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Whatever is done for Africa without the African people is not for Africa.

A joint declaration of Social Movements and Peasant farmers, Faith-Based Organisations and CSOs was delivered at the African People’s Summit ahead of the 6th EU-Africa Summit, demanding more space for CSO and measures to guarantee land justice and the transition to agroecology.

Context

We, members of a broad alliance of social and peasants[1] movements, faith-based organisations and civil society[2] across Africa and Europe, observe with great apprehension as the EU and the African Union hold their 6th summit. Over the last 20 years of partnership, we have not seen any significant added benefit from this partnership, which has failed to improve the livelihoods of African rural communities. This partnership and similar ones with other regions of the world have shown themselves to be shadow structures that facilitate the grabbing of land, the plundering of natural resources, ongoing corporate impunity with the complicity of national and international authorities, and aggressive market expansion that comes at the expense of people’s prosperity and habitats.

We are saddened to observe that these issues of utmost urgency for Africa rarely make it to the centre of the negotiation table of the Summit discussions. Otherwise, how could we explain that food systems and agriculture and responding to Covid-19 were not part of the themes initially proposed for the Summit?

Notwithstanding the message of promoting a relationship of equals by the EU leaders, we observe with concern that the legacy of colonialism, now transformed into some kind of corporate-led neo-colonialism, and substantial power asymmetries persist, which continues to tilt the partnership in favour of the EU. It is disturbing and problematic that there is no meaningful effort on the part of the EU to deal with this painful and sad past. A different approach is needed for a more transformative relationship between the two continents. The terrorism and conflicts in the Sahel and other regions of Africa and the forced migration of young Africans crossing the Mediterranean Sea are products of extreme poverty, inequality, climate emergency and economic downturns[3].

We echo the essential words of late Bishop Desmond Tutu and say that we Africans are not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion. We want and demand the full menu of rights.

African Peoples’ Vision

We reject partnerships that address the symptoms rather than the real needs of African people and their vision of a world where all can enjoy their fair share of the gifts of creation. We envision a culture of solidarity and democratisation of ubuntu, where the people – the poor, youth and women – and the environment are at the heart of economic and social policies. We want Africa to define and shape its relations with other regions and world powers. Still, above all, that puts the dignity and wellbeing of all Africans at the centre of its policymaking.

Convinced that African People deserve better consideration in the partnership, we recommend European and African leaders take the following points into account:

  • Ensure space for civil society actors both inside and outside decision-making spaces. Civil society actors struggle to take their rightful seat at the table, while others may opt to remain ‘outside’. Both must be able to freely and safely make their voices heard and to influence decisions.
  • Support national governments – together with Civil Society – implementing the African Land Governance Strategy that will guarantee customary law of communities, women and youth rights and access to land, and ultimately reduce land governance challenges in the continent.
  • End the financing of Large-Scale Land Acquisition projects and speculative investments by public development banks that result in land grabs.
  • Recognise, value and support the vast potential of peasant agroecology to sustainably increase food security and sovereignty, reduce poverty and hunger, while conserving biodiversity and respecting indigenous knowledge and innovation. This requires a shift in the kind of funded development programmes, as the trend clearly shows that public funders largely ignore such a transformative approach.[4]
  • Recognise small-scale family farming as a viable structural model for developing the agricultural sector in Africa.[5]
  • Support and develop territorial food systems, by decentralising value addition, stimulating the rural economy while promoting local food governance.
  • Engage pro-actively in the negotiations towards a UN binding treaty on Transnational Corporations and Human Rights to fill the legal gap in international law and hold big companies accountable for violations throughout their supply chains. The EU due diligence law should not be seen as an excuse for the region not to participate in this international process but rather as complementary.
  • Live up to promise by effectively and urgently sending African countries the quantities of Covid-19 vaccine that it pledged under the Covax initiative.
  • Support the initiative of India and South Africa for a patent moratorium on Covid vaccines at the WTO until the end of the pandemic. Furthermore, the EU should pressure the CVI vaccine companies to agree to their technology transfer.
  • Demonstrate ambitious emissions reductions, and refrain from greenwashing.
  • Support investments in a decentralised clean energy transition adapted to Africa, such as solar energy.
  • Ensure that African lands are not seen as carbon assets intended to offset the emissions of the main polluters – states and companies – under cover of potential carbon credits, which will only result in increased commercialisation of nature.
  • Support knowledge, know-how, life skills and our vision for the future, not achieved by patenting life. We discourage countries from signing up to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). But we ask for the support and the development of adapted and accessible peasant seed, food and therapeutic systems.
  • Protect human rights defenders, particularly those working to protect land, water and natural resources, and to denounce their criminalisation.
  • Support and apply the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Rural Workers by ensuring that relevant international cooperation activities, including international development programmes, are inclusive, accessible and helpful to peasants and other people working in rural areas; and that peasants and other people working in rural areas have the right to define and establish priorities and strategies concerning the exercise of their right to development.

Organisers

with support of other actors from the Our Land is Our Life Platform

_________________________________

Signatures

From Africa

  • Action Batwa Pour Le Développement Intégral et L’Assistance Aux Vulnérables, Abdiav
  • Action Center For Rural Development, Suisse
  • Action Pour La Protection Sociale En Afrique, Cote D’Ivoire
  • Action Pour Le Développement Durable, Mali
  • Addad-Benin
  • Addad- Burkina Faso
  • Addad-Cote D’Ivoire
  • Addad-Gambie
  • Addad-Ghana
  • Addad-Senegal
  • Addad-Mali
  • Addad-Rep De Guinee
  • Addad-Togo
  • Agissons Pour Sauver, Benin
  • Association Pour Le Développement Durable Medenine, Tunisie
  • Africa Europe Faith Justice Network, Nigeria
  • Africa Europe Faith Justice Network, Kenya
  • Afrique Europe Foi et Justice Network, Cameroon
  • Ajupe-Rep De Guinee, Aopp-Mali
  • All Gambia Forest Platform
  • Alliance Citoyenne Pour Le Développement Durable, Rep De Guinee
  • Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
  • Alliance Nationale des Acteurs au développement en Guinée
  • Arable International, Kenya
  • Association De Soutien À L’Autopromotion Sanitaire Urbaine
  • Association De Producteurs De Mangue et d’Ananas d’Iemberem et Cambeque, Guinee Bissau
  • Association Des Femmes Dynamiques De Yopougon, Cote D’Ivoire
  • Association Des Jeunes Universitaires Pour La Protection De L’Environnement, Rep De Guinée
  • Association Paysan Noir, Senegal,
  • Association Trait D’Union Des Jeunes Guineens, Rep De Guinee,
  • Association pour l’Integration et le Développement Durable au Burundi, AIDB (Indigenous Forum)
  • Association Pour La Defense de LeEnvironnement et Des Consommateurs
  • Association Pour La Défense des Droits Des Aides Ménagères et Domestiques
  • Association Raibani Kawral Rkiz ,  Mauritanie
  • Attac/Addea, Senegal
  • Attac-Togo,
  • Banlieue du Monde, Mauritanie,
  • Cad, Mali
  • CCPA, Senegal,
  • Biowatch, South Africa
  • Capan, Cesa, Burkina Faso,
  • Caritas Africa
  • Caritas Embu
  • Centre for indigenous knowledge and organizational development (CIKOD)
  • Centre for Minority Rights Development, Kenya
  • Centre for Rural Studies and International Agriculture
  • Cerfla, Senegal
  • Cmat-Mali
  • Collectif Des Osc Guinéennes Pour La Defense Des Droits Des Communautés-Rep De Guinee,
  • Comite De Solidarite Avec Les Victimes De Violations Des Droits Humains-Mauritanie
  • Comité Régional De Solidarité Des Femmes Pour La Paix En Casamance/Usoforal
  • Confederation Nationale Paysanne, Rep De Guinee
  • Conseil National De L’Agriculture Biologique-Burkina Faso
  • Coordination Maghrébine Des Organisations Des Droits Humains
  • Craph, Enda Pronat, Senegal
  • Ecumenical Association Of Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development, Ghana
  • Entente De Diouloulou/Ziguinchor, Senegal
  • East & Southern Africa Small Farmers Forum (ESAFF)
  • Espace D’Intégration Des Jeunes Défavorisés
  • Fapd-Senegal, Fédération Nationale Des Communes Pastorales-Cote D’Ivoire
  • Federacion Comites Solidaridad Con Africa Negra-Umoya
  • Federacion De Comites De Solidaridad Con Africa Negra- Umoya
  • Federation Des Cooperatives Maraiche,Rs-Niger,
  • Fédération Des Paysans Du Foutah Djallon-Rep De Guinee
  • Fédération Nationale Du Secteur Agricole-Maroc
  • Fedia-Togo, Ferme Agropastoral De Mamou- Rep De Guinee
  • FENOSCI
  • FIAN Zambia
  • FIAN Burkina Faso
  • FIAN Uganda
  • Foi et Justice, Cameroun
  • Forum Social Senegalais – Senegal, Fiopa-Cote D’Ivoire
  • Friends of the Earth Mozambique
  • Gajel-Niger, Irpad/Afrique-Mali
  • Green Scenery
  • Indigenous Peoples Global Forum for Sustainable Development, IPGFforSD (International Indigenous Platform)
  • Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development (IRPAD/Afrique)-MALI-
  • Institute Of The Blessed Virgin Mary (Ibvm)
  • Irpad/Afrique-Mali
  • Jeunes Volontaires Pour L’Environnement-Niger
  • Madee-Burkina Faso, Mouvement Gox Bi-Senegal
  • Merci Guinee-Rep De Guinee, Nacofag, Gambie
  • Missionaries Of Mariannhill
  • Missionaries Of The Sacred Heart
  • Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • New Orientation For The Promotion Of The Sustainable Development In Africa
  • Novox-Benin
  • Novox-Tog
  • Organisation Des Jeunesses Panafricanistes-Ojp, Senegal
  • Ojeg-Senegal,
  • Opv-Cote D’Ivoire,
  • ONG Ocjud-Cote D’Ivoire
  • ONG Optimiste, Côte D’Ivoire
  • Panafricaine Pour L’Education Au Développement Durable, Senegal
  • Partnership For Rural Women Development, Nigeria
  • Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty, Africa
  • Peace and Development Foundation, Uganda
  • PELUM Zambia
  • Proddes Network
  • Radio Pacis
  • Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa
  • Reseau Africain Pour Le Droit A L’Alimentation-Senegal
  • Reseau Des Journalistes Pour L’Eau, L’Hygiene Et L’Assainissement-Niger
  • Réseau D’Informatique Et D’Appui Aux Ong En République Démocratique Du Congo (Riao-Rdc)
  • Réseau Maghrébin D’Associations De Développement Local En Milieu Rural
  • S/Coop Gipa/An, Senegal
  • Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food
  • Society Of The Holy Child Jesus
  • Society of African Earth Scientists
  • Support For Women In Agriculture And Environment (Swagen)
    Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar
  • Synergie Paysanne-Benin
  • Tanzania Organisation For Agricultural Development (Tofad)
  • Trust for Community Outreach and Education
  • Uacdddd/Novox, Mal,
  • Uganda Coalition For Sustainable Development
  • Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development / East African SusWatch Network
  • Ufssin, Cote D’Ivoire
  • Ursuline Sisters
  • Yetiho-Cote D’Ivoire, Organisation Ivoirienne Pour La Paix, Cote D’Ivoire
  • Wassa, Mali
  • Wildaf, Benin
  • Wildaf, Mali
  • Wonsminka Logouale-Cote D’Ivoire
  • Women and Equal Opportunities Desk, Moroto, Uganda
  • Women’s Economy and Gender Support (WEGS)
  • Zambia Social Forum (ZAMSOF)
  • 89.8 Fm Radio Wa, Lira Uganda

From outside Africa

  • Africa Faith and Justice Network, USA
  • Africa Europe Faith Justice Network, Madrid
  • Attac-France
  • Broederlijk Delen, Belgium
  • Brot für die Welt, Germany
  • CCFD – Terre Solidaire, France
  • Coordination Europeenne Via Campensina (Ecvc)
  • Confederation Paysanne-France
  • DKA Austria
  • European Christian Organisations in Relief and Development (EUCORD)
  • Fastenaktion, Switzerland
  • FEC – Fundação Fé e Cooperação, portugal
  • Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario (FOCSIV)
  • FIAN, Belgique
  • Friends of the Earth International
  • International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE)
  • Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty, Europe
  • SOS Faim (Belgium)
  • Welthaus Diözese Graz-Seckau

____________________ 

[1]Peasants include persons engaged in artisanal or small scale agriculture, crop planting, livestock raising, pastoralism, forestry, hunting or gathering, and handicrafts related to agriculture or a related occupation in the rural area as defined in Article 1 paragraph 2 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Rural Workers (UNDROP)

[2] African Civil Society Declaration: : http://aefjn.org/en/our-land-is-our-life-declaration/

[3] African Civil Society Declaration: http://aefjn.org/en/our-land-is-our-life-declaration/

[4] https://www.cidse.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/CIDSE-Agroecology-and-Finance-Briefing-Sept-2020-1.pdf

[5] Neudert & L.Voget-Kleschin, What are the effects of Large-Scale Land Aquisitionsin Africa on Selected Economicand Social Indicators. MISEREOR

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