Africa Policy Dialogue 2019

25 Apr 2019 to 26 Apr 2019
Category of project: 
Regional Policy Dialogues

Theme: Social and Solidarity Economy for a controlled and inclusive urbanization of African cities     
Venue: Bamako, Mali

Following the inaugural edition organized in conjunction with GSEF2018 in Bilbao, the 2nd edition of the Africa Policy Dialogue took place in Bamako, Mali, around the theme "Social and Solidarity Economy for a controlled and inclusive urbanization of African cities". It was organized by GSEF in partnership with the City of Bamako, the National Network for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy of Mali (RENAPESS), the African Network for Social and Solidarity Economy (RAESS), and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF).

This event gathered local governments and civil society organizations from about ten West African countries to discuss and undertake a deeper analysis of the key role social and solidarity economy can play in local economic development strategies, and towards building inclusive and sustainable cities.

Panellists include Albert Anicet Akoa, Vice President, United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (CVUC); Harouna Arzika, Permanent Secretary, Association of Municipalities of Niger; Adjara Diouf, Program Specialist, International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF); Pascal Duforestel, Member of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Acquitaine in charge of social and solidarity economy, France; Ichemkhou Eleydou, Regional Councillor, Nouakchott, Mauritania; Kémi Fakambi and Marx Abidji, Bénin Entreprendre Solidaire avec son Territoire (B’EST) program; Carlos de Freitas, Director of Programs, Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV); Séverin Komi d'Alveida, Deputy Mayor, Cotonou, Benin; Adama Sangaré, Mayor of Bamako, Mali; Bourahima Sanou, Mayor of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; and, Camara Aminata Touré, Executive Vice President, National Association of Guinean Municipalities (ANCG). 

In recent years, the significance and scale of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) has increased in African countries. The contribution of SSE, which allows local development through tapping into existing knowledge and the potential of territories while answering citizens’ real needs, is being increasingly recognized. However, there are still barriers to the development of this alternative economic model. What state of play of SSE can be drawn up in West Africa? How can SSE contribute to local economic development and social inclusion in territories in which it is implemented? What can be done to better promote and enhance SSE, and share good practices in this area? How to develop a regulatory framework to increase the inclusion of this economic model in implementing public policies at local and national levels? These are some of the questions that were examined in this dialogue meeting.

The speakers shared their experiences and ideas, and addressed key issues cities in Africa are facing:

  • Controlled urbanization of African cities: responses from the social and solidarity economy
  • The role of local governments in promoting the social and solidarity economy
  • Social entrepreneurship as a lever for local economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • What strategic partnerships for the development of sustainable SSE ecosystems towards developing inclusive cities?

The highlight of this Dialogue was the endorsement by all participants of the Bamako Declaration, which will serve as a road map for the development of the social and solidarity economy across the African continent and lays out specific recommendations to local and national governments and SSE actors towards this objective.

Africa Policy Dialogue meetings are part of a long-running regional dialogue series, which aims to identify ways forward for developing inter-regional partnerships and cooperation based on an international, innovative and supportive approach. Past meetings took place in Asia (Seoul in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018; Hong Kong in 2016) and Europe (Archamps in 2017; Madrid in 2018).

Media & Resources

French Network of Social Economy Territories (RTES): Deuxième Dialogue Afrique du GSEF
Photos of the event
Press release from the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) (in French only)

Video presentation of the Policy Dialogue in Bamako (courtesy of OIF)