October 2014 Africa-US Strategic Meetings in Seattle

    In October, 2014, AGRA Watch, a program of Community Alliance for Global Justice, will host a historic three-day strategy meeting between African and US food sovereignty leaders. The meetings will serve to deepen the international struggle against the Gates Foundation’s agricultural interventions in Africa both directly and through its subsidiary—Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

    A public event will be held with the participants of the meeting on the evening of Sunday, October 12 – save the date!

    In recent years, the push for industrial, corporate-controlled agriculture has dramatically intensified on both domestic and international fronts. In the U.S., biotech companies have continued to promote new and untested genetically engineered (GE) seeds for agency approval, used the US Trade Representative and USAID to push their narrow interests onto the policies of other nations, and lobbied legislators relentlessly to secure passage of new GE-friendly laws. Meanwhile, the African continent is being targeted by a powerful confluence of outside initiatives—most from the U.S.— devoted to pushing an industrial agricultural development model that largely benefits transnational corporations at the expense of African farmers, consumers, and the environment. Chief among these is the Gates Foundation and AGRA with their agenda to “improve” African agriculture through inappropriate, high-tech, pro-corporate policies and practices.

    Since 2008, AGRA Watch has partnered with African small-scale farmer and food sovereignty movements to challenge this dominant pro-corporate model being pushed “in their backyard.”   Together we are demanding policies and investments that support small-scale, agro-ecological agricultural development and local markets.

    In the October meetings, food and agricultural activist leaders from eight African countries will help provide an on-the-ground perspective regarding these continent-wide foreign interventions and the African-led movement to transform agricultural development to a more sustainable and socially just model.

    Expected African participants:

    • Mercia Andrews, Trust for Community Organization and Education, South Africa
    • Marian Bassey, Friends of the Earth-Africa, Nigeria
    • Fatou Batta, We Are the Solution, Burkina Faso
    • Million Belay, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and MELCA-Ethiopia
    • Ndiakhate Fall, La Via Campesina Africa, Senegal
    • Daniel Maingi, Kenya Biodiversity Coalition and the Kenya Food Rights Alliance
    • Mariam Mayet, African Centre for Biosafety, South Africa
    • Herschelle Milford, Surplus People Project and Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign, South Africa
    • Elizabeth Mpofu, ZIMSOFF, La Via Campesina Africa, Zimbabwe
    • Bridget Mugambe, Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information, and Negotiations Alliance, Food Rights Alliance, Uganda

     

    To learn more, please email us: AGRA Watch <agrawatch@seattleglobaljustice.org>

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Our Projects

Food Justice

Food Justice is the right of communities everywhere to produce, distribute, access, and eat good food regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, ability, religion, or community. Good food is healthful, local, sustainable, culturally appropriate, humane, and produced for the sustenance of people and the planet.

Through community education, political action, and anti-oppressive organizing and community-building, CAGJ's Food Justice Project seeks to challenge and transform the globalized, industrial, corporate-driven food system and promote existing alternatives as we join the global struggle for food sovereignty for all!

AGRA Watch

AGRA Watch's objectives are to monitor and question the Gates Foundation's participation in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Upon researching this initiative and its historical precedents, AGRA Watch finds the current approach politically, environmentally, socially, and ethically problematic. We support sustainable, socially responsible, and indigenous alternatives in Africa, and connect these movements to those occurring in our local communities.

Trade Justice

CAGJ works for Trade Justice by organizing to reform the current US trade model that prioritizes profits over people and the environment, while offering viable alternatives through democratic engagement. Through CAGJ’s Trade Action Network, and membership in the WA Fair Trade Coalition, CAGJ continues our historic organizing to halt future so-called Free Trade Agreements, including the pending Trans Pacific Partnership, and to monitor existing policy including NAFTA, CAFTA and bilateral agreements with Peru, Colombia, South Korea and Panama. We seek to increase public understanding of trade by educating and advocating about the links to our food system, food sovereignty, immigrant rights, climate justice and economic justice.

News

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