Transnational Network: Africa — Europe
Der Afrique-Europe-Interact (AEI) is a small, transnationally organized network that was founded in early 2010. It consists of grassroots activists mainly from Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands — many of them refugees, migrants and deportees who have formed their own groups.
Campaign: Stop Land Grabbing in Mali!
In 2012, the transnational network Afrique-Europe-Interact (AEI) began developing contacts with farmers in the Office du Niger region, which lies 270 kilometers north-east of Mali′s capital Bamako and which has long been affected by land grabbing in a variety of forms.
These contacts led to the creation of the worker-run labor union COPON (Collective of Farmers in Office du Niger) as part of AEI, providing broad-ranging support for the resistance of the villages Sanamadougou and Sahou to the loss of all of their agriculturally productive land at the hands of a large-scale investor from Mali.
As part of this support, the Stop Land Grabbing in Mali campaign was implemented in 2015 with the goal of strengthening COPON and having the illegally expropriated land returned to Sanamadougou and Sahou.
The following activities were part of the campaign:
- an open-ended sit-in of the Sanamadougou and Sahou villagers, supported by COPON
- intensive network and alliance building in Mali (thus cotton farmers from southern Mali also participated in the COPON assembly on April 4, 2015)
- support for COPON′s campaign infrastructure
- extensive awareness raising in Mali and Europe