World Rainforest Movement

Africa: Social movements building resistance

Members of farmers’ organizations, women’s movements and civil society organizations from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, the DRC and Mozambique gathered on August 15-16 in Maputo, Mozambique, to analyze the multi-dimensional global crisis and the response of African governments.

Key areas discussed at the meeting were food sovereignty, extractive industries, energy and mega projects, land and water grabs, ecological justice and alternative regionalism. Participants deliberated on alternatives to the dominant capitalist model that keeps this region locked into natural resource exploitation dependency for export-led economic growth.

From the analysis, the increasing power of corporations over governments and community leaders arose as a major concern. The issue of land grabs was also prominent, as well as the plundering of nature by Northern and Southern elites, as multinationals from the South are making their mark in the region, operating in the same exploitative manner as their Northern counterparts.

It was stressed that these issues cannot be addressed only at the local or national level. An alternative regionalism must be about uniting people and overcoming the current state of globalization, building stronger resistance, confronting the leaders and holding them accountable.

Source:, by Michelle Pressend