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  • Andrew Adem

La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa (LVC SEAf) is growing stronger, more united and focused.


Each year, La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa (LVC SEAf) holds the regional assembly, which brings all members together to strategize for the region. La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa (LVC SEAf) is a big and strong regional movement with eight members in seven countries in eastern and southern Africa.


During the week of July 2nd to July 6th, 2024, ESAFF Uganda participated in a variety of important regional activities alongside delegates from six other nations that are members of the La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa (LVC SEAf) regional chapter. This comes a few months after the 8th International Conference of La Via Campesina (LVC), which was held in Bogotá, Colombia, in December last year. The LVC SEAf Regional Assembly was hosted by the Confederation Paysanne du Congo (COPACO-PRP) in Ayongo Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).


At the beginning of the week, we held a regional Women's Articulation Meeting. We discussed the feedback from the International VI Women's Assembly, which took place in Bogota, Colombia, during this meeting. Additionally, we evaluated the progress that women have made in the region, elected leaders to represent women at the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) and the International Coordination Committee (ICC), and drew strategic plans for the years to come.


The Regional Youth Articulation, which is a one-of-a-kind forum for young people in LVC, involved the participation of young people on the second day of the event. There was a group conversation among young people about the current situation of young people in the region and in the country. As we deliberated on our forthcoming engagements, we also discussed ongoing national and regional efforts. The youth also elected new leaders to fill leadership posts in the Regional Youth Articulation.


On the third day, we hosted a training session on peasant rights for all of the LVC SEAf members. During this training, we gained knowledge about the current situation of small-scale farmers in the region, particularly with regard to the United Nations Declaration on Peasants and People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). The training also gave a platform for peasants and small-scale farmers to assess the progress of peasant rights in the region and strategize movement campaigns.


The LVC-SEAf Regional Assembly took place during a portion of the third and fourth days. We focused on analysing the progress that we had made in the many strategic areas of the region over the previous years, as well as developing strategic plans for the years to come. During this time, we also elected and ratified a few new members to serve on the International Coordination Committee (ICC) and the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC).


On the final day, we went on a field trip to learn from the communities. We visited small-scale farmers who work to add value to cassava and other foods. It was fascinating to experience the outstanding progress that communities are making despite the challenges that they face. We also visited the Food Sovereignty restaurant, which was founded by small-scale farmers with the intention of promoting the consumption of organic and traditional foods. We dined at the Food Sovereignty restaurant, and we’re served nice food grown, cooked, and served by small-scale farmers.


One of the week's major highlights was ESAFF Uganda's election to host the LVC SEAf Regional Secretariat for the next four years. The SEAf members also decided that the National Union of Farmers (UNAC) would host the next Regional Assembly in Mozambique. Different members were also voted to the International Coordination Committee (ICC) and the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC).


Through the events of the week, it is evident that La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa (LVC SEAf) is making significant strides towards strengthening our unity and focus with outstanding dedication to promoting agroecology, food sovereignty, and peasant rights, especially women and youth.

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