Communique: PCFS Africa Steering Council Meeting | March 2020

The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) Africa Steering Council held its first meeting for the year last 26 March 2020. The meeting was done through an online platform, prepared by the PCFS Global Secretariat. PCFS Africa coordinator Gershom Kabaso of Zambia Social Forum (ZAMSOF) facilitated the meeting.

Quorum of the meeting. Six out of nine SC members were present in the meeting: (1) Gershom Kabaso of ZAMSOF and the PCFS Africa Coordinator, (2) Yahya Msangi of WELFARE-Togo, (3) Hakim Baliraine of Eastern and Southern Africa Farmers’ Forum (ESAFF), (4) Nasako Besingi of Struggle to Economize
Future Environment (SEFE)-Cameroon, (5) Leonida Odongo of FAHAMU-Kenya, and (6) Joe Mzinga of ESAFF-Tanzania. PCFS Global Co-Chairperson Sylvia Mallari, PCFS Global Secretariat coordinator Rhoda Gueta, and PCFS Global Secretariat staff Gail Orduña joined the meeting as observers.

Agenda of the meeting. The meeting approved the following agenda: (1) Roll call and self-introduction, (2) Welcome remarks by the moderator, (3) Remarks from PCFS Global Chairperson, (4) Discussion and process of electing Africa Representative in the PCFS Executive Committee and affirming the composition of the PCFS Africa Steering Council, (5) Discussion and Approval of the Proposed PCFS Africa work plan for Year 2020, (6) COVID-19 situation and proposal for action, and (7) Summary of Action Points.

Selection of Africa representative in the PCFS Executive Committee. Besingi and Baliraine expressed their interest to run for the position. After their presentation, the SC members casted their votes through private message to Gueta. Baliraine was selected as the PCFS Africa representative in the Executive Committee after getting four out of five votes.

PCFS regional workplan. Kabaso presented the draft regional program, which was crafted upon consultation with the members of PCFS Africa. Kabaso noted that the draft program was also presented during the Global Executive Committee Meeting intended for the Africa work held on March 10. The draft program was approved after discussion and with some additions: (1) document vulnerable communities in conflict zones or are experiencing food security issues, (2) specify international events to commemorate, (3) integrate the situation of the organizations in Africa amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The Global Secretariat reported some of its fundraising efforts.

COVID-19 situation and proposal for action. Members of the SC shared that the enforcement of social distancing measures has generally resulted in negative impacts to rural areas in the region. It was agreed that a massive campaign on COVID-19 should be launched at the regional level. Gueta shared about the
efforts of the Global Secretariat in response to the pandemic.

Summary of Action points. A revised work plan will be finalized for circulation to the members in Africa. Another call/meeting dedicated to the discussion and planning in response to the pandemic will be conducted. The region will participate in the Day of the Landless 2020 commemoration, which is held annually every March 29. The Global Secretariat will report to PCFS Executive Committee regarding the selection of Baliraine as the representative for the Africa region. It will also draft the minutes of the meeting for circulation to the PCFS Africa SC and membership. ###

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