African Social Forum Council

Dakar, December 3-8, 2006-12-15

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Proceedings synthesis

The second meeting of the African Social Forum Council was held on December 3-8, 2006, in Dakar, Senegal. It was attended by over 40 participants from some 20 countries. The meeting aimed at mobilizing all the components of the African Social Movement in order to prepare for the World Social Forum in Nairobi.

The programme of the meeting was articulated around four points:

  1. Information on the 2007 Nairobi preparation process;
  2. Thematic mobilization on debt, trade, women and youth;
  3. Capitalisation on mobilization initiatives carried out throughout the Continent;
  4. Presentation and discussion on the Nairobi 2007 implementation framework;
  5. Press conference;
  6. Meeting with the Senegalese Social Movement;
  7. ASF Council Facilitation Committee meeting.

The Council was anxious to pay Professor Joseph Ki-Zerbo?, who died a few days ago, a tribute and observe a minute of silence. A message from the Council will be forwarded to his family.

The Council also paid deceased members of the National Forums a tribute.

At the end of the meeting, the Council held a press conference which West African medias attended.

A meeting with the Senegalese Social Movement was held on December 8. It was an opportunity for members from the Organisation Committee, the Secretariat and the Council, to answer questions put forward by the Senegalese movement with a view to their participation in Nairobi.

Information on the 2007Nairobi preparation process

The African Social Forum Secretariat presented two reports: the former dealing with activities carried out by the Secretariat since the March 2006 Nairobi African Council and the financial situation in the African movement, the latter, on the preparation status for 2007 Nairobi.

It emerges from these reports that the level of African participation to the Nairobi preparatory process is satisfactory, despite a difficult financial context. The financial situation presented by the Secretariat show on the one side, that only 55% of provisional resources have been mobilised, or € 499 000, of which only 41% have actually been disbursed.

On the other hand, the Secretariat has recalled the World Forum format, the objectives set by the 2005 Nairobi Council, as well as different ways in which African movement can participate.

Thematic mobilization on debt, trade, women and youth

Four thematic sessions were devoted to mobilization on various aspects:

  • African debt : analyses and struggle perspectives for Nairobi and beyond;
  • African women : struggles and perspectives for Nairobi and beyond;
  • Trade and free-trade agreements: update on struggles and action perspectives for Nairobi and beyond.
  • Youth mobilization.

These sessions ended with a presentation of the action plans to be implemented during the Nairobi Social Forum.

Capitalizing on mobilization initiatives carried out throughout the continent

The Council then received reports from different national, sub-regional and thematic Forums held throughout the continent. It also took note of a number of movements of great interest in the mobilization process. The Forums below were thus presented:

The Southern Africa Social Forum, already held The West Africa Social Forum, already held The Senegalese Social Forum, already held The Zambian Social Forum, already held The Zimbabwean Social Forum, already held The Niger Social Forum, already held The Mozambican Social Forum, already held The Moroccan Social Forum, 3rd edition being prepared The Maghreb Social Forum, in process African trade unions meeting, already held West African Media players, already held Forum on migrations, already held Mobilisation for Education, in process Caravans: West Africa, Southern Africa, in process

On the other hand, the Council was informed about social movements in South Africa, Cameroon, Tunisia, Morocco and Ethiopia, as well as initiatives carried out by the World Forum for Alternatives.

These presentations demonstrated how deeply the African Social Forum dynamic was rooted as well as what level of interest was demonstrated by continental movements for the Nairobi WSF. The also showed an extension of the Other World movement and an increased participation by African populations.

They also allowed an overview of the political, mobilization and material difficulties encountered on the field by these various types of movements

The presentations were followed by a debate on the fact that there is an increasing need for these initiatives to be articulated, and amplified so as to achieve a significant impact in terms of social and political change.

Presentation and discussion on the Nairobi 2007 implementation framework

The WSF East African Organising Committee started with praising the various stakeholders Nairobi 2007 organisation for their capacity to work in solidarity and avoid the internal, and especially external political pitfalls encountered in the Africa WSF process.

It then presented different aspects of the 2007 Nairobi organisation, as well as an updated analysis of available data on schedules activities and participation. The East African Committee thus presented the state of preparation on the following aspects: registration of activities, organisations and participants, the web site, security, accommodation, travel procedures, construction of the WSF site.

It also presented the financial situation, in a state of provisional deficit red:(déficit prévisionnel)~~ and requested more effective commitment from all to allow Africa to meet the challenge of organising a successful 2007 WSF.

It finally presented objectives, expectations and choices in relation to opening and closing sessions, jointly-organized activities and the Common Convergence and Action Day.

A call was launched for all African movements to successfully carry out the jointly-organized activities to be aimed at African concerns and to seize the opportunity offered by the Convergence Day to fully participate in the new common actions to be launched after the Forum.

These presentations were followed by a debate which gave the opportunity to answer questions related to the participation of movements in Nairobi.

African Social Forum Facilitation Committee meeting

Following the ASF Council, the Council facilitation Committee held a meeting which was an opportunity to answer a number of concerns related to organising African participation in the 2007 WSF.

The meeting was attended by the members below:

Edward Oyugi Taoufik Ben Abdallah Ouattara Diakalia Wahu Kaara Bakary Fofana Demba Moussa Membele Thomas Deve Mohau Pheko (Chair of the meeting) Rabia Abdelkerim Cheikh

The individuals below attended as observers :

Phillip Thigo Oduor Owen Bernard Fonou José

2 Jointly-organized activities: On the basis of a proposal presented by the Committee, members took the following decisions:

List of jointly-organised activities

1. Memory of resistances 2. Free Trade Agreements 3. Debt 4. Women 5. HIV/AIDS 6. Peace and Conflicts 7. Living Alternatives (youth) 8. Labour 9. Migration and Diaspora 10. Privatization of common Goods 11. People Sovereignty (inc. food sov, resistance) 12. Housing 13. Global Environment 14. Information and Knowledge

13, 14 will be articulated depending on creativity of other co-organized activities.

- These activities will be held over a three-day period and will deal with African concerns. Each activity will last 2:30 hours. Concept papers are to be submitted to the Organizing Committee by December 14th, 2006.

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