(Download a PDF of the original declaration in Portuguese)
ADECRU Position on "The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa"
On April 10 and 11, the G8 – the group of eight countries considered to have the world's most developed economies – the Government of Mozambique, transnational corporations and multilateral financial institutions met in Maputo to officially launch the latest and most violent phase of 21st century structural adjustment, masquerading as the so-called "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa".
The New Alliance arises from an agreement put forward by the President Barack Obama and the U.S. government at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy in 2009, and signed by some 40 governments, financial institutions and multilateral organisations. The G8 argues that this initiative will allow it to cooperate with African governments to lift 50 million Africans out of poverty – including 3.1 million in Mozambique – in the decade between 2012 and 2022.
Six – out of an expected total of 20 – African countries have already signed up to the new agreement: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.
In Mozambique, implementation of the New Alliance programme will be led by the World Bank, the World Food Programme, Japan's International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and major transnational agribusiness corporations including Cargill, Itochu, Syngenta, Monsanto, Yara, Corvuns International, AGCO, Nippon Biodiesel Fuel Company, Vodafone, and SABMiller, as well as associations like the African Cashew Initiative, and the Competitive African Cotton Initiative.
Through the "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa", the world's eight most imperialist countries are moving towards the final subjugation of Africa and its people, declaring a new and effective attack on the continent's food sovereignty, cultural diversity and biodiversity which will transform Africa into an open market for genetically-modified seeds and massive transnational corporations involved in agribusiness and the industrial food system.
The entry strategy for the "New Alliance" is based on capturing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Plan (CAADP), in order to grant legitimacy to the G8's action. In Mozambique, this intervention is bolstered by the argument that it will align financial and technical support from G8 member states for agriculture in Mozambique with the priorities of the CAADP investment plan for the country, known as the National Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (PNISA).
ADECRU – Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities, an important association of Mozambican students and young people, mostly from rural areas – has been recognised for its work on democratic engagement and the constructive inclusion of various community actors in the fight to prioritise, define, implement and evaluate an autonomous agenda for socio-political, economic and cultural development of rural communities.
The association rejects the implementation of the so-called "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa" for the following reasons:
- The policy outlined here to "save" Africa represents an imperialist imposition, drawn up in the principal neo-liberal and neo-colonialist decision-making centres;
- The basis, foundations and strategies of the New Alliance are a return to the colonialism and slavery of the past, a return to 500 years of domination and oppression endured by Mozambique and Africa as a whole. It will present a massive obstacle to the realisation of human rights, social and environmental justice;
- The New Alliance will enable the most abusive and aggressive exploitation of Mozambique by mercantilist corporations, concealed under the philanthropic premise that it will liberate Africa from famine and misery, ignoring the failure of several similar initiatives carried out by the same multilateral agencies and imperialist powers in the past;
- It fosters and facilitates changes to the legal framework governing land, allowing land to be leased and privatised under the pretext of improving transparency and efficiency in land administration and policy, legitimising the usurpation of land, communally-held land and the basic means by which communities and peoples sustain life;
- To promote investment in agribusiness, it will speed up the issuing of DUATs (the rights to use and profit from land) by eliminating consultation with the community;
- The "New Alliance" forces changes to the national policies on fertiliser and seeds to enable the entry and certification of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by multinationals like Monsanto;
- The G8, through its corporations, wants to ensure control of the principal geostrategic and agroecological zones of Mozambique – in the development corridors of Beira, Nacala and the Zambezi Valley – which account for more than 70 percent of the country's potential natural and underground wealth;
- The New Alliance gives priority to private companies, national and international commodity producers and banks with a focus on making these development corridors into zones for the free flow of capital and the export of primary commodities to global markets, in this way deepening the serious problems of land grabbing, the forced displacement and resettlement of millions of people, environmental degradation, and socio-environmental conflicts.
- By intensifying use of land, water, energy and mechanisation, the New Alliance will inevitably contribute to the greater impoverishment of the population and rural communities.
The New Covenant must be understood as a decisive step in improving and strengthening implementation of a strategy of structural adjustment on the African continent. Its conception and design are directly in line with the development model adopted by the Mozambican government, which prioritises attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and large-scale projects at the expense of domestic investment and the interests of the majority of farmers and rural communities. That is why ADECRU declares:
- That the African people are capable of being the authors and protagonists of policies for self-sustaining development that responds to the priorities, dreams, aspirations and requirements of African people;
- That African countries should increase the budget allocation to the agriculture sector by more than 10 percent, in line with the 2003 Maputo Declaration;
- That the Mozambican government should prioritise food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture and agroecology as the only sustainable solutions to reduce hunger and promote proper nutrition;
- That the Mozambican government should adopt policies for the agricultural sector that focus on support to peasants, whose priorities are based on access to credit for rual people, the extension of agricultural support by the government, micro-irrigation systems, the recovery of indigenous climate-resistant seeds, and infrastructure related to increasing productive capacity[
- The current process of reform of the legal framework for land, seed and fertiliser headed by the World Bank should be suspended;
- That land should not be privatised, regardless of the pressure brought to bear on the Mozambican government, since land represents the greatest achievement and the principal heritage of the Mozambican people.
Acknowledging the weaknesses and complicity of African states and the Mozambican government's institutions in the face of this onslaught by the imperialist G8 against people's sovereignty, Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities (ADECRU) calls on all peasants, environmental and social movements, on rural communities, and all African people to mobilise broadly, organise and construct a popular national and continental movement to defend their rights and interests relating to access to and control of land, water, goods and cultural heritage and common history.
ADECRU also calls for a firm and vigorous resistance by all affected people against the "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa" and against all social and environmental injustice.
ADECRU commits to using all national and international legal instruments to stop the implementation of the New Alliance in Mozambique.
Maputo, 6 April 2013