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Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 10:43:54 -0500 (EST)
From: Chantell Taylor <ctaylor@citizen.org>
To: Multiple recipients of list <mai-not@essential.org>
Subject: FWD: message from Eco News Africa, Kenya

News on organizing around the MAI in Africa

By Jagjit Kaur Plahe, Eco News Africa, 15 December 1997

I have been hearing all about the great work that you have all been doing in your respective countries. I know that we will all continue to keep the pressure up, and hopefully we will be able to stop the MAI. Keep it up, united we will make progress.

This is to give you a brief account of what has been going on in Kenya vis a vis fighting the MAI.

1. Two weeks ago Eco News hosted a one day strategy conference on the MAI. We invited key individuals from human rights organizations, trade unions, development NGOs, human rights lawyers and the media among others. This week one of our major daily newspapers published the first article on the MAI, this is just the beginning, the media is getting quite interested in this subject.

2. The meeting was very interesting and came up with various strategies to fight the MAI. I will send out a complete report of our strategy work plan for the next three months. As you might know Kenya is going through the election fever as we prepare for our general elections to be held in two weeks time. We have to get working as soon as the new parliament is elected. I must add the ideas that the meeting came up with are amazing. They are practical and will hopefully raise awareness among different sectors of the society.

4. We have been sending the message about the MAI through radio interviews.

5. Last week in Abidjan, while attending an African NGOs/Arican Development Bank Meeting, I managed to interest a number of NGOs on the MAI issue. They are willing to take up the responsibility of passing on the message in their countries and coming up with strategies to fight the MAI. Most of the NGOs that were in Abidjan are very well networked with NGOs in their respective regions. Eco News is therefore trying to create awareness on the MAI by liaising with other NGOs through this African network. Early next year I will send you contact addresses of key NGOs which will be taking up the lead on the MAI in North Africa, West Africa, the Horn of Africa and South Africa.

6. Early next year the African NGOs will begin electronic conferencing on the MAI and come up different ideas to oppose it and develop a common strategy.

I am sorry I did not write earlier. I have not been in the office. I am leaving again this Saturday but I will be back in two weeks time. Please write to me if you wish to be on our MAI mailing list(which will mainly focus on Africa). Also, I promise to send you our meeting report very soon so that you are aware of our planned activities. Meanwhile members of Eco News are always with you in spirit and we really appreciate all the hard work that you are putting in.

Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I usually reply immediately if I am in the office.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring all of you joy and greater stength to fight for the rights of people and their environment. I reiterate, together we will win the battle.

With warm regards, and best wishes,

Ms Jagjit Kaur Plahe
Eco News Africa
P O Box 76406
Tel: + 254 2 721099/721076/721655
Fax: + 254 2 725171

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