African People’s Summit joint declaration – CIDSE

African People’s Summit joint declaration

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

A joint declaration of Social Movements and Peasant farmers, Faith-Based Organizations and CSO 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 agroecology.


Context
We, members of a broad alliance of social and peasants movements[1], 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 rather 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, with 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 neocolonialism, and substantial power asymmetries persist in the partnership, which continue to tilt the partnership in favour of the EU structurally. It is disturbing and problematic that there is no meaningful effort on the part of the EU to deal with this painful and sombre past. A different approach is indeed 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 an Africa that can 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 to 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 development programmes that are funded, as the trend clearly shows that such transformative approach is largely ignored by public funders.[4]
  • Recognise small-scale family farming as a viable structural model for the development of the agricultural sector in Africa.[5]
  • Support and develop the concept of territorial food systems, by decentralizing 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 decentralized 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 the cover of potential carbon credits which will only result in increased financialization of nature. 
  • Support knowledge, know-how, life skills and our vision for the future, not achieved by patenting life. We discourage countries to sign up for the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. 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.

[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 Acquisitions in Africa on Selected Economic and Social Indicators. MISEREOR

Organisers


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

Signing organisations
Africa (133)

  1. Action Batwa Pour Le Développement Intégral et L’Assistance Aux Vulnérables (ABDIAV), Burundi
  2. Action pour la Protection Sociale en Afrique, Côte d’Ivoire
  3. Action pour le Développement Durable, Mali
  4. ActionAid Kenya
  5. ActionAid Senegal
  6. ADDAD, Benin
  7. ADDAD, Burkina Faso
  8. ADDAD, Côte d’Ivoire
  9. ADDAD, Gambie
  10. ADDAD, Ghana
  11. ADDAD, Mali
  12. ADDAD, République de Guinée
  13. ADDAD, Senegal
  14. ADDAD, Togo
  15. Africa Europe Faith Justice Network, Kenya
  16. Africa Europe Faith Justice Network, Nigeria
  17. Afrique Europe Foi et Justice Network, Cameroon
  18. Agissons Pour Sauver, Benin
  19. AJUPE, République de Guinée
  20. All Gambia Forest Platform
  21. Alliance Citoyenne pour le Développement Durable, République de Guinée
  22. Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Uganda
  23. Alliance Nationale des Acteurs au développement en Guinée
  24. AOPP, Mali
  25. Arable International, Kenya
  26. Association de Producteurs de Mangues et d’Ananas d’Iemberem et Cambeque, Guinée Bissau
  27. Association de Soutien à l’Autopromotion Sanitaire Urbaine
  28. Association des Femmes Dynamiques de Yopougon, Côte d’Ivoire
  29. Association des Jeunes Universitaires pour la Protection de l’Environnement, République de Guinée
  30. Association Paysan Noir, Senegal
  31. Association pour l’Intégration et le Développement Durable au Burundi, AIDB (Indigenous Forum)
  32. Association pour la Défense de l’Environnement et des Consommateurs
  33. Association pour la Défense des Droits des Aides Ménagères et Domestiques
  34. Association pour le Développement Durable, Medenine, Tunisie
  35. Association Raibani Kawral Rkiz, Mauritanie
  36. Association Trait d’Union des Jeunes Guinéens, République de Guinée
  37. ATTAC/ADDEA, Senegal
  38. ATTAC-Togo
  39. Banlieue du Monde, Mauritanie
  40. Biowatch, South Africa
  41. CAD, Mali
  42. Capan, Cesa, Burkina Faso
  43. Caritas Africa
  44. Caritas Embu
  45. CCPA, Senegal
  46. Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), Ghana
  47. Centre for Minority Rights Development, Kenya
  48. CERFLA, Senegal
  49. CMAT, Mali
  50. Collectif des OSC Guinéennes pour la Défense Des Droits Des Communautés-République de Guinée
  51. Comité de Solidarité avec les Victimes de Violations des Droits Humains, Mauritanie
  52. Comité Régional de Solidarité des Femmes pour la Paix en Casamance/Usoforal, Senegal
  53. Confédération Nationale Paysanne, République de Guinée
  54. Conseil National de l’Agriculture Biologique, Burkina Faso
  55. Coordination Maghrébine des Organisations des Droits Humains
  56. CRAPH, ENDA, PRONAT, Senegal
  57. East & Southern Africa Small Farmers Forum (ESAFF)
  58. East African SusWatch Network
  59. Ecumenical Association of Sustainable Agriculture & Rural Development, Ghana
  60. Entente de Diouloulou/Ziguinchor, Senegal
  61. Espace d’Intégration des Jeunes Défavorisés
  62. FAPD-Senegal
  63. Federacion de Comites de Solidaridad con Africa Negra- Umoya
  64. Fédération des Coopératives Maraichères, Niger
  65. Fédération des Paysans du Foutah Djallon, République de Guinée
  66. Fédération Nationale Des Communes Pastorales, Côte d’Ivoire
  67. Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole, Maroc
  68. FEDIA-Togo
  69. FENOSCI 
  70. Ferme Agropastorale de Mamou, République de Guinée
  71. FIAN Burkina Faso
  72. FIAN Uganda
  73. FIAN Zambia
  74. FIOPA, Côte d’Ivoire
  75. Foi et Justice, Cameroun
  76. Forum Social Sénégalais – Senegal
  77. Friends of the Earth Mozambique
  78. GAJEL, Niger
  79. Green Scenery
  80. Indigenous Peoples Global Forum for Sustainable Development, IPGFforSD (International Indigenous Platform)
  81. Institute for Research and Promotion of Alternatives in Development (IRPAD/Afrique)-MALI-
  82. Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM)
  83. Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement, Niger
  84. Madee, Burkina Faso
  85. Merci Guinée, République de Guinée
  86. Missionaries of Mariannhill
  87. Missionaries of The Sacred Heart
  88. Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
  89. Mouvement Gox Bi, Senegal
  90. NACOFAG, Gambie
  91. New Orientation for the Promotion of the Sustainable Development In Africa
  92. NOVOX-Benin
  93. NOVOX-Togo
  94. OJEG-Senegal
  95. ONG Ocjud-Côte d’Ivoire
  96. ONG Optimiste, Côte D’Ivoire
  97. OPV, Côte d’Ivoire
  98. Organisation des Jeunesses Panafricanistes-OJP, Senegal
  99. Panafricaine pour l’Education au Développement Durable, Senegal
  100. Partnership for Rural Women Development, Nigeria
  101. Peace and Development Foundation, Uganda
  102. PELUM Zambia
  103. Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty, Africa
  104. Proddes Network
  105. Radio Pacis
  106. Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) 
  107. Réseau Africain pour le Droit à l’Alimentation, Senegal
  108. Réseau des Journalistes pour L’Eau, l’Hygiène et l’Assainissement, Niger
  109. Réseau d’Informatique et d’Appui aux ONG en République Démocratique Du Congo (RIAO-RDC)
  110. Réseau Maghrébin d’Associations de Développement Local en Milieu Rural
  111. S/Coop Gipa/An, Senegal
  112. Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food
  113. Society of African Earth Scientists
  114. Society of The Holy Child Jesus
  115. Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN)
  116. Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM)
  117. Synergie Paysanne, Benin
  118. Tanzania Organisation for Agricultural Development (TOFAD)
  119. Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE)
  120. UACDDDD/NOVOX, Mali
  121. UFSSIN, Côte d’Ivoire
  122. Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development
  123. Ursuline Sisters
  124. WASSA, Mali
  125. WILDAF, Benin
  126. WILDAF, Mali
  127. Women and Equal Opportunities Desk, Moroto, Uganda
  128. Women’s Economy and Gender Support (WEGS)
  129. Wonsminka Logouale-Côte d’Ivoire
  130. YETIHO-Côte d’Ivoire, Organisation Ivoirienne Pour La Paix, Côte d’Ivoire
  131. Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB), Zambia
  132. Zambia Social Forum (ZAMSOF) 
  133. 89.8 Fm Radio Wa, Lira Uganda

Outside Africa (24)

  1. Action Center for Rural Development, Switzerland
  2. ActionAid International
  3. Africa Europe Faith Justice Network, Spain
  4. Africa Faith and Justice Network, USA 
  5. Afrikagrupperna, Sweden
  6. Attac-France
  7. Broederlijk Delen, Belgium
  8. Brot für die Welt, Germany
  9. CCFD-Terre Solidaire, France
  10. Center for Rural Studies and International Agriculture, Spain
  11. Confédération Paysanne-France
  12. Coordination Européenne Via Campesina (ECVC)
  13. DKA, Austria
  14. European Christian Organisations in Relief and Development (EUCORD)
  15. Fastenaktion, Switzerland
  16. FEC – Fundação Fé e Cooperação, Portugal
  17. Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario (FOCSIV), Italy
  18. FIAN, Austria
  19. FIAN, Belgium
  20. Friends of the Earth International
  21. International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE)
  22. Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty, Europe
  23. SOS Faim, Belgium
  24. Welthaus Diözese Graz-Seckau, Austria

Credit cover photo: Christophe Smets, La Boîte à Images


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