotiating text certain provisions damaging access to medicines, such extending the life of patents, there still remain Intellectual Property enforcement and Investment provisions that will harm people’s access to medicines, not only in India but across the developing world, as India is the main producer of generics and of Active Ingredients (AI). Read more

Challenges facing Africa in the implementation of EPAs


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The EU is currently pressing African governments to proceed with interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPAs). However, there is resistance from African countries because they consider there are still some contentious issues to be re-addressed, like reciprocity, trade in services, tariffs and agricultural subsidies.  Read more


The World Bank and the Private Sector: Partners in Land Grabbing ?

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The World Bank Group (WB-G) has been preparing the ground for private investment in Africa by encouraging the commercialisation of farmland through its investment and structural adjustment programs in Africa. Equally, the World Bank has been supervising land reforms in several African countries, with the aim to establish a western-styled property system. The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) is building on this preparatory work and promotes private sector interest in African agriculture.  Read more



The Arms Trade Treaty Approved by the UN


On April the 2nd the United Nations General Assembly approved a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that failed to achieve unanimous support but garnered the support of a majority of Member States. 154 countries voted in favour, three Member States – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran and Syria – voted against the decision, while 23 countries abstained, among them Russia, China and United States some of the main leading sellers of weapons. During the 2013 Global Week of Action against small arms two reports related to the ATT were launched. Getting it Right: The Pieces that Matter for an Arms Trade Treaty by Oxfam and Saferworld, and Major Powers Fuelling Atrocity: Why the world needs a robust Arms Trade Treaty  by Amnesty International. Comments on the vote and the Treaty.

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Natural Resources and Social Responsibility: an important step forward


Shell Nigeria, the largest oil and gas company in that country, has been condemned for environmental damage and human rights abuses resulting from its activities. The District Court of The Hague has recently held that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria was liable for damage and ordered compensation. Read more


Organic Agriculture: Uganda’s Food Security Lifeline

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Photo (c) P. Courtesy

The current Biosafety and Biotechnology Bill 2012 is currently under discussion in the Ugandan Parliament. The Bill is causing controversy since it will facilitate mass introduction of GMOs in Ugandan farming and consequently increase family farmers’ dependency on multinational seed companies. Read more



AEFJN  25th Anniversary

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AEFJN is celebrating its 25th anniversary during this year with different thanksgiving events. AEFJN gives thanks for the past but this celebration is also a renewal of our commitment for Africa and its people. Jesus of Nazareth emphasises the fact that salvation is for everyone –the oppressed, the captives, the poor, the weak, everybody from different nations and countries.  Read more

Roots and Routes of Justice Ministry in Africa

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Photo: AP

Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, President Council for Justice and Peace, gave a speech for the occasion of the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) Notre Dame University, 2 March 2013. Read more



Act against the massive introduction of GMOs in Uganda


The Ugandan Parliament is currently discussing the Biosafety and Biotechnology Bill 2012, which would allow massive introduction of genetically modified organisms. This would also allow the agro-industry to take a firm grip on Ugandan agriculture. This would harm family farmers and livestock farmers because it would increase their dependency on the agro-industry. Take action to prevent this law being passed.  Read more & Sign the petition.



(c) Creative Commons


Conflict Gold 101,a video from the Enough Project raising awareness on the gold exploitation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3 min).


Video on water shows examples of cities reversing water privatization to regain public control. This video looks at the challenges and benefits of reclaiming public water. It calls for action to keep water in citizens’ hands! (5min)

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