The Bamako Declaration

The Social and Solidarity Economy
for a Controlled and Inclusive Urbanization of African Cities

Bamako, Mali, 25-26 April 2019

The Bamako Declaration

We, local elected officials and representatives of local governments, social and solidarity economy networks and organizations from 8 West and Central African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Togo), participants in the 2nd GSEF Africa Policy Dialogue in Bamako (Mali), affirm that an inclusive and global approach towards the promotion of the SSE, associating all stakeholders, is necessary to ensure the sustainable development of territories.

Based on discussions held today under the auspices of the City of Bamako, GSEF's Vice-President for Africa, we, local elected officials and representatives of local governments, social and solidarity economy networks and organizations, commit to:

  • Develop an action plan to support the continued efforts towards information, communication, awareness-building, and promotion of SSE for its appropriation by the territories, particularly with and among elected officials;
  • Build and facilitate the work of a multi-stakeholder partnership (states, local and regional governments, organizations and umbrella associations of SSE organizations, social and solidarity finance organizations, academic actors, and "responsible" private sector actors), which may serve as a platform for sharing, exchanging best practices among peers, and building strategies;
  • Organize the exchange of expertise and experiences in the field of SSE in the various countries of the region;
  • Develop and mobilize without delay strategic partnerships with international SSE networks and around United Nations mechanisms working towards the promotion of the SSE (GSEF, OIF , RIPESS, UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy, GPIESS... ) with a view to bring about greater synergies;
  • Establish a state of play and carry out a mapping on the SSE in our territories and countries in order to identify all actors, problems, potentialities, possible actions and means, and necessary support measures, and, on this basis, to elaborate a structured approach and ultimately a strategy for co-building public policies and legislative frameworks in favor of SSE across the continent;
  • Initiate advocacy efforts vis-à-vis regional, continental and international institutions (UN, African Union, UDEAC, CEMAC, UEMOA, UCLG Africa, AfDB, etc.) for the integration of SSE in strategies, and development actions and their financing;
  • Encourage the implementation of innovative approaches, strategies and tools within local governments and inter-communal bodies to support the development of SSE in the territories;
  • Support the establishment of a secretariat in support of GSEF's Vice-Presidency for Africa mandate (mid-June 2019) and ensure the regular holding of Policy Dialogues in Africa;
  • Support the organization of a restitution/follow-up meeting of the 2nd GSEF Africa Political Dialogue with other West African countries allowing the sharing of the City of Bamako’s case study on the transition of the informal sector, the formalization of the creation of the West African network of local elected officials on SSE, and the adoption of a road map (September-October, Bamako);
  • Support the organization of the 3rd East Africa Regional Policy Dialogue (August 2019, Kampala);
  • Support the organization of the 4th Regional Policy Dialogue for Southern Africa & Maghreb (November 2019, South Africa) ;
  • Support the organization of the 1st African SSE Forum on the construction of public policies and SSE financing, with the participation of African intergovernmental bodies and international cooperation organizations (March 2020, Morocco).

In addition, and more specifically, we recommend the following actions to be implemented:

Central governments

  • Include ‘social and solidarity economy’ as a new subject in school curricula in order to teach concepts related to the SSE as soon as possible to the students, for they are the future actors of the social and solidarity economy
  • Guarantee an effective decentralization in the area of SSE through the transfer of skills and resources from the State to local governments

Central governments and local governments

  • Establish an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework for the promotion of SSE in every country

Local governments

  • Include the promotion of SSE in local development plans
  • Establish appropriate training mechanisms for elected officials, local authorities technicians and other SSE actors

Local governments and SSE actors

  • Encourage the designation of “SSE Ambassadors” in each country to create the conditions for a high-level political support
  • Advocate for SSE enterprises to be taken into consideration in public procurement
  • Support youth initiatives in the field of SSE and involve youth in the promotion of the SSE
  • Advocate taxation that is tailored to the realities of the SSE
  • Identify and build up a network of researchers and academic institutions in order to promote teaching and research in the field of SSE
  • Identify and establish a hub of African specialists and public policy experts in SSE in order to ensure the availability of resources during advocacy phases and planning processes

We declare our commitment to the achievement of these goals and strongly affirm that, due to its ability to leave no one on the fringe of development, the SSE is not an alternative; it must become the rule.