Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) offers unrivalled resolution in studies of celestial radio sources. The subjects of interest of the current IAU Symposium, the Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) of all types, constitute the major observing sample of modern VLBI networks. At present, the largest in the world in terms of the number of telescopes and geographical coverage is the European VLBI Network (EVN), which operates under the “open sky” policy via peer-reviewed observing proposals. Recent EVN observations cover a broad range of science themes from high-sensitivity monitoring of structural changes in inner AGN areas to observations of tidal eruptions in AGN cores and investigation of redshift-dependent properties of parsec-scale radio structures of AGN. All the topics above should be considered as potentially rewarding scientific activities of the prospective African VLBI Network (AVN), a natural “scientific ally” of EVN. This contribution briefly describe the status and near-term strategy for the AVN development as a southern extension of the EVN-AVN alliance and as an eventual bridge to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) with its mid-frequency core in South Africa.