ECHOES FROM AEFJN N. 32 - October 2016


Another Face of the Migration Crisis in Africa 


They fastest growing cities in the world are found in Asia and Africa. However, to develop them in a more sustainable and socially accceptable way will be one of the greatest challenges for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. During the last few decades, hundreds of millions of people have moved from their rural homes into cities, especially in Africa and Asia. The available statistics are not reliable and vary considerably but what is certain is that the cities in Africa are expanding at a breathtaking rate. In 1900, 5% of the population of Africa lived in towns, in 2000 the figure rose to 45%, and in 2100 it could be up to 80%. But why this drastic change? The reasons people leave their villages to move into towns and cities are manifold. They include poverty, conflicts, politics, population growth and climate change among others. AEFJN underlines that these are products global economic structures and calls for more proactive action from the international community to tackle these underlying socio-economic issues and now is the time.

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Human Rights, Business as usual?


International corporations have been important economic agents driving economic globalization as they trade goods and services across continents. This has led to a massive revenue increase for companies, some topping the GDP of several countries. Given their position in international trade and the sheer volume of goods and services traded they are likely to be creating externalities, for instance disrupting the socio-economic fabric of a country and the health of the planet. On several occasions irresponsible company behaviour has called into question the social, economic, environmental and human rights responsibilities of international corporations. In the field of business and human rights, there is a growing movement to control the human rights impact of businesses, principally through voluntary codes of conduct and more businesses are taking up a HR-due diligence approach.  However, there is also a movement to go beyond voluntary frameworks to create a legally binding instrument in the field of business and human rights. Read more



The true cost of consumption: the EU’s land footprint

tl_files/aefjn-images/im_epas/im_csr/1610 the-true-cost-consumption.jpgFriends of the Earth has recently published a report on Global Land Footprint and especially in the European Union (EU). 40% of the land used by the EU to satisfy its own consumption is outside Europe. This report shows why the EU has a responsibility to make an effort to reduce its Global Land Footprint and suggests how this could be supported by policy tools and other initiatives.  Read more  


What about a proper debate on the CFA franc?

Le Monde, Mediapart, the Echoes … Rarely has the French press been so preoccupied with the issue of the CFA franc, the currency used by fourteen countries in West and Central Africa, pegged to the euro at a fixed parity and partly managed from Paris by the French Treasury. Firstly, it is surprised that France is the only country in the world to still have some control over the currency of its former colonies, fifty-five years after their independence. Secondly, the press does not hesitate to criticize the strangeness of the content of the agreements governing the operation of this anachronistic monetary system.  Read more (article in French)



Land conflicts and shady finances plague DR Congo palm oil company backed by development funds

Grain and RIAO have undertaken a new study into an agro-food company which is active in the DR Congo. This study is being supported by a European civil society coalition that is concerned about the involvement of European development finance institutions. It is doubtful whether their investment will make a significant contribution to the well-being of the people and the sustainable development of the country. The new study reveals that the company has been paying its workers less than the minimum wage and that questions about the ownership of the land in the zones it uses remain unresolved as far as the local people are concerned. So it will be important to find out if the production of palm oil is not a threat to the income of the artisanal producers in that area. The report also discloses that the links of the financial management of the company to an international network of companies raises a number of questions. Read more



Swiss traders flood Africa with toxic fuels

An investigation by Public Eye has revealed that deals in natural resources are flooding African markets with poisonous fuels because of the weakness of local standards. This attack on the health of many Africans is led by a desire to maximise profits. It is time to sound the alarm bell. Sign the petition


Join the movement of hundreds of groups around the world calling for a binding international treaty to address corporate human rights abuses!

Join the movement of hundreds of groups around the world calling for a binding international treaty to address corporate human rights abuses!  Sign the declaration here



News from Cameroon

Jean-Louis Marolleau, coordinator of the French antenna, visited Cameroon in August. During his stay, he met several representatives of religious communities in the country and also the Cameroonian antenna. There is an account of his trip on the website.  Read more



Game: Continent of Secrets: Uncovering Africa's Offshore Empires


Video: Hands on the Land for food sovereignty and climate justice (8 min)


QUAMED – Quality Medicines For All (3 min)


Campaign to End Illicit Financial Flows from Africa (4 min)


Tax is powerful. It funds schools and hospitals everywhere. Tax Power is a campaign to make sure that big companies start paying what they should in developing countries.  (3,28 min)

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