Photos and text by Mahamadou TRAORÉ with contributions by Ismail KELLY ISKO

Thank you Abdoulaye Coulibaly and Oury DIAGNE for your voices and passion.

Listen to the podcast produced by Ripess Int.

The Caravane JeunESSe is the set of activities validated and approved by the GSEF with the organization of RAESS (African Network for SSE), African network of RIPESS. This is a project allowing young people to have a great place and responsibility within the 6th Edition of the World SSE Forum (GSEF) 2023.

Faced with the many current socio-economic and environmental problems and the multiple crises that humanity is experiencing, it is important to review our ways of working and propose innovative alternative solutions that take into account the diversity of the needs of communities and peoples. In the African continent, young people under the age of 35 represent two-thirds of the population. Faced with these challenges and the need for youth participation in the future of their countries, SSE can be seen as a development model centered on social and economic needs through solidarity, ethics, sharing, equity and democracy.

This initiative of the Caravan was born from the desire of the organizers to involve young people more in decision-making concerning the social and solidarity economy (SSE). It is through the focal points of the networks that organizations, associations and groups that support SSE initiatives were contacted. In Mali, it was the National Support Network for the Promotion of the Social and Solidarity Economy (Renapess-Mali) that chose the caravanners who left the City Hall of the District of Bamako, before crossing the country to the West and joining Senegal across the border of Kidira.

Indeed, a number of about 150 young people took part at the edge of the caravan, including 18 young Malians. The trip took place in a good-natured atmosphere where the caravanners sang, danced in the bus. Several alliances have been forged, especially between young and old. The caravanners addressed the issues of African unity and the social and solidarity economy. During the trip, there was a climate of solidarity and equity; It was a moment of exchange and discovery of new points of view, sharing experiences and making contact with other caravanners.

We participated in all the activities of the GSEF Dakar 2023, starting with the Pre-forum jeun’ESS, Pre-forum Femm’ESS and the forum itself. Malian caravaners also brilliantly participated in several panels to make this caravan an opportunity to acquire ideas.

In addition, there were moments of sharing and conviviality, such as a march in Dakar where each participant carried a flag of his territory. Active young people and activists, working in their home countries to change the status quo. There were moments of entertainment during which the traditions and folklore of each country were presented. They are already preparing the next World Forum of the Social and Solidarity Economy GSEF in two years in Bordeaux in France: the future holds many surprises and constraints, we must together create a framework for exchange for young people.