ECHOES FROM AEFJN N. 22 - July / August 2015



tl_files/aefjn-images/im_spirituality/Echoes AEFJN/1508 Andrzej krauze.jpgGuided by Christian values and ethos, the AEFJN strives to promote equity and economic justice in the relationships between Europe and Africa. AEFJN enjoys the practical experience of the Africa situation at the grassroots through her network of missionaries who regularly investigate the impact of the EU policies on the local population. Our advocacy is thus fact-based. However, experience has taught us that dealing with the European Commission officials and parliamentarians as well as the national governments in the world of empirical sciences and evidences requires documented and relevant data beyond those presented by the business world that are only out to justify and defend their profits. This does not suggest that such data always automatically elicit the desired political response. But we underline that it is a moral imperative for economic policies to be life-giving otherwise they become veritable instruments of death. It is to this level of consciousness that we invite the EU policy makers through our fact based advocacy. Read more



The Real dangers of EPA to ECOWAS

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Ken Ukaoha is the President of National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and a member of the Nigerian negotiating team on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for ECOWAS. He underlines that the EPA in its present form is dangerous to ECOWAS and the whole of Africa. One of the dangers of the trade agreement is that it is a recipe for massive land grabbing and consequent conflicts. The agreement is a systemic slavery for Africa. The way forward is to renegotiate the EPA at the level of African union. Read more




Phosphate Mining: an Unsustainable Business

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CICODEV Africa and AEFJN have conducted a case study of the impact of land acquisition for phosphate rock mining on the community of Koudiadiène in Senegal. The study exposes the consequences for the local economy and the environment as well as for the livelihoods and food security of the villagers. The phosphate rock mining industry is concentrated in a few countries and is subject to geopolitical dynamics. The phosphorus extracted from the rock is a key ingredient in chemical fertilizers used in industrial agriculture. Therefore the industry claims that securing a reliable supply of phosphorus is essential to food security. However, our study demonstrates that phosphorus extraction is instead creating food insecurity for local communities around the mining sites due to loss of land, livelihood and income. At the same time it is a known fact that excessive use of fertilizer alters the soil’s chemical composition and depletes its quality thus compromising long term food security. So, this debate centres essentially on the choice of agricultural model and food system that best serves humanity and the earth. Organic family farming has the capacity to stimulate natural regeneration of phosphorus which makes the mining of Phosphate unnecessary. Moreover, family farming is capable of reducing rural poverty and improves food security by stimulating local economies through employment, increased income and livelihoods for local communities. Read more


AEFJN & CICODEV Afrique: Koudiadiène, a mining operation under scrutiny – evidence  

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The case study conducted at Koudiadiène, Senegal, known for its rich subsoil minerals, highlights the land acquisition process for mining and the impact of the activity on the population, the local economy, the land and the living environment of Koudiadiène. The activities of the mining companies installed in Koudiadiène and operating on the land around the neighbouring villages have a socio-economic impact that weakens the environmental and socio-economic rights of local people. These companies are owned by European groups specializing in the production of various forms of fertilizers and other chemicals. The phosphate mined in Koudiadiène is destined mainly for export to the European market where it will be processed and used as fertiliser and other chemicals. Read more. Read more


AEFJN & Jesuit Hakimani Centre: The Impacts of EPA on Kenya


Before the study on EPA was conducted, the AEFJN had held that the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have more serious repercussions than the good they promise to bring to Africa in their present form. This study confirms our position. The EU maintains that the EPAs “are tailor-made” to suit specific regional circumstances of Africa, and that they go beyond conventional free-trade agreements focusing on the development of ACP. This sounds plausible but does not say it all! Africa must be allowed to foster her development objectives and the strategies for realizing them in the light of global trends. Only then will she be able to enter into profitable EPAs with the EU.  If Africa has no policy space to define her development objectives, the EPAs will impede her growth! Read more



Viewpoint : Minerals – the Lobbies are lying

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_epas/im_csr/mining land.jpgFollowing the vote at the EU Parliament, Belgian and European civil society organisations have published their view of the EU regulation on so-called ‘conflict minerals’ in the 18 June issue of ‘Libre Belgique’. In this article, the organisations emphasise the need to have binding protocols if the fight against conflict minerals and the violations against human rights that they perpetuate is to be effective. Such a legal framework would also allow European businesses to put pressure on up-and-coming actors, such as Asian suppliers, to implement due diligence in their supply chains. The organisations also highlight the need for accompanying measures to support local artisanal miners to improve their working conditions and formalise the sector. Read more



Antenna France: Taxation to Help Development and Climate

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_antennae/im Ant FR/JL Marolleau.jpgThere is no shortage of money today: there has never been as much in the world. It circulates at the speed of light between contractors and those who carry out the work. Every day, there are internet transfers of thousands of billions of dollars, more than ten times the World Gross Domestic Product (all the wealth produced by the planet! ...). There are 25 to 30 billion dollars, gleaned from tax optimization and fraud as well as from all kinds of trafficking (arms, drugs, organs, human beings ...) stashed away in tax havens. In 2005, François-Xavier Verschave, founder of ‘Survival’ and designer of ‘Françafrique’, created “Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires" (Platform against Tax and Justice Havens) which unites twenty associations and unions. For ten years, in its desire to promote justice, it has been combatting these havens that divert national resources. Read more


UK Antenna: Lobby on Climate Change and Poverty - London

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_antennae/im_ant_UK/UK Ant Lobby Eddie.jpgOn 17th June AEFJN-UK members joined about 10,000 others who had travelled to London from all corners of the UK to lobby their MPs on Climate Change and Poverty.  11.00 a.m. saw crowds streaming to St. Margaret's Church, Westminster and the Emmanuel Church nearby for the two ecumenical/interfaith services that started the day. Not even standing room! Lobbies usually take place in the Houses of Parliament, but the numbers meant that MPs (most came) met their constituents in the open air to discuss the issues of climate change and poverty. Read more



Le Centre Songhaï au Bénin : le développement de l'entrepreneuriat en agriculture


Documentary in French on the Songhaï Centre in Benin where they practise sustainable farming.
(10 min.)


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