03.06.2015 | Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network

G7 food initiative driving hunger in African countries, say global civil society groups

Politicians and executives from some of the world’s biggest agribusiness companies are today meeting in Cape Town, South Africa for the leadership council of the controversial New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. On the same day, a coalition of a hundred farmers’ organisations, social movements, unions and civil society groups around the world have released a statement calling on the G7 and African governments to stop supporting the New Alliance.

The policies of the New Alliance have been criticised as they “facilitate the grabbing of land and other natural resources, further marginalize small-scale producers, and undermine the right to adequate food and nutrition.”

Launched by the G8 in 2012, the New Alliance provides aid money from the G8 countries and helps big business invest in different countries in the African agricultural sector. But in return, African countries are required to change their land, seed and trade rules in favour of big agribusiness companies. In the last year, controversies associated with the New Alliance have included:

  • In Ghana a proposed bill – dubbed the ‘Monsanto Law’ - would bolster the power of multinational seed companies whilst restricting the rights of small farmers to keep and swap seeds. This bill, which is being brought in as part of the Ghanaian government’s commitment to the New Alliance, will see the control of seeds being transferred away from small farmers and into the hands of large seed companies.
  • Farmers in Nigeria’s Taraba State are being forced off lands that they have farmed for generations to make way for US company Dominion Farms to establish a 30,000 ha rice plantation. The project is backed by the Nigerian government and the New Alliance.
  • In Tanzania about 1,300 people are at risk of losing their land or homes to make way for a sugarcane plantation, which is a New Alliance project. An area of land the size of Washington D.C. will be used by a plantation to produce sugar for biofuels.

The New Alliance is not addressing hunger or food security, but it is providing huge opportunities for big agribusiness companies to restructure food production across Africa to their own advantage.  Countries in Africa need to develop their own agricultural policies that are effective in meeting the needs of small scale farmers and food sovereignty, rather than being cajoled into having big industrialized agriculture imposed on them through coercive aid mechanisms like the New Alliance.

Three years after it has launched, the New Alliance has not been able to provide evidence of its impact. The August 2014 Progress report states that $1.1 billion out of $8bn committed in aid money had been delivered, and 3 million smallholders had been “reached”. However, of the overall figure of “small holders reached” only 21% are women (p.29). The New Alliance has at no time publicly defined what ‘reached’ means.  The Progress Report attempts at no point to indicate or estimate its overall impact on food security and poverty – and the New Alliance has not done so since.

In May 2015 an independent audit of the UK’s aid spending singled out the New Alliance for particular criticism, saying that it was “little more than a means of promotion for the companies involved and a chance to increase their influence in policy debates”, while in 2013, over 100 African civil society organisations branded the New Alliance a ‘new wave of colonialism’.

Signs on June 01, 2015:



Unión Solidaria de Comunidades - Pueblo Diaguita Cacano

Coalition of Women's Farmers (COWFA)



MADGE Australia Inc 

ADECRU (Academic Action for the Development of Rural Communities)



SOS Faim Belgique




SAILD (Service d’Appui aux Initiatives Locales de Développement) 

Center For Environmental Education And Development


Environmental and Rural Mediation Centre

National Farmers Union

Hope Foundation for the Lonely

The Ram's Horn

Justice, Development and Peace Centre, JDPC

The United Church of Canada

WOFAN Women Famers




Enda Pronat


Fédération des ONG du Sénégal (FONGS - Action paysanne) 

CADTM-France (Comité pour l'annulation de la dette du Tiers Monde)

Forum social sénégalais (FSS)

CCFD-Terre Solidaire

Réseau Africain Pour le Droit à l'Alimentation (RAPDA) 

Peuples Solidaires-ActionAid France


Réseau Foi & Justice Afrique Europe Antenne France

South Africa


Surplus People Project (South Africa)



Agrecol e.V. (Associaton for AgriCulture & Ecology)

Bread for all, the Development Service of the Protestant Churches in Switzerland

Bread for the World -  Protestant Development Service


Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung

Green Belt Foundation

Global Policy Forum

Irrigation Training and Economic Empowerment Organization - IRTECO


MVIWATA Kilimanjaro

Pesticide Action Network Germany

Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO)


The Netherlands

Agriculture Sovereignty Ghana (ASG)

Saka Mese Nusa AlifURU Foundation

Farmers Development Movement (FDM)

Stichting Down2Earth

Food Sovereignty Ghana

The Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples

General Agricultural Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress 


Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG)

Friends of Earth-Togo


United Kingdom

KRuHA (People's Coalition for the Right to Water)

Biofuelwatch - UK



ActionAid International

Find Your Feet

Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network

Global Justice Now

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

Permaculture Association


Scientists for Global Responsibility

Coalition for Equitable Land Acquisitions and Development in Africa (CELADA)

UK Food Group

Compassion in World Farming

Women’s Environmental Network (WEN)

Corporate Europe Observatory

World Family

Fahamu Africa-Networks for Social Justice

United States of America


Africa Faith and Justice Network

Food & Water Europe

Biofuelwatch - US

Friends of the Earth International

Bioscience Resource Project


Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

Grassroots International

Food & Water Watch

Greenpeace Africa

Friends of the Earth

La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa

Inclusive Development International


Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Organisation des Jeunesses Panafricanistes (OJP)


Oxfam International

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Panafricaine pour l’Éducation au Développement Durable (PAEDD)

Oakland Institute

Transnational Institute (TNI)

Other Worlds

VECO West Africa

PLANT (Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples)


Washington Biotechnology Action Council

Terra Nuova



PELUM Association

Growth Partners Africa -GPA


Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF)


Kenya Food Rights Alliance –KeFRA