CGLTE-OA-4th-Edition-West-African-Caravan 2023

As part of the Our Land is Our Life (OLOL) advocacy platform, the Convergence Globale des Luttes pour la Terre et l’Eau-Ouest Africaine (CGLTE-OA) initiated its 4th Edition West African Caravan to “contribute to strengthening the fight against climate change phenomena by raising awareness and promoting peasant agroecology as an alternative to false solutions through advocacy with communities and authorities with a view to guaranteeing food sovereignty in particular.” The caravan’s theme for 2023 is “Right to land, water and peasant agroecology, a common struggle!”[1]

Almost a decade of advocacy practice, CGLTE-OA started its West African Caravan in 2016 by crossing Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal. During its 2nd edition in 2018, the West African caravan traversed Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Its 3rd edition in 2021 crossed Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau Republic of Guinea, and Sierra Leone as its destination. For 2023, the 4th edition West African caravan was planned to cross Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania.

As early as 11 October, AEFJN contacted Fr. Vincent de Paul Boro, the First Deputy Secretary-General of the Reunion of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA), and Sr. Regina Ignatia Aflah, the Caritas RECOWA Zone Coordinator, to mobilize the Catholic Church resources that will welcome the caravanners in the five countries. Thanks to their assistance, AEFJN coordinated the collaboration between RECOWA and CGLTE-OA representatives at the regional level on 16 October. On 25 October, another coordination meeting was held between the RECOWA and civil society organizations at the national levels to reinforce their cooperation at the local level. As the month-long journey was logistically tough, the Church offered its blessings and hospitality through lodging accommodations, parish halls for forum discussions, and food and water for the caravan participants.

Fr. Vincent de Paul Boro, First Deputy Secretary-General RECOWA, participates in the launching of the caravan in Bobo Dioulasso. (Photo courtesy: CGLTE-OA)

Originally planned to start on 25 October, the caravan’s official launch date was postponed due to logistical concerns. On 6 November, CGLTE-OA held its opening ceremony in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso through public discussions on climate change and land governance, promotion of peasant seeds in the context of security crisis, and the agroecological political role of traditional chieftains.[2] In Ferkessédougou and Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire, the caravan participants conducted public conferences on market gardening as local officials received their advocacy documents. Welcoming sentiments from local communities in Kidiana, Konlondieba, Bamako and Kayes, Mali were also felt as the caravan met with traditional chieftains, religious leaders, and public officials. After Mali, the caravan conducted public forums on agroecology in Tambacounda and good practices in milk production in Linguère, Senegal. Although the caravan originally planned their destination to Mauritania, Massa Kone, CGLTE-OA spokesperson, said that itinerary changes were, however, made due to some “serious concerns about obtaining authorization” to enter Mauritania that eventually made the stakeholders decide on 20 November to reroute and have the final ceremony in Serrekunda, Gambia on 30 November.[3]

Massa Kone, CGLTE-OA spokesperson, gives a speech at the Governorate of Kayes, Mali (Photo courtesy: CGLTE-OA)

Advocacy Video Documentation of the 4th Edition West African Caravan 

Aside from coordinating the synergy between RECOWA and the CGLTE-OA, AEFJN also facilitated the production of its short-film advocacy to disseminate the Catholic Church’s engagement with civil-society in the 4th edition West African caravan. As early as 28 October, AEFJN, with the help of Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité (CIDSE) represented by José Emmanuel Yap, secured funding for the video project through Dreikönigsaktion (Austria) represented by Heidrun Leitner and Broedelijk Delen (Burkina Faso) represented by Tocoma Sy. With Sy’s recommendation, Inoussa Maïga’s MediaProd was hired to produce this video documentation project, which is entitled Climate Change: A Caravan to Save the Planet.

CGLTE-OA caravan participants in Kayes, Mali (Photo courtesy: CGLTE-OA)

Toward COP 28

The 4th Edition West African Caravan served as preparation for COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates held from 30 November to 12 December. While the caravan was ongoing, the key actors of Our Land is Our Life formulated a COP28 policy brief through multilevel advocacy. Here, AEFJN was instrumental in seeking its endorsement from local, national, and regional organizations. Aside from AEFJN and CGLTE, other key actors involved are Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Eastern and Southern Africa small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF), Développement Durable en Afrique (DDA), Laudato Si` Movement, Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA), and the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM). The Our Land is Our Life’s policy brief for COP 28 demands the need for 1) increased food systems’ resilience through agroecology and diversification, 2) the creation of loss and damage fund that will make polluting countries and organizations responsible to pay for their damages, and 3) the adoption of binding forms of energy transition to phase out fossil fuels.[4]


Dr. Lawrence S. Pedregosa

AEFJN Advocacy and Communication Officer




[1] Convergence Globale des luttes pour la terre et l’eau Ouest Africaine, Terms of Reference, 4th Edition West African Caravan: The Right to Land, Water and Peasant Agroecology, A Common Struggle 25 October-20 November 2023.

[2] CGLTE-OA, Agenda provisoire de la caravane (Etape du Burkina Faso).

[3] Massa Kone, Correspondence in WhatsApp Caravan 2023, 20 November 2023.

[4] Our Land is Our Life, Recommendations for Action at COP 28, November 2023.