The annual AEFJN antenna meeting was held virtually on the 8th of May 2021. Even though we would have wished an in-person presence meeting; the benefit of having it online was that it enabled African antennae to participate. We had representation from France, Kenya, Mozambique, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Nigeria, Netherlands, Cameroon, members of the Secretariat and the Executive committee.
The theme of the meeting was: Understanding more the Architecture of the EU-Africa Partnership. This theme was developed by Karin Ulmer from CIDSE. Her input explained the complexity of the relationship between the European Union and the Africa as well as the structures and possibilities of advocacy for the Civil Society Organizations.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the sharing of experience of antennae. There were some joyful reports especially from the Cameroon antenna and Kenya where efforts have given some fruits. There is a hope that the Irish antenna might be reactivated. While majority of the European antennae are declining because of diminishing human resources, the African antennae are at different stages of their growth. Some are starting like the one of Mozambique and Nigeria, others are struggling with financial resources to carry out their different advocacy activities. The Executive proposed a questionnaire to be completed by the African antennae to enable them provide them with some support. The antennae meeting ended with a question on the format of future antennae meeting since many of the European ones are closing down.
Odile Ntakirutimana DMJ