First field survey of the secretariat : May 2014
In May 2014, the secretariat went for a first time to the villages of Koudiadiène et Thiafathie. A member of the network had notified the secretariat about mining activity in the region and its impacts on the local population and the environment. During the visit, the secretariat inquired about the situation on the ground, visited several locations in the area and consulted members of the community, men, women, youth and leaders of the rural committee of the time. The secretariat considered that more investigation was needed on this case. With this objective in mind, AEFJN began cooperation with CICODEV Africa. Read more
Publication of the study: AEFJN CICODEV Afrique: A mining operation under the scrutiny of evidence
The case study conducted at Koudiadiène, Senegal, known for its rich subsoil minerals, highlights the land acquisition process for mining and the impact of the activity on the population, the local economy, the land and the living environment of Koudiadiène. The activities of the mining companies installed in Koudiadiène and operating on the land around the neighbouring villages have a socio-economic impact that weakens the environmental and socio-economic rights of local people. These companies are owned by European groups specializing in the production of various forms of fertilizers and other chemicals. The phosphate mined in Koudiadiène is destined mainly for export to the European market where it will be processed and used as fertiliser and other chemicals. The report
Presentations of the report: December 2014 – December 2015
European Parliament: 11 December 2014
During the conference “Bridging the gap between policy and practice: international soft law and large scale land acquisitions in Africa”, the director of CICODEV Africa presented the preliminary results of a case study on compliance with national laws and international principles, including the FAO Guidelines, by mining companies and the impact of their activities on the lives of the people who originally used these lands. Read more
Koudiadiène et Thiafathie: May 2015
The results of the final Study were presented to the affected villagers during a town meeting on 10 May 2015 at Koudiadiène, which brought together around 50 people. Read more
Global Land Forum, Dakar, 11-12 May 2015
The Director of CICODEV Afrique presented the final study during the Global Land Forum, organized by the International Land Coalition (ILC), attended by 700 participants from 12 to 17 May in Dakar. Copies of the study were distributed at the stand of CIODEV Africa. Read more
Kenya Conference: 22 November 2015
22 November 2015, AEFJN presented the study during the conference: «Land Grabbing and Just governance in Africa » organised by the Secretariat of SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar), AFJN (Africa Faith & Justice Network) and CIDSE (network of Catholic development agencies). The event gathered about 150 participants from the African continent and beyond, from religious circles and civil society, including many people directly involved in land grabbing struggles. Read more
Madrid: 3 December 2015
3 December 2015 the study was presented at the University of Comillas in Madrid. This event was organized by AEFJN Spain and REDES. Read more
Development of the study: July – December 2015.
Supplementary Research: July 2015
In July 2015, the secretariat published a research article on the phosphate industry, first in the Echoes and afterwards reprinted in the Spanish translation of the study in the foreword serving as contextualization. Read the article
Translation to Spanish: December 2015
REDES translated the study in Spanish. The Spanish version was launched during the conference in Madrid (See above). The Spanish translation has been an important step in the process. An article in Spanish on the study & The Spanish study
Meetings held during the visit to Thiès and Koudiadiène: May 2017
The next stage, prepared over a period of months, aimed to meet all the key actors involved in this case. All those who were interested in contributing to the process of improving the living conditions of the villagers of Koudiadiène were invited to share their point of view and ideas to solve the conflict between the company and Koudiadiène. For more than a week the AEFJN-REDES delegation met those in charge of CICODEV, Caritas Senegal, Justice and Peace (Thiès), local authorities, members of the Christian community as well as leaders of the population (young, women, and elder associations).
Alongside these meetings, the AEFJN delegation visited various mines and met with the managers of the mines both in Senegal and Spain. There was an atmosphere of collaboration and dialogue and the AEFJN drew attention to the criteria for the wellbeing of the population.
Agreements in the meeting between the Company and the population
In agreement with the population of Koudiadiène, a committee of leaders was chosen to represent the population in the meeting with the company. They presented to the company the urgent needs of the village and the company answered with a commitment, for example, to agricultural training for young people, the provision of some medicines to the dispensary of Koudiadiène and the use of the ambulance for the population. Moreover, the company committed itself to provide water to those unsupplied parts of the village and the women of the village will have improved access to microcredit at a reduced interest rate if they present sustainable projects. However, this negotiation would have been incomplete without a restorative plan for the mining site once the company decides to stop exploiting phosphate in Koudiadiène.
For this reason, in the dialogue with all stakeholders the relevance of implementing a good restorative plan was agreed. The company recognized that this plan was stipulated by the government when the mining concession was settled. However, the delegation could not see the plan as such. In any case, there was a commitment to create a committee to follow up all the result of these negotiations. Further steps and strategies will be implemented in the coming months.