Programs


1. Governance and Inclusive Political Participation
The democratisation processes in Africa faces many political and security obstacles and tensions. Therefore, finding the right governance structures to support the process of democratisation and the changing societal dynamics is very crucial. Despite major steps forward in this respect, the African continent still confronts frequent social uprisings and electoral violence. The Jesuit Social Justice Ministry through JASCNET uses its expertise and conducts advocacy work urging governments and relevant bodies like the AU and the EU to enhance its policies in promoting good governance and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Furthermore, the foundation of our work is our belief that poor and marginalised people can gain control over their own lives by exercising their right to political participation, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and access to justice. But these rights are at risk in many parts of Africa and the first to face the brunt of human rights deprivation are the women, youth, and other vulnerable groups. While the application of this goal will vary from place to place, JASCNET’s work for social justice will particularly focus on supporting women and youth because deep-rooted inequalities of societal power are often gender- and generation- based.

2. Rethinking African development
Africa is a land of paradox normally termed the paradox of plenty. While the continent has very substantial reserves of arable land, water, hydropower and mineral wealth, most countries in Africa rank among the poorest in the world and African economies are plagued with high unemployment and poverty rate. At reflection, such a situation is understandable once one realises that in the current knowledge economy what matters is no longer raw material but knowledge that creates value. Given this state of affairs, JASCNET advocates for the relevant education policy in Africa that promotes the Technology, R&D, Education and Economy (TREE) suitable for Africa. JASCNET provides a space for an Africa centered international debate about how science and technology could bring about sustainable development through relevant education. The primary focus of this approach is the promotion of sustainable development and prosperity for Africa. TREE explores how innovation helps create added value and insures development and how African countries can build on traditional knowledge in various sectors to develop frugal innovation: in agriculture, health and medicine, nutrition, arts, handicraft, etc.


3. Financing for development
The promotion of sustainable development and the eradication of poverty require sufficient and the right type of finance. Over the last 50 years of independence African countries have relied on Official Development Assistance (ODA) inflows and on external borrowing both of which have not brought about the needed development. Even if the current rates of commitment are met, ODA will not be enough to eradicate poverty in the face of climate change and other global challenges. And past experience has shown the negative impacts of external borrowing and debt servicing, which reduced the quality for many Africans. New alternative sources of revenue additional to ODA are needed and chief among these is taxation.

The Outcome Document of the Third Financing for Development (FfD3) Conference emphasised the centrality of taxation to development and clearly stated the importance of domestic resource mobilisation (DRM) to finance development and realize the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs). Collecting domestic revenues is essential, if governments are to provide critical services such as water, energy, education, and other basic infrastructure. In raising the needed revenue for development taxation also enhances the capacities of governments to deliver the needed services to its citizens and therefore enhances government capacity to govern and to elicit trust from its citizens.

However, raising domestic revenue from taxation in many African countries faces numerous challenges of both a domestic and international nature. This situation is worsened by the current International Financial Architecture that determines the flow of resources between nations, which is skewed in favour of rich countries. The current international financial system encourages aggressive tax planning especially by wealthy elites and Multinational Corporations (MNCs) operating in Africa. This state of affairs leads illicit outflow of resources from Africa which the 2015 report by the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa estimated to be over USD 50 billion a year.

If African countries collected more taxes, used the money better, prioritised public services in health, education and agriculture - and ended corruption in the public sector - it would benefit all Africans, especially the poor communities. In this light, JASCNET promotes socially- just, accountable taxation systems in Africa. It advocates for tax policies with pro-poor outcomes and tax systems that curb public resource leakages and enhance domestic resource mobilisation. Our work focuses on taxation and inequality, IFFs and taxation of the extractive industries.

 

4. Peace and security
Pope Paul VI once said if you want peace, work for justice. There is a growing international consensus that governance and peace and security are important for development and vice versa. There is indeed much evidence to support this claim. It is true that government policies in countries such as China, Brazil and Indonesia have helped bring millions of people out of poverty. At the same time, conflicts in places like Congo DR, Mali, Syria, Libya and the Central African Republic have significantly reversed development gains and threaten to undermine long-term development planning and policy implementation. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 is therefore an important enabling factor for achieving the post-2015 development agenda. JASCNET develops analysis and advocacy around issues of sustainable development and peace, civilian protection, support for security programs and support for peaceful processes.

Sustainable Business and Corporate Social Accountability
Business has a role in economic and social development. Sustainable business is about running companies with an eye to the future. It is about minimising the company’s negative impact on society, complying with international guidelines and doing their bit for positive social change. What this means is companies showing, through their actions, that they are earning the trust of employees, consumers, investors and other stakeholders every day.

JASCNET believes that the impacts of the activities of multinational corporations should be at the heart of development discussions, because business has a role in social and economic development. Corporations must act responsibly in society and ensure that they contribute to sustainable development. Using a human rights framework we advocate for responsible business focusing on corporate accountability, business and human rights, extractive industries and conflict minerals.

 

5. Climate justice and sustainable food
Climate change is an issue of justice and protection of life. Climate change impacts disproportionally the marginalised communities and people in Africa. JASCNET proposes Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si' as a helpful framework to understand and act on issues of climate justice. In this ground-breaking encyclical, Pope Francis notes that climate change is not only an environmental problem, but also a humanitarian and development emergency of global proportions, which affects the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. We, as people of faith, can respond to the challenge of environmental segregation. In response to the call of the Pope, JASCNET accompanies local farmers in promoting sustainable methods of agriculture and other initiatives to enhance resilience. We also advocate for more effective and socially just international agreements to tackle climate change.

 

 

 

 

JISA Statement on Common Good

The African National Congress (ANC) has historically shown leadership in challenging times. In the early 90’s the leadership of the ANC courageously took the steps needed to bring South Africa back from the brink of civil war. 

Immediate Press Release

 

REBAC Workshop Training

We are pleased to announce the Training of trainers in Collaboration with REBAC on the Protection and Conservation of Forest Ecosystems of the Congo Basin and on Environmental Educationwith the aim  of the fighting against climate change,in Africa . This training will commence from 22 to 25 June 2016 in Congo Brazzaville.

REBAC Workshop Press Release

Du 22 au 25 juin s’est tenu à Brazzaville, République du Congo un séminaire du Réseau
Ecclésial de la forêt du Bassin du Congo (REBAC)

French Version

Mercy in Motion

Pope Francis asked the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to participate in the Year of Mercy.
In response to this challenge, JRS is putting mercy in motion through a $35 million capital campaign to achieve this goal

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JESAM Social Apostolate

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Karen- Kenya

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+254 713927761

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jascnet.director@jesuits.africa

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