ECHOES FROM AEFJN N. 23 - September / October 2015


The New Wine in Old Wine Skin

tl_files/aefjn-images/aa/AEFJN photo logo final.jpgThe habit of business corporations of spoiling initiatives for the well-being of people and the planet can be seen again in the outcome of the so-called "Addis Ababa Action Agenda". This was a meeting held in Ethiopia in July on Financing for Development (FfD). The AAAA was far from ambitious in its plan to transform the structures of poverty into structures of life for humans and the earth.  The international community had hoped that an ambitious outcome would be a major driver for the realization of post-2015 SDGs and a pointer to the COP21 in Paris. The failure to produce an ambitious strategy is an indication that the UN is presenting her new wine in old wine skin and your guess as to what will happen to the post-2015 SDGs is as good as mine. The cabal of the business world has once again asserted its power. It has to be said, though, that the outcome did not come as a surprise to the NGOs because the heart of the business corporations was pumping in its habitual way throughout the meeting. Read more



European Policymakers framing migration

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_Africa/im_Afr_Crisis/les deplaces du Kivu.jpgRecently, the upsurge in refugees reaching the Europe’s outer borders has dominated public debate in Europe. However, the current debate should be reframed to put migration flows in the right perspective and to include a long-term vision on migration and its root causes. With regards to this perspective, UNHCR data of 2014 demonstrates that developing countries are largely shouldering the burden, accommodating 86% of refugees globally. When discussing root causes, if at all, public policies steer wide of evaluating the contribution of economic policies of industrialised countries and company behaviour in developing countries to displacement in developing countries. The thirst of developing nations for acquiring land and resources through the logging, mining and agrifood industries is putting pressure on Africa’s land, resources and livelihoods. Public policies have also been accused of facilitating the corporate rush for resources.  Read more



Meditations on Laudato Si

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In June this year, Pope Francis published the encyclical Laudato Si that has proved to be a major landmark in the social teachings of the Church on ecology.  The encyclical has overwhelmingly drawn the attention of the international community because the Pope courageously addresses the critical issues such as climate change and its impact and calls for a radical change of attitude in caring for the Earth, our common home.  We at the AEFJN consider the encyclical a document that must be internalized by every man and woman of good will. To further this vision, the German antenna of AEFJN has worked assiduously to break it up into a series of meditations for easier understanding and group animation. We are delighted to serve you this precious meal weekly so that, enriched by it, you will feel empowered to take action for justice to protect the Earth, our common home. Read more



EPAs Falls Apart in East Africa


The EU has given the world the impression that the magic formula for the development and integration of Africa into the main stream of the world economy lies in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). However, there is evidence that the so-called trade pact is more of a hindrance than a help to regional integration and, consequently, to the development of Africa. The AEFJN has maintained that the EPAs are tools in the hands of the EU to plunder the resources of Africa. But what is most painful is the way the EU employs her development funds to force her will down the throat of African governments and under-develop the continent. Read more


Republic of Well Being?

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_Africa/im_Afr_GdNw/liberiapeacewomen.pngThe SDGs set to be adopted this month are theoretically geared towards realizing the primacy of human and environmental wellbeing before profit. But is this a realisable feat by the UN? It is known that the only obstacle to the epiphany of this republic is what Hilary Clinton criticized as the “quarterly capitalism” of the multinational corporations. If the world governing body is keen to realise the SDGs, then there must be policy framework that will discontinue the irresponsible activities of many multinational corporations. Read more



How a longstanding essential generic medicine becomes … a specialised luxury product!

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_meds/im_medicines/handsoff.jpgFor some months, we have been aware of shortages and sharp, unexplained price rises of certain drugs, including in countries of the ‘North’. This is preventing access to care, especially for less well-to-do patients and often the cause of these problems is purely commercial. Read more




Swiss Antenna: At the Africanum, a big family of refugees and volunteers

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_aefjn_ntw/aefjn celebration/Christine Von Garnier.JPGThe Africanum in Fribourg is firstly the mother-house of the Swiss White Fathers who have worked for more than 100 years in Africa. Today, most of them are elderly but, as well as  serving parishes, they have opened the house to refugees who come on Tuesday mornings for various activities and on Wednesdays to enjoy an excellent meal of food past its sell-by date given by the department store, Manor. There is so much of it that there is enough left for the week for several families who take it home! The town of Fribourg and charities have found a roof for everyone. On September 16th, there were about 50 of them: Eritreans, Syrians, Somalis, Afghanis, several with wives and children.  They are being helped by a team of volunteers who give French lessons, look after the children and offer art activities and help filling in forms. Read more




Territories of Life

Territories of Life: A Free Video Toolkit for Indigenous People about land and rights (5 min)


Meet Atandi, a Coffee Farmer in Kenya

A positive story from a female coffee farmer from Kenya (3 min)


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