Afrika Club 2021

Afrika. Aktuelle Entwicklungen - EU Afrika Beziehungen - Afrikanische Diaspora

© VIDC

Der Afrika Club ist ein informelles Diskussionsforum von Afrika-Interessierten aus öffentlichen Institutionen, der afrikanischen Diaspora, Zivilgesellschaftlich, Wissenschaft und Medien. Themen sind aktuelle Entwicklungen in Afrika, EU-Afrika Beziehungen die Situation der Diaspora. Ziels sind der Informationsaustausch - aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven - und der Aufbau von Wissensnetzwerke.

 

Bericht vom Afrika Club am 4. Mai 2021

 

News from the diaspora organisations

ADYFE (African Diaspora Youth Forum Europe) focuses on further digitalisaton in its activities and started a program called „Diaspora Entrepreneurship Program Promotion”. ADYFE plans to gather 150 young people and engage them in a crowd-coaching platform with 25 coaches involving countries like Nigeria, Somalia, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya.

AEWTASS (Advancing Equality within the Austrian School System) works for a better (re)presentation of the African continent as well as Black People in the Austrian school system. AEWTASS has more than 20 members and offers anti-racism and awareness-raising workshops for teachers and students. Another research initiative by the group in cooperation with the VIDC is called „African Diaspora Engagement“ in Austria.

Radio Africa TV provides all media formats like TV, newsletters, online office and social media and approaches its 25th anniversary. It will address three areas: News from Africa (News Agency), Media for Development (news to promote development in Africa) and Voices from the communities. The African “express” press agency will provide news from Africa in the German speaking countries.

ADEPT (African Diaspora Platform in Europe) has 50 member-organisations, 200 networkers and is based in Brussels. Alexis Neuberg has recently become their president. ADEPT enhances the capacity development of African diaspora organizations and advocates for favourable policies towards diaspora engagement.

Women for Peace in the Horn of Africa is the name of a new initiative by Ishraga Hamid, a political scientist and Sudanese activist in Vienna. In March 2021 she organised an online conference about „Gender and Diversity”. Women from Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan participated and showed their interest to form an association. The conference will take place from June 10 - 12 in Vienna in cooperation with the VIDC.

Aktion Regen was presented by Ines Kohl, a social anthropologist who lived and worked in Africa for many years. The association deals with family planning and sexual health rights and aims to empower women and reduce poverty. Their concept is „knowledge as a chance“. Women should gain knowledge and use it to determine their own lives.


Chad after the death of President Idriss Deby (Input by Gerald Hainzl)

•    On April 19th, the government of Chad announced that president Idriss Deby had died from wounds sustained while visiting troops at the frontlines. But there were also rumours that the perpetrators came from within his own circles.
•    According to the constitution, the president of the parliament should act as interim president and elections should take place within 90 days. Although a military council took over, officials from the AU or EU did not use the term “coup d’etat”. The military council is headed by Deby´s son, Gen. Mahamat I. Deby, who received his military education in France.
•    Chad is a so-called anchor state in the fight against terrorism. France is dependent on the Chadian army. Chad is France´s airbase and an important member of the G5 Sahel initiative.
•    47% of the population live below the poverty line; HDI ranking: 187 out of 189 countries. It is a country that functions through client politics. There are barely any protests against this military council as there is practically no political space for a critical civil society.
•    Some ethnic groups live in both Chad and Sudan and many members of the opposition are close to the border or even in Sudan itself. The situation might have a negative effect on the unstable transformation process in Sudan.

Partnership Agreement between European Union (EU) and Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (OACPS): Input by Georg Lennkh

•    On April 15th, the new EU OACPS Partnership Agreement was initialled. It sets the political, economic and sectorial cooperation framework for the next twenty years between the EU and OACPS (formerly known as the ACP Group). The agreement is set to be signed officially at a conference in Samoa by September 2021. The Agreement combines a common foundation with three protocols (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific).
•    On the European side, there was a disagreement about the nature of the agreement: a so-called „mixed treaty“ needs to be signed and ratified by both, the EU institutions as well as its individual member states, while a “pure EU treaty” only has to be signed by the EU institutions. Austria sees the agreement as “mixed treaty”.
•    Another controversial issue surrounds the European Development Fund (EDF) that was integrated into the EU budget which implies less co-management by EU-MS and OACPS
•    Migration received special attention. While the EU pushed for return and readmission mechanisms, the African countries demanded more legal pathways.
•    The African side was very vocal about the topic of conditionality (e.g., in cases of human rights violations) and wanted to remove the paragraph with partial success.
•    Trade and economic cooperation are mentioned, but the new agreement refers to the controversial Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). Critics argue that the new treaty extends a parallel structure in the context of AU-EU relations (which includes North Africa) and which is seen as inefficient.  The new „policy first approach” gives EU interests priority including anti-migration issues

 

Bericht vom Afrika Club am 23. Februar 2021 zur Somalischen Diaspora

Suad Mohamed und Jamal Mataan präsentierten die Ergebnisse ihrer Studie zum Engagement der somalischen Gemeinden in Österreich. Mitglieder der somalischen und afrikanischen Community ergänzten die Erkenntnisse vor gut 50 Teilnehmer*innen.

Mit gut 7.100 Personen zählen die Somalis zu den drei größten Afrika-Communities in Österreich. Bislang war wenig über ihre Organisationsstrukturen und vielfältigen Aktivitäten in den Bereichen Integration, Bildung, Gesundheit, Sport und Kultur bekannt. Ebenso breit gefächert ist ihr Engagement im Herkunftsland. wie der Studienautor Jamal Mataan betonte. Dazu zählen Überweisungen, Katastrophenhilfe, Kleinprojekte und Diskussionen über die Entwicklungen in Somalia. Insbesondere während der COVID-19 Pandemie erbrachten sie wertvolle Leistungen, die von der Mehrheitsgesellschaft kaum wahrgenommen wurden. Finanzielle Förderungen für ihre Arbeit erhalten die Vereine und Aktivist*innen selten.

Die Mitautorin Suad Mohamedberichtete über die traditionellen Geschlechterrollen in der somalischen Gesellschaft. Diese würden den Aufstieg Frauen ebenso behindern wie die langjährigen Konflikte, die kaum eine durchgehende Ausbildung erlaubten. Frühverheiratung und weibliche Genitalverstümmelung (FGM) erschweren zudem die Gleichstellung. Dennoch sei vielen Somalier*innen durch viel Engagement eine berufliche Integration in Österreich gelungen, wie eine Teilnehmerin berichtete.

Die Kontakte zu österreichischen Institutionen sind wenig ausgeprägt. Über ein gelungenes Beispiel regionaler Vernetzung berichtete Frau Carmen Nardelli (Integrationsstelle Land Vorarlberg) genannt. Frau Umyma El Jelede lobte die Zusammenarbeit mit den Communities im Gesundheitsbereich mit FEM Süd in Wien.

Evelyn Koch von der Austrian Development Agency betonte die Wichtigkeit von  Stakeholder-Netzwerke und des regelmäßigen Dialoges, um einerseits den Bedarf der Diaspora Vereine und andererseits die Logiken der Verwaltungsebenen zu verstehen. Sonia Koul vom Österreichischen Integrationsfonds (OIF) botKooperationen im Rahmen von Seminaren für Frauen aber auch für Männer an. Die Zusammenarbeit mit Multiplikator*innen der jeweiligen Gemeinschaften sei ebenso erwünscht.

Groß war der Wunsch von somalischen Teilnehmer*innen, mehr über ihre Arbeit zu erzählen, Leider konnte dies aus Zeitmangel nur punktuell geschehen. Stellvertretend sei der Österreichisch-Somalische Sport- und Kulturverein genannt, der u.a. minderjährige Migranten betreut. Auf das Vereinslokal wurde im Mai 2020 ein Brandanschlag verübt. Mehr Raum für Austausch und Dialog wird eine europäische Diaspora Netzwerkkonferenz des VIDC vom 10. -12. Juni in Wien bieten.  

International findet das Diaspora Engagement der afrikanischen Gemeinden verstärkt Beachtung. Alexis Neuberg von Radio Afrika TV (ADEPT) wurde vor kurzem zum Präsidenten von ADEPT, dem Dachverband für afrikanische Diaspora-Initiativen in Europa mit Hauptsitz in Brüssel, gewählt.