About fifty Malian youth organisations met to learn about and discuss the opportunities, experiences and practices of SSE in Mali.Written by Baba Cissé.

RENAPESS Mali co-organized a sub-regional forum on “Youth and SSE” as part of the Youth and Power to Act (JPA) project with the Mauritanian branch of the international solidarity organization Grdr Migration-Citizenship-Development. It took place in Bamako 6th and 7th February

The objective of the forum was to enable youth associations supported by the Youth and Power to Act (YPa) project funded by the European Union in Mali and Mauritania to better understand the advantages of the social solidarity economy (SSE), to appropriate the concept and to create a space for exchange and networking.

This first forum of its kind brought together some 50 Mauritanian and Malian civil society organizations at the space for experimentation of SSE knowledge and practices for RENAPESS, located at the Football for Hop Centre of the Malian Association for the Advancement of Girls(AMPJF) in Baguineda, at the edge of Bamako.

For two days, the young participants, bearers of ideas for social enterprises, active social entrepreneurs, students and unemployed graduates exchanged ideas abd experience and were coached by the leaders of RENAPESS, Grdr, CECI, the National Centre for Support to the Promotion of SSE (CNAPESS) of Mali and the local elected officials of Baguineda. on very interesting themes such as:

  • the contribution of SSE to local development (SSE has many advantages for local development, with a focus on the territorialisation of activities)
  • the similarities and differences in SSE practice according to the socio-cultural realities of the territories concerned at the level of the sub-region and beyond),
  • the role of public authorities in the development and institutionalization of SSE.
  • These activities were followed by some visits to SSE companies and testimonies from the field.

This framework of exchange made it possible to:

  • Create a constructive exchange between young people from both countries on issues of youth participation in local development and SSE
  • Identify areas of work between youth associations on the three themes addressed
  • Make a connection between Mauritanian and Malian civil society organizations in the field of SSE
  • Launch networking through the creation of a Whatsapp exchange group.

The forum was closed with a general networking meeting at the Balla Fasséké Conservatory in Bamako, and concluded with a cocktail reception at the botanical gardens in the presence of the President and content managers of RENAPESS Mali, the President of the Association of Student Clubs and Student Entrepreneurs (ACCE-Mali), also is also responsible for the Youth and Employment Centre of RENAPESS and the Youth Dynamics of RAESS and the leaders of Grdr Mali and Mauritania.