2013 Africa Workshops

Despite more than enough arable land to feed its people, Africa seems increasingly unable to feed itself. What impact do foreign agricultural subsidies and food exports have on Africa? How are African communities’ food production impacted by land grabs? Does Africa have equal say when it comes to food security? What global advantage could result from having a food exporting Africa as an equal partner on the global stage? Here were the discussions on internal and external factors to food justice for Africa in 2013.


Advocacy for Greater Transparency: Empowering Local African Communities

This workshop will discuss how responsible transparency in the operations of extractive industries and greater access to land tenure and clean water positively impacts the quality of life for farming communities in Ghana and other African countries. It will provide a focused framework for advocacy to discuss further how enforcing US laws such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act would benefit both extractive industries and the local population. Come join the discussion and share your experience.

Speakers: Augustine Niber, Executive Director, Center for Public Interest Law (CEPIL), Ghana; Isabel Munilla, Director, Publish What You Pay United Statesl; Moderators: Bahati Jacques, Africa Faith & Justice Network & Sofia Vergara, Oxfam America


Corporate Accountability and Food Security in Africa

Africa’s losses from illicit financial flows and unpaid tax revenue from corporations far outweigh inflows from aid or direct foreign investment. Combating corporate corruption could raise revenues to achieve food security, help millions escape poverty and create a path for sustainable development in African countries. Come join the discussion on how to make corporations more accountable, assist governments stop big companies from dodging taxes in poor countries–which robs Africa of trillions of dollars in revenue. Come share your ideas on how to end hunger in Africa.

Speaker: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director, Jubilee USA; Kristin Sundell, Senior Policy Analyst ActionAid; Moderator: Aniedi Okure, OP, Executive Director, Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN)


Engaging FBOs in the Global Campaign to Eliminate Child Deaths from AIDS

With the 2011 launch of the United Nations Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive, faith-based organizations have come forward as key stakeholders in efforts to implement the plan. This session, organized by Christian Connections for International Health in cooperation with UNICEF and UNAIDS, will focus on the FBO role in partnering with global institutions and country programs to, 1) Reduce by 90 percent of new HIV infections among children; and 2) Reduce by 50 percent in the number of AIDS-related maternal deaths. The session will inform US-based FBOs about the implementation of the Global Plan, give examples of good practices and activities for FBOs and encourage FBOs to join the campaign through their networks globally. Participants will hear first-hand from a woman living with HIV and organizations working on the frontlines on these issues. It is intended that the session will not only be to share information, but also to spark new ideas and partnerships to increase FBOs efforts in this area.

Speakers: Amaya Gillespie, UNICEF; Representative of women living with HIV; Shepherd and Anita Smith, Children’s AIDS Fund; Gloria Ekpo, World Vision; Moderators: Ray Martin, Christian Connections for International Health & Pauline Muchina, UNAIDS


Food Sovereignty: Land, Water, Seeds
(Co-hosted by Global Economic Justice and Africa Faith & Justice Network)

The well-being of hundreds of millions of people depends on a democratic food system where all farmers can access a diverse seed source, clean water, and land. Yet corporations have bitten off more and more of the global food system—land, water, seeds, and inputs—and shape farm policy at every level. This undermines food democracy, a critical part of food sovereignty. Progress in changing the power dynamic and democratizing our global food system depends on the uniting of movements and the involvement of everyone, especially young people. We will look at how building local-global alliances and grassroots organizing have brought together young adults and diverse stakeholders to begin creating change in the food system, often directly challenging corporate practices.

Speakers: Sara Mersha, Grassroots International ; Valery Nodem, Presbyterian Hunger Program, PCUSA; Blain Snipstal, Young Adult Program of La Via Campesina; Moderator: Andrew Kang Bartlett, Presbyterian Hunger Program


Global Food Crisis: Speculation, Transparency, and Trade
(Co hosted by Global Economic Justice and Africa Faith & Justice Network)

The spikes in global food-prices in 2007-08 served as a wake-up call to the global community on the inadequacies of our global food system. Commodity prices doubled, the estimated number of hungry people topped one billion and food riots spread through the developing world. A second price spike in 2010-11, which drove the global food import bill for 2011 to an astonishing $1.3 trillion, only deepened the sense that the policies and principles guiding agricultural development and food security were deeply flawed. Come learn about how speculation, lack of transparency and trade agreements contribute to the global food crisis. Learn from the experts and share your own knowledge of global and local solutions.


Global Food Fight: An Agro-Ecological or Industrial Agricultural Future?
(Co-Hosted by Global Economic Justice and Africa Faith & Justice Network)

Or both? Is humanity at a critical fork in the road? How do the stomachs of a growing population get filled? Given the enormous environmental impact of food and farming, which approaches are sustainable? Agrifood corporations claim they will feed the world; agro-ecological farmers claim that only their approaches are sustainable and provide real food security. And who gets to decide? Hear from people who have been working in the field on these questions and discuss how we can help shape the decisions moving forward.

Speakers: Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Pesticides Action Network North America; Ricado Jacobs, Surplus People’s Project-South Africa; Moderator: Chloe Schwabe, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach


Large-Scale Land Investments in Sub Saharan Africa: Implications for Food Justice and Inclusive Economic Growth

Access to land for food production is critical to enhancing livelihoods and securing the right to food, yet recent surge of land acquisitions or “grabs” across Africa is making this access more difficult for rural communities. As countries seek to transform small-scale agriculture into commercial, export-driven agriculture, already vulnerable rural communities and smallholder farmers are threatened. Learn about the impact of land grabs in Southern Africa, and how large land deals across the continent are undermining women food producers. Panelists from several African countries will discuss their experiences and alternatives to promote food security, growth and respect for human rights.

Speakers: Buba Khan, Africa Policy Officer for ActionAid International; Prosper Matondi, Executive Director of Ruzivo Trust in Zimbabwe, editor of Biofuels, Land Grabbing and Food Security in Africa, and author of Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform; Marc Wegerif, Horn, East and Central Africa Economic Justice Campaign Manager for Oxfam International; Moderator: Emmanuel Tumusiime, Researcher for Oxfam America 


Militarism, Armed Conflict and Impact on Food Security

The faces of starving Africans especially children are regular feature on our television. Do you know how much of Africa’s food shortage is due to armed conflict? What role does armed conflict play in food shortage? This workshop will address militarism’s role in food insecurity in parts of Africa stretching from Somalia through the Democratic Republic of Congo to Mali.

Speaker: Nii Akuetteh, Independent Analyst of African & International Affairs; Africa Policy Officer for ActionAid International; Moderator: Aniedi Okure, OP, Executive Director, Africa Faith & Justice Network


Contributing Sponsors & Partner Organizations