NEWS FROM OUR BRUSSELS OFFICE


Our Secretariat in Brussels is in the heart of the European quarter. It keeps a close eye on EU policies and legislation that affect Africa.

Every month or so it publishes

'ECHOES FROM AEFJN'


flagging up new ideas and concerns
and giving news from other parts of our network
.


LATEST ISSUE


More detailed updates on our main areas of concern can be found under the ISSUES tab.

JOSEPH II

The Trade Commission in Brussels and,
in the background,
Berlaymont, home of the EU Commission.
(AEFJN's office is in one of the buildings on the left)
 
 

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(NAD) Netzwerk Afrika Deutschland
(ICN) Independent Catholic News


NEWS FROM AROUND & ABOUT

(These items are mostly taken from the press. They may or may not reflect the vision of AEFJN-UK)

 

March 2018

TANZANIA SCRAPS CUSTOMS PACT WITH DRC
Dar es Salaam — It's now official. The government has scrapped its Single Customs Territory (SCT) arrangement with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as it seeks to attract more cargo to Dar es Salaam Port. [Read on in The Citizen]

February 2018

SOUTH AFRICA: JESUIT STATEMENT ON RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT ZUMA
It is a great relief that Jacob Zuma has resigned as President of South Africa. SAJsThough one must distinguish between administrative incompetence and poor personal judgment on one hand and corrupt criminality on the other - and, indeed, as much as one may instinctively baulk at anticipating the judgment of the courts as to Mr Zuma's guilt in the latter - the overwhelming evidence of the era that (hopefully) ended on the night of 14 February 2018 is one of nearly a decade of misrule. At the risk of Biblical parody: corruption and incompetence embraced, poor judgment and criminality kissed. And South Africa is the poorer - much poorer - for it. [ICN link]

POPE PROCLAIMS 23 FEBRUARY DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING FOR PEACE
Pope Francis has announced a special day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace to be held Friday February 23, ‘in particular for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan.' [Zenit.org]

MOZAMBIQUE TAKES LEGAL ACTION ON SECRET LOANS
The Mozambique Attorney General has announced that legal action will be taken against the government officials who contracted the secret loans from the London branches of banks Credit Suisse and VTB. (Jubilee Debt Campaign link)

January 2018

REFUGEES FLOOD INTO NIGERIA TO ESCAPE ETHNIC CLEANSING IN CAMEROON
January 25th. In an echo of the Vietnam War, entire villages in English-speaking Cameroon are being torched by government soldiers to punish civilians suspected of sympathising with secessionist militias. The United Nations believes 43,000 people have recently crossed the border into neighbouring Nigeria, seeking refuge from the escalating conflict. The international community's calls for dialogue have been ignored by Cameroon's Francophone leader, President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982. [ICN] Read on.
Link to response and counter response to this article

LIBERIA’S WEAH MAKES FIRST CABINET APPOINTMENTS
New Liberian President, ex-footballer George Weah, has appointed the first members of his cabinet, all of them men, largely naming party allies but picking a foreign minister close to former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. News24 link.

DR CONGO SECURITY FORCES ACCUSED OF KILLINGS IN MORE THAN 130 CHURCH ATTACKS
Army and police in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stand accused of killing at least four people and injuring several others in attacks on more than 130 churches around the country. In the latest incident on Friday 12th January, two people were injured when security forces reportedly fired tear gas at Kinshasa Cathedral after a Mass for lay people killed by military and police. Read on

GETTING AGRICULTURE MOVING IN ZIMBABWE
Agriculture is taking centre stage in plans for the revival of Zimbabwe’s ailing economy under the new leadership of Emmerson Mnangagwa. News24 link.

CARDINAL LIKELY TO PLAY KEY ROLE IN SHAPING DRC’S FUTURE
For decades, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, archbishop of Kinshasa and de-facto leader of the DRC’s powerful Catholic church, has spoken out against the violence that has swept through parts of the sprawling country, including successive civil wars that killed millions. His outspokenness has now turned him into a rallying figure for protest against President Joseph Kabila, whose regime is tarred with a reputation for corruption, repression and incompetence. Monsengwo was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, and later named one of nine cardinals chosen by Pope Francis to play a part in Vatican reform. News 24 link.

December 2017

HOLY SEE AT U.N. CALLS FOR JUST WORLD TRADE SYSTEM
Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, said "an unbalanced and unjust trade creates social exclusion and inequality, offends human dignity and neglects the common good of humanity," during his address to the 11th Session of the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which took in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 3-13 December. [ICN] Read more

GAMBIA DENIES HOSTING RUSSIAN IMPERIAL REVIVAL BID
The Gambia has become the latest country to deny that it is selling a Siberian businessman land for his plan to revive the Russian monarchy. [BBC News] Read more

 

November 2017

SOUTH AFRICAN BISHOPS ASK COMPANIES WHY THEY ARE USING TAX HAVENS
The Justice and Peace Commission for Southern African Catholics Bishops Conference (SACBC) has written an open letter to 21 mining companies operating in South Africa asking each to explain why it is using tax havens. New research conducted for the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission shows that these 21 companies, which include some of the largest in the country such as Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Impala Platinum, LonMin and Petra Diamonds, all have subsidiaries in tax havens, also known as secrecy jurisdictions: these include the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Mauritius, Jersey, the Netherlands and Bermuda. The 21 companies collectively have 117 subsidiaries in such tax havens. Read on

ZIMBABWE: BETWEEN A CRISIS AND A KAIROS (opportunity)
Pastoral message from the heads of Christian denominations, 15th November 2017. Read it here

NIGERIA'S FIRST GROUNDNUT SPREAD LANDS ON STORE SHELVES
The nation’s agric value chain development appears to be gaining more acceptance with the entry of Nigeria’s first ever locally-produced groundnut spread – Nutzy peanut butter – which the makers say offers more even value than imported brands. Read on.