Mali/Bamako Forum: Reconciling Peace, Security and Development Issues
After three days of intensive debates, the curtains fell on the 23rd edition of the Bamako Forum on Saturday evening. While waiting for the finalization of the recommendations, the closing ceremony was marked by thanks to the participants; the summary of the results of the work of the various panels; the closing remarks of the representative of the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization.
In summarizing the results of the panel discussions, Dr. Alioune SALL stated that we cannot talk about territorial development without taking demography seriously. This, if the communities that develop are the actors of local development and have demographic characteristics that must be known, understood and on which it is necessary to reflect and determine the speed of development.There are correlations between the demographic characteristics of the communities that are developing and the speed of these transformations that are desired through local development and the actors who will play a more or less important role.
"There are correlations between demography and security. Let youth not be a threat to development, but rather an asset," said Dr. Alioune SALL.
He mentioned the need to proceed to a structural transformation of economies if we want local development to contribute to peace and security. The structural transformation of economies obviously means an increased share of industry in the economy.duction of the character of economies and increased value of resources that are exported in their raw state," explained Dr. SALL.
For him, employment is a major issue and industrialization and the structural transformation of economies must help solve the employment problem without which peace and security will remain threatened.
He said that the debates were also articulated around socio-spatial dynamics and social structures.
According to Dr. SALL, many countries are experiencing rapid urbanization, which has not resulted in a halt to the settlement of the rural environment. However, urbanization is taking place in a context of deindustrialization or at least stagnation of productivity in urban areas. And this urbanization, he points out, is also accompanied by a number of changes in social structures.
"There is a conflict that arises essentially in the urban environment because the youth constitute a demographic majority, but a minority on the sociological level because of the gerontocratic character of our societies," analyzed Dr. Alioune SALL.
He also stated that gender is becoming a major issue due to the patriarchal character of our societies before deploring that the share of women in development, in economic and social reproduction is not sufficiently known or highlighted.
We learn that the debates also focused on territorial governance and local development and its impact on the prevention and management of community conflicts, the place and role of traditional authorities in the current context.
According to Dr. SALL, the recommendations that will be made at the end of the meeting will deal with these themes. According to him, the first concern is to increase the understanding that we have of local development issues, the concern for intelligibility, the involvement of populations in their own development.
"The proposals should make it possible to go further in the understanding or in the involvement of actors in the structural transformation of economies and societies, bearing in mind that the territory is certainly a matter of geography, but also a matter of history. If we do not choose our geography, we can nevertheless make its history if we want to make the territory an instrument for building peace or an instrument for development. This should be done by abandoning the idea that geography has only been useful for waging war, and by accepting instead the idea that in the minds of men, geography is a tool for peace-building and development.We should do this by moving away from the idea that geography has only been useful for making war and accepting instead the idea that in the minds of men and women we must build ramparts against war," said Dr. Alioune SALL.
The representative of the Minister of Territorial Administration, Aly DJITEYE, Deputy Director of Territorial Communities, recalled that decentralization was initiated in Mali in 1992 to bring about a quest for stability and governance.
"The country has experienced some upheavals which mean that governance needs to be reviewed. To this end, from the experiences of all the policies that have been implemented, in the evaluations it appears that in the face of the crisis that the country is going through, it is necessary to reconcile the issues of peace, security and development. The more we invest in structuring projects, the greater the satisfaction of the populations", declared Aly DJITEYE.
He maintained that one of the weaknesses of governance is linked to the structural weakness of our lands. According to Mr. DJITEYE's explanations, the approach adopted by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization is to move towards a territorialization of public policies that will put the citizen at the center of the processes and space so that actions are carried out on behalf of the citizen.
The representative of the Minister reassured that the recommendations will be used to improve what is done on a daily basis.