Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), a network of forty-eight religious Congregations working for economic justice between Africa and Europe, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 10th November, 2017. Thirty religious men and women from around twenty member-Congregations gathered together at the Generalate of the Missionaries of Africa to listen to reports from the Secretariat in Brussels and the Executive Committee, and to enhance the work of AEFJN.
Fr. François de Paul Houngue, SMA, the president of AEFJN, reported on the work done by the Executive Committee. One of the mandates from the last AGM was the promotion and creation of Antennas in Africa. The Executive Committee explored possibilities and now, in Central African Republic and DR Congo, Antennas have started and are in regular contact with the Secretariat. Fr. François expressed the need for new members on the Executive Committee. He concluded by thanking the outgoing Executive Committee members, Sr. Rebecca Sepepka SUSC and Sr. Denise Bangn’a OLA, for their long and passionate commitment.
Fr. Chika Onyejiuwa, CSSp, Mr. José Luis Gutierrez Aranda and Mr. Gino Brunswijck from the Secretariat reported some advocacy success stories for the network relating to its priorities, namely Food Sovereignty, Land Grabbing, Trade and Natural Resources. A good example is the mining in Koudiadiène, Senegal, which is destroying the environment and ignoring the socio-economic rights of the local people. For three years, research, dialogue, publications and advocacy work has been done, in collaboration with the Madrid Antenna. Now, at last, the mining company has promised to be more sensitive to the issues raised and have been providing clean water, medicine and an ambulance, and promoting women and providing job-training for young people.
Fr. Chika invited the member-Congregations to participate in the activities of Antennas both in Africa and Europe which play a major role in the work of the Network and requested the Assembly to collaborate in the process of the preparation for the Action Plan 2019 – 2023.
The AGM was a good opportunity to learn about the work of the Executive Committee, the Secretariat and the Antennas, as well as to deepen the friendship and dedication of those who are working in and supporting AEFJN. We thank all the participants for their commitment and their sense of sharing the common mission as a Network.
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AEFJN Executive Committee