Tour for Africa – Visit the Profiteers!

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Bike rally against the ‚G20-Africa-Conference‘
Friday, 9 June at 16:00

Starting point: in front of the Bayer building, Müllerstr. 178 (Wedding) Stops include: REWE; Deutsche Bank and KfW; H&M; the Africa Conference 1884/85 memorial; BMZ.
Ending point: Oranienplatz

We will visit Bayer and other profiteers, as well as institutions which among other things are responsible for destroying family-owned, rural agriculture in Africa. During our tour, we will provide examples of the companies’ role in the history of profiteering in Africa.

They should be ashamed!
On 12-13 June 2017, the German government will host the G20-Africa-Partnership Conference in Berlin. Yet in 1884 and 1885, another Africa Conference also took place here in Berlin.
Back then, the great powers declared the conference’s aims as being the end of slavery as well as “civilizing” the continent. In reality, the conference was first and foremost a crucial milestone in the pursuit of national trade interests and the final allocation of colonies in Africa.
Yet now, the old states and even some new powers meet to talk about partnership, sustainability and development as well as fighting the reasons for flight from Africa. In reality, these actors are only concerned about satisfying the profit interests of major corporations. In pursuing such goals, these nations choose to cooperate with corrupt and tyrannical elites.
Participating European powers are also interested in pushing the borders of “Fortress Europe” into Africa. All the while, the German minister for development brags in his proposal for an African “Marshall Plan” about a “new partnership for development, peace and the future.”
We’re fed up with this hypocrisy!

Who will profit from Africa’s development?
Africa’s market potential is immense, and this has attracted major food, agricultural and chemical corporations. A “green revolution” as well as “free trade” are to be boosted. Together with large companies, rich states have been promoting development within public-private partnerships (PPPs), under the name of “Green Innovation Centres.” Various meetings held during Germany’s G20 presidency are aimed at increasing the pressure on African governments to comply.
Along these lines, Bayer Crop Science has increased significantly its sales of pesticides in Africa, with the end goal of pushing the development of more industrial agriculture. Quoting Bayer, “a green revolution is not feasible with rural farmers.” Thus family farmers are being expelled from their land to make way for such mega projects. Across the continent, a massive land grab is taking place.
Native seeds cultivated for generations will vanish, forever; hybrid seeds and genetically modified fruits and vegetables instead will be norm. Monsanto especially is active in pushing its genetic seed technology – heavily subsidised, of course, through a “New Alliance for Food Security” under PPP auspices.

What’s “free” about trade in Africa?
More than 15 years ago, the European Union negotiated with a number of African governments so-called Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Here again, “partnership” was a theme. Through these free trade agreements, the EU sought the further liberalization of African markets. As a result of the gradual reduction of tariffs, agricultural “dumping” from the EU in Africa would grow and local African agriculture could eventually collapse.
Even now, the capitalistic obsession with growth determines the export of agricultural products in Africa. European agricultural subsidies lead to products such as grains, meat and milk being exported to Africa and sold at lower prices than regionally produced foods. As a result, local markets are destroyed and even more farmers are robbed of their livelihoods and forced to migrate.

This has to be prevented. Resistance must be strengthened. Here, and also in Africa. This agricultural model is a disaster!

Strengthen local African agriculture!
Local African farmers mostly grow limited crops for self-consumption or for local or regional markets. And that is a good thing! In the World Agricultural Report of 2008, scientists in cooperation with local activists and corporate representatives effectively debunked the myth of the superiority of industrial agriculture. This report pleads clearly for the world to support the cultivation of food by local, family farmers.

Rage and resistance
Resistance in Africa has intensified in recent years. In many countries, farmers’ movements have come together to fight against EPAs as well as against agricultural industrialization that is promoted by corporations. Activists found success in Burkina Faso, as Monsanto was forced to stop its extensive cultivation of genetically modified cotton there. Lower yields and reduced harvest quality over several years led to the triumph of local farmers over Monsanto.

No expansion of industrial agriculture or food conglomerates, in Africa or anywhere!
Strengthen agroecological projects and local agriculture!
Food sovereignty instead of free trade!
For freedom of movement and the right to a self-determined life, now!

The bike rally is part of the “Berlin Action Week” against the G20-Africa-Partnership Conference.

More information:

Freund*innen des 17. April, Afrique Europe Interact

Kontakt: freundinnen17.april[at]gmail.com

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