On this day in 1961, a Geneva-based intergovernmental organisation with six European member States took the first step to colonise seeds. The UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden founded the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), setting in motion a strategy to strip communities’ rights to seeds in favour of corporate control.
The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) is research and advocacy organisation working towards food sovereignty and agroecology in Africa, with a focus on biosafety, seed systems and agricultural biodiversity. We are committed to dismantling inequalities and resisting corporate-industrial expansion in Africa's food and agriculture systems.
On 16 September, African social movements came together to discuss the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), which takes place on the 23 September. On this day, the African Union (AU) will be presenting an African "common position".
As social movements in Africa we reject both the UNFSS and the AU's position, which allegedly represents all of us Africans, as further entrenchment of the corporate capture of our food systems.
In July 2021 the African Union (AU) released a Green Recovery Action Plan for the continent, in the context of COVID-19 and climate change. The basis of the plan is that a “clean and resilient recovery in Africa will lead to employment in the industries of the future whilst ensuring that we address the linked challenges of public health, prosperity and climate change.” The plan is a sort of blueprint with which it encourages AU member states to align or develop national programmes and policies related to climate and biodiversity, along five priority areas.