A pilot project in Bamako plans to train 3000 young people on Social and Solidarity Economy to reduce the rural exodus and migration.

RENAPESS, the national SSE support network in Mali are members of RAESS, and have entered into an agreement with the city of Bamako to train 3000 youth in social entrepreneurship to reduce the effects of the rural exodus and migration.

Mali has for many years been facing many different challenges in terms of migration. How is it possible to impact the economic exodus of youth and women who move to Bamako, neighbouring countries or and even more uncertain trips to Europe? How would it be possible to provide more dignified working conditions and support social inclusion in a country that is largely operating an informal economy?

RENAPESS has been a major recognised actor based in Bamako for over ten years, and is well aware of these challenges. The beneficiaries of the network are mainly involved in the informal economy. They are essentially youth and women without training or social protection who make their living from highly precarious small jobs. Bamako is the capital of Mali, and has thus become both the destination of choice of youth leaving rural areas, the first stage for people migrating to other countries in the region, Europe or America, as well as the city of those who have failed to migrate or have been repatriated.

RENAPESS is firmly convinced that SSE is an essential means of confronting these challenges that are strongly linked to the SDGs. This is why they have managed to gain the support of the city of Bamako to launch a pilot training project that will also accompany these young people and women and provide financial support.

“Social economy is a major actor in transforming the territory and reducing the rural exodus and clandestine migration of youth”

The aims of this project by creating social enterprises are to:

  • Raise awareness on the specific organisational forms of SSE (collective enterprise, production cooperatives and services, collective economic interest groups)
  • Ensure sustainable social inclusion in economic and professional life for youth
  • Improve the offer of products and services of access to food, sanitation, building and public works as well as health and community education
  • Gain control of rural exodus and the migration of youth

In a country where most of the population has no access to information and opportunities to follow appropriate technical and professional training, it is indeed encouraging to see that public institutions are recognising and supporting training programmes on a more inclusive and socially committed entrepreneurship.

We can only hope that this partnership between RENAPESS and the city of Bamako will help to highlight the experience and knowledge in SSE, as well as the relevance and quality of the projects of youth and their participation in the development of their territories.

This initiative will be presented at the GSEF2018 Forum in Bilbao, with the participation of the President of RENAPESS, the Mayor of Bamako as well as the person who is responsible for the promotion of SSE in Bamako Town Hall.