The first meeting of the different chapters of Friends of the Earth in Africa was held may 5, 2003. The original discussion for such a meeting took place in mid 2002. The idea for such a meeting was to build participation of Africa within Friends of the Earth International (FoEI). Various challenges within the federation came to a head at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), and the urgency of such a gathering became evident. There was a strong desire in the team to make African participation internally stronger and internationally more powerful and efficient.