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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)

 

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.


October 2017

SOUTH SUDAN: YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham, UK has called on all Catholics to pray for their brothers and sisters in the South Sudan as they undergo the trauma of war and famine. They are 'a Church that is small and regarded at times suspiciously by the authorities.' [ICN] Read on

ENGLISH-SPEAKING CAMEROON RESTIVE
2017.10.19: Cameroon must urgently rethink a policy of "murderous repression" in its restive English-speaking regions or risk the crisis spiralling into an armed uprising, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned Thursday. [AFP] Read on

BAYER AND MONSANTO TO MERGE? PETITION!
Now we have proof: the planned merger of Bayer and Monsanto to become the biggest seller of pesticides worldwide would be disastrous for farmers, consumers and the environment.
Read on

UGANDA: RAIN AT LAST
Prayers of thanksgiving have been offered in churches throughout northern Uganda as people celebrate the end of one of the most serious droughts for years. Read more - ICN
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GUINEA: HUGE ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS
(Mary Harper, Africa editor, BBC World Service)
Large demonstrations have taken place across Guinea against what opposition supporters describe as government impunity. Schools and shops have remained closed in several towns. Opposition groups say the security forces have killed more than 80 of their supporters since President Alpha Conde was elected in 2010. They say two were shot dead during demon-strations last month.

MALI: UN SAYS MALI CRISIS WORSENING
(Tomi Oladipo, BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent)
The UN Security Council is to discuss the crisis in Mali after an investigation found that the country's security situation had significantly worsened. It noted that there had been a 100% increase in Islamist attacks in the past four months. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reported a surge in attacks against peacekeepers and local troops. He said that since June extremist groups – mostly in northern Mali - have carried out a total of 75 attacks against Malian, French and UN forces. Most of the attacks were claimed by JNIM – a jihadist coalition linked to al-Qaeda. The UN chief called for funding and logistical support for the new regional force that is being set up to fight jihadists in the Sahel. He also expressed his disappointment in the resumption of fighting between local armed groups despite a prior peace agreement between them.

GLOBAL CHOLERA PLEDGE
(BBC) Health officials from around the world are meeting in France to commit to preventing 90% of cholera deaths by 2030. The disease, which is spread through contaminated water, kills about 100,000 people every year. It is the first time governments, the World Health Organization, aid agencies and donors have made such a pledge. It comes as Yemen continues to fight one of the worst cholera outbreaks on record. Cholera has been spreading in the war-torn country due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions and disruptions to the water supply.

KENYA IN LAST-DITCH EFFORT TO PERSUADE TANZANIA TO SIGN E.P.A.
In September, Kenya took its case to the European Union in Brussels in a last-ditch effort to garner support for the Economic Partnership Agreement deal. Trade Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed led a Kenyan delegation to the Belgian capital, where he hoped to bring Tanzania on board to take a united stand with its East African Community (EAC) neighbours on the elusive trade pact. Read more.

TOGO: 'FINAL WARNING' TO PRESIDENT
(BBC) Tens of thousands of opposition supporters in Togo have marched in the capital, Lome, in what they call the next phase of their campaign to force out President Faure Gnassingbe. There were also big numbers of protesters in the second largest city of Sokode and the northern town of Bafilo where youths blockaded a major highway connecting the north and south of the country. The main opposition leader, Jean-Pierre Fabre, said that they were going to maintain pressure on the government. Protesters carried placards demanding the restoration of the 1992 constitution, which limited the number of presidential terms to two. Mr Gnassingbe is serving his third term in office. He succeeded his father, meaning the same family has ruled Togo for 50 years.

September 2017

ETHIOPIA: NOTORIOUS LAND GRABBER PULLS OUT
Land must now go back to the Ethiopian farmers. Land activists around the world celebrated the news of the collapse of one of the world’s biggest land grabs: the Indian company Karuturi Global Ltd’s 300,000 hectare farmland deal in Ethiopia. CEO Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi claimed he would bring food security to the horn of Africa while boasting he would soon join the ranks of the world’s biggest food producers. Read on

SUPPORT FOR INDUSTRIALISATION OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has joined partners with the African Union Commission, African governments, United Nations agencies and development finance institutions in a bid to renew support for the industrialization of African countries. Read on FoodBusinessAfrica.com

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: BISHOP PROTECTS MUSLIMS
A Catholic bishop in the Central African Republic (CAR) has given refuge to about 2,000 Muslims who fear possible attacks by a mainly Christian militia. In an interview with the BBC, Bishop Juan José Aguirre Munoz said the refugees are afraid to leave the seminary's compound in Bangassou, a city in the country's south-east region. This is because they risk death from anti-Balaka militias. They sought refuge in May this year after fighting erupted. Read on in the ICN

SENEGAL: IDEA TO COUNTER YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
To combat youth unemployment in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the National Council for Cooperation and Cooperation of Rural People (CNCR) advocates the financing of attractive agriculture for youth. Farmers' organizations in this Community area have called for agriculture to be attractive because it is the only sector capable of absorbing the high demand for jobs. Read on (in French). Oumar Kande, 'Le Soleil'