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Annual General Meeting of the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network (Rome)

On Thursday, October 14, the AGM of the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network was held at the White Fathers' General House. This is an international economic advocacy network present in Africa and Europe. Its goal is to promote economic justice between the European Union and sub-Saharan Africa. It is made up of about 45 Catholic religious congregations, institutes and missionary organizations present in most African and European countries.

There were 27 participants from different religious congregations and missionary organizations. Jean Blaise Mwanda participated as representative of our Congregation. This was the first face-to-face assembly after the restrictions of Covid-19. Among the items discussed were the annual reports of the president, the secretariat, the renewal and election of members of the executive committee, and finance. The greatest challenge of this particular moment in history is: "The Covid-19 era: an era for more collective and economic care". As Francis points out in his first Apostolic Exhortation Evangelium Gaudium:

"Each meaningful economic decision made in one part of the world has repercussions everywhere else; consequently, no government can act without regard for shared responsibility. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find local solutions for enormous global problems which overwhelm local politics with difficulties to resolve. If we really want to achieve a healthy world economy, what is needed at this juncture of history is a more efficient way of interacting which, with due regard for the sovereignty of each nation, ensures the economic well-being of all countries, not just of a few." (#206)

Some interesting questions arose in the discussions: If many countries in Africa are suffering from injustice and exploitation of natural resources and minerals, why is advocacy not happening on the ground in Africa? What can the network do in Africa? How can our brothers in Africa be part of this network?

Today more than ever, the challenge of the current reality in which we live is to work together (in a network) to ensure a more equitable and economic well-being for all. It is said that there is strength in numbers.