What is AFSA?
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) is a broad alliance of different civil society actors that are part of the struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology in Africa. These include: African farmers’ organizations, African NGO networks, specialist African NGOs, consumer movements in Africa, international organizations which support the stance of AFSA, and individuals. Its members represent smallholder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples; faith based institutions, and environmentalists from across Africa. It is a network of networks and currently with 30 active members.
AFSA was first conceived in 2008 by a group of concerned individuals and was launched at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties 17 (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa in December 2011. At the launch, AFSA released a report emphasizing that Food Sovereignty can cool the planet, while feeding the world and regenerating ecosystems. AFSA members represent small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples, citizens and environmentalists from Africa who possess a strong voice that shapes policy on the continent in the area of community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional knowledge and knowledge systems, the environment and natural resource management. Thus, providing a forum to analyse, discuss issues, challenge policies and identify ways forward.
What does AFSA believe in?
Championing Small African Family Farming/Production Systems based on agroecological and indigenous approaches that sustain food sovereignty and the livelihoods of communities Resisting the corporate industrialization of African agriculture which will result in massive land grabs, destruction of indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems, displacement of indigenous peoples especially the pastoral communities and hunter gatherers and the destruction of their livelihoods and cultures. African driven solutions to problems in Africa and a belief in the richness of our diversity. AFSA aims to be a strong voice that shapes policy on the continent in the area of community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional knowledge and knowledge systems, the environment and natural resource management.
*Africa developing just and equitable ways of life for her people in harmony with nature.
*Africa continually harnessing and enhancing her traditional knowledge systems.
*African peoples controlling their territories, livelihoods and governance systems and related decision-making processes.
* African peoples holding their governments and corporate powers to account for their legacy to the future generations.
The core purpose of AFSA is to influence policies and to promote African solutions for food sovereignty. AFSA serves as a continental platform for consolidation of issues pertaining to food sovereignty and together marshal a single and louder voice on issues and tabling clear workable solutions.
AFSA’s binding principles are listed below. They define the kind of alliance the members want to create and live up to. This list will grow and expand as the need arises.
1. Championing small African family farming/production systems based on agroecological and indigenous approaches that sustain food sovereignty, health, nutrition and livelihoods of communities.
2. Resisting industrialization and commodification of African agriculture and food systems, land grabbing, destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems, displacement of indigenous peoples especially pastoral communities and hunter gatherers, and the destruction of their livelihoods and cultures.
3.Emphasizing African-driven solutions to African problems, and a belief in the richness of our diversity.
4. Being a strong voice to shape policies on the continent in the area of community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional knowledge, the environment and natural resource management.
5. Placing emphasis on women and youth as key players in food sovereignty.
6. Contributing to land ownership and control in the hands of communities.
7. Rejecting the genetic engineering and privatization of living organisms.
8. Ensuring a clear understanding and continual analysis of the political dimension of agroecology and food sovereignty and communicating this clearly.
9. Working in synergy with all actors who empower what we as AFSA are doing.
10. Mobilizing farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, hunter gatherers, consumers, and other grassroots voices to speak about agroecology, food sovereignty and the work of AFSA.
11. Ensuring cross learning and collaboration among members.
12. Working to promote the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to control their natural resources.