...

CHAPTER 5 SENEGAL: A PROJECT OF ECONOMIC EMERGENCE AGAINST THE BACKGROUND

by user

on
Category: Documents
8

views

Report

Comments

Transcript

CHAPTER 5 SENEGAL: A PROJECT OF ECONOMIC EMERGENCE AGAINST THE BACKGROUND
CHAPTER 5
SENEGAL: A PROJECT OF
ECONOMIC EMERGENCE
AGAINST THE BACKGROUND
OF MULTIFORM PROTESTS
Modou Diome
In Senegal, the regime born out of the 2012 alternation of political power has set
itself as mission a deep reform of society and its institutions in view of economic
emergence. Yet, far from providing the necessary shifts to achieve this vision, the regime
in power perpetuates an allegiance to France and Western powers that is privative
of linguistic, economic, commercial and socio-political sovereignty. This subjugation
makes impossible the disconnection of a state still forced to go the Paris Consultative
Group in order to fund the 27 projects and 17 reforms in Plan Sénégal Emergent
(PSE). Thus, it submits to the conditions of donors, who seek to lead the country
into social reforms and transformations that are very often far from the interests and
aspirations of the people – a disconnect reflected in large-scale protest movements that
have emerged as a result. This paper analyses the background of the different reforms
in the context of implementation of PSE, deciphers the limitations to freedom of
expression in the media and deals with social movement action recorded in the period
2014 to early 2015.
From Act III to the local elections
In politics, reforms have obvious as well as latent functions. Since the
presidential and legislative elections in 2012, won by the coalition Bennoo
187
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
Bokk Yaakar (BBY) to which his party belongs, President Macky Sall had not
undergone a nationwide test to measure his popularity. He had no intention
of submitting his lists for the local elections of 29 June 2014 without making
all the necessary guarantees. This was particularly so given that the opposition
announced its intention to make local elections a referendum. In order to stack
the odds in his favour, he replicated his strategy of 2008 – travelling to remote
locations to build an electoral stronghold under the guise of former president
Leopold Senghor’s concept of ‘economic tours’. This presidential involvement
was also reflected in his public statement threatening to sanction those political
leaders who were expected to lose local elections. As a consequence, Sall’s
ministers, directors-general, and board chairs were instructed to tour at the
grassroots level to win over local collectives (collectivités locales) in advance of
the polls.
Sall’s instrument for achieving his hegemonic ambitions is Act III of Decentralisation, which was launched with two landmark decisions, namely full communalisation and departmentalisation. Although the act was presented as a
measure for promoting viable, competitive territories and sustainable development, the reform therein is, in fact, a continuation of the previous legislation.
Under the socialist regime (1960–2000), there was the 1972 Reform, secretly
aimed at modernising territories which, at the time, were perceived as still
being controlled by tradition. Under the first liberal regime (2000–2012), the
2009 administrative reform was aimed, in part, at restructuring the local collectives in order to facilitate their conquest by the supporters of Abdoulaye
Wade, the then head of state.
In anticipation of the 2017 presidential elections, the Alliance Pour la République (APR) seeks to acquire a majority able to ensure political reshuffling
in case of victory. The logic ‘without or with the allies, we shall win’, is the
188
Modou Diome
clarion call of some members of this formation who will go it alone, even if
that means questioning their alliances and challenging political partners who
are well positioned in their strongholds. Thus, the 2017 presidential elections
will be fiercely contested. Khalifa Sall, the Mayor of Dakar, is perceived as a
political opponent. Evidence of this is provided by attacks by militants of the
ruling party, particularly supporters of Prime Minister Aminata Touré, who
coveted the mayoral position in order to prove her political legitimacy and
claim the No.2 spot within the APR. Despite the eviction of street vendors (a
weakness exploited by his opponents), the mayor’s record, his large coalition
(including political parties and civil society personalities) and his better control
of the political terrain in the capital city, enabled him to claim victory in the
2014 local elections.
Considered as the primaries of the next presidential election of 2017, the 2014
local elections saw the personal involvement of Wade and the future potential
presidential candidates. Idrissa Seck, who returned to the field to campaign,
after having delegated his powers for most of his term as mayor of Thiès to his
first deputy, was saved from electoral humiliation by his affective voters. His
abandonment of post was a central theme in the APR militants’ campaign. In
Saint Louis, Mansour Faye, the president’s brother-in-law, challenged Cheikh
Bamba Dièye of Front pour le Socialisme et la Démocratie-Bennoo Jubel,
who left the government after his defeat. He did not fail to denounce the lack
of solidarity in the coalition, in which APR wanted to impose unfair sharing
in drawing up local lists, thus weakening the BBY coalition and favouring the
fragmentation of the lists (2,700 in total at the national level).
In the end, the BBY coalition won eight out of 14 regional capitals, 28 out of
42 departmental councils, and 475 out of 602 local collectives. It was defeated
in the cities of Dakar, Thiès, Rufisque, the Great Commune of Touba and
189
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
Diourbel. Thanks to the mobilising capacity of Wade, the PDS could thus
reposition itself. In 2009, the coalition Sopi ak PDS obtained 11 regional
capitals out of the 14, while BBY only won eight out of the 14 in 2014. Yet, in
2009, the loss of the major regional capitals was analysed as the warning signs
of the fall of PDS in 2012. If the same causes must produce the same effects,
should we not be worried that the results of the 2014 local election foreshadow
the outcome of the upcoming presidential election, particularly against the
backdrop of rumbling social movements?
A university crisis settled in bloodshed
The reforms promoted by Act III have not always lived up to expectation. At
the university level, another scenario seems to be taking shape, with the student Bassirou Faye shot dead on 14 August 2014 during a protest organised
by students demanding the repayment of their scholarships. This death was
indicative of a university crisis fuelled by government’s ‘warmonger’ attitude
– in the words of the Civil Forum – and to its obstinacy to pursue the reforms
advocated by the National Consultation on the Future of Higher Education
(Concertations nationales sur l’avenir de l’enseignement supérieur – CNAES),
despite the resistance of a section of the academic community. To impose the
said reforms, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESR) sowed
division among students in order to whip up support, and relied on police forces besieging University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) 2013 to 2014, in violation
of law 94-79 on academic freedom and as denounced by the Higher Education
Teachers’ Union (Syndicat Autonome des Enseignants du Supérieur – SAES).
Of course, the reform took shape with the adoption, in January 2011, of the
Strategy Paper on Higher Education in Senegal (2011–2016), the vote on Law
No 2011-05 in respect of the organisation of the Bachelor, Master, Doctor-
190
Modou Diome
ate system, and the signing of the Project on Tertiary Education Governance
and Financing between the Government of Senegal and the World Bank, in
May of the same year. Launched before the arrival of Macky Sall in office, it
was accelerated under the leadership of Minister Mary Teuw Niane with the
organisation, between January and April 2013, of the CNAES, yielding a document operationalising its 78 recommendations in a Programme of Priority
Reforms of Higher Education and Research 2013–2017. Following the interministerial council convened on 17 May, some remarks were made to be taken
into account by MESR in its Higher Education and Research Development
plan (Plan de développement de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherché
– PDESR-2013-2022) and validated on 14 August in all its dimensions by the
presidential council (MESR 2013).
Despite the rather laudable intentions (control of student populations,
compliance with international standards, quality improvement and efficiency
of the system), it must be noted that the reform has deepened the crisis in
higher education in Senegal, following the implementation of the above
recommendations. In particular, the clauses laid down by the performance
contract signed with the World Bank reveal adverse effects, through the
violence generated by confrontations between those who want to impose these
reforms to meet performance criteria, and those who oppose the reforms,
because it works to eliminate students from poor households. With the
expected reduction of the number of scholarship holders and the increased
fees, poor students may not have access to higher education for lack of means.
The generalisation of scholarships and social benefits, as well as tuition fees,
was a way to democratise access to higher education and to promote upward
mobility for students of modest financial means.
191
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
The fundamental problem with the reform, according to its critics, lies in the
fact that those who steered the process are unaware of the contemporary realities of the Senegalese education sector. On top of this are, on the one hand, the
general outcry of SAES in the face of the framework law on public universities
suspected to reduce their autonomy and, on the other hand, the resistance of
teachers-researchers who do not strongly support the reforms. The latter denounce the monopoly of the ministry in student orientations, a prerogative it
should ideally delegate to faculties. Such centralisation is the main reason for
the increasing number of students enrolled in universities other than UCAD.
From 89,555 in 2013, the number of students in public higher education is
expected to reach 105,000 in 2017 and 142,000 in 2022. An institution like
Université Gaston Berger (UGB), for example, will go from a ceiling of 1,300
new baccalaureate holders oriented in 2012 to 4,216 in 2017 (MESR 2013).
By opening the doors of UGB and universities other than UCAD, and promoting the www.campusen.sn platform1 and Senegal Virtual University (Université virtuelle du Sénégal – UVS), the state wanted to solve a political and
economic problem once and for all. The political solution to the problem
would address the hunger strikes, riots and other demonstrations triggered by
the issue of the non-registered baccalaureate holders, which the opposition
exploited under Wade’s regime and would like to continue doing so during the
tenure of Macky Sall. With its 21 Open Digital Spaces (Espaces Numériques
Ouverts – ENO) that MESR plans to open in its PDESR, the UVS has become
ipso facto the abyss to which the maximum number possible of baccalaureate
holders is moved, with orientation forecasts of 2.260 in 2014, 4.003 in 2015
and 6.426 in 2016. As for the economic solution, it must deal with the imperative of rationalisation, effectiveness and efficiency required by the signing of
1 . The recurrence of the phenomenon of non-oriented graduates led the MESR to centralise referral
procedures in public higher education institutions by setting up an online platform (www.campusen.sn).
Since then, access to universities necessarily involves an online pre-registration and the use of money
transfer facilities for the payment of fees.
192
Modou Diome
performance contracts. That’s why this enlargement policy will lead to trouble
and violence: the end of the automaticity and generalisation of scholarships
and grants; the introduction of performance criteria to access or maintain the
scholarship; the limitation of the access to welfare services for all students; and
the gradual increase in tuition fees according to the level of study.
These decisions contribute to rationalising public spending and fighting in a
subtle manner the phenomenon of lal bassang (in Wolof, ‘spread one’s mat’,
meaning to continue living on the campus in order to take advantage of the
facilities offered). Because this reform does not consider welfare services and
scholarships as a democratisation of opportunities, and as a long-term investment to be encouraged, it is likely to reproduce every year the same violent
claims that threaten the stability of the country.
Roll back Ebola or roll back poverty?
The outbreak of the university crisis was quite concomitant with the arrival
in Senegal of a patient infected with the Ebola virus. This first case, imported
from Guinea, led to economic losses estimated at 0.2 per cent growth (Le Soleil
21 November 2014); it also laid bare the vulnerability of its borders – with
smugglers equipped with powerful motorcycles challenging border security
between Senegal and Guinea, and the death that could result from contact
with an infected individual. This episode reflected the fact that, for some smugglers, economic survival overrides simple survival. These immediate individual
strategies to fight poverty are the other side of the strategy papers aimed at
eradicating the same phenomenon, but in the long term. They also expose the
vulnerability of public policies of containment of the virus. What’s the use of
being saved from Ebola if you cannot meet your basic needs? In the words of
one local official in Dagana (Diome 2013):
193
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
It’s OK to combat malaria by distributing insecticide-treated bed
nets free of charge, but the disease affecting the populations (…)
is worse than malaria. If you go back to the capital, Dakar, tell
the authorities at the top of the State that the people are hungry
(…) be aware that if you save them from malaria, they are likely
to die from hunger (Le Populaire 22 April 2008).
The survival reflex of persons who are ready to sacrifice everything to reach
Senegal and save their skins gets on well with the smugglers’ ignorance of the
harmful effects of the virus and their appetite for risk. The detection of the
case and the reactivity of the operational mechanism of response and awareness-raising about the epidemic have stopped its spread. The fight against this
scourge has reinvigorated the national solidarity system through collective
acts of self-defence and awareness-raising led by artists, wrestlers, people of
goodwill, private companies, religious and opinion leaders. The action of this
fighting movement at least rallied the Senegalese people around one goal: to
roll back the virus. Announced early by the press (La Tribune 11 August 2014
titled ‘5 Ebola cases in Senegal’), the risks to spread panic, and thereby lose
investors, prompted the arrest of its publishing director, Felix Nzalé. But to its
credit, this alert resulted in early mobilisation against the disease.
Unmet social demands and attacks on freedom of expression
The fight against the virus is not the only one facing the state. Electricity provision is also an issue, one that forced the previous regime from power. The
progress achieved in the sub-sector (in particular the shift of annual hours of
power cuts from 588 in 2010 to 915 in 2011 and their stabilisation at 25 hours
as at 31 May 2014 (L’Observateur 14 November 2014) seem inadequate consid-
194
Modou Diome
ering that power outages continue and that the figures cited are considered
fallacious by consumer associations. Furthermore, the chronic dysfunction of
piped water systems at Keur Momar Sarr has led to water shortages in Dakar
(Enquête plus 16 October 2014).
Consumer associations who have traditionally lobbied on these issues have
fallen more silent, leaving the population at large to struggle on its own – a
change in strategy that is difficult to understand because their abandonment
of the protest arena unleashes eruptive reactions, such as riots. This loss of
fighting spirit is due not only to their closeness to the regime, but also the indifference with which citizens sometimes respond to their rallying cries.
The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
In 2007, following huge protest under the rallying cry ‘dara lagnu signé wul’
(We don’t sign), the EPAs were rejected. Unanimously, governments and populations had said no. But, according to the 10 July 2014 Communiqué of the
45th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State held in Accra, the
pursuit of negotiations secretly led to the removal of barriers to their signing,
with a deadline set by the European Union for October 2014. The various
forms of resistance were overcome by pressure on each individual state, but
also on ECOWAS itself.
In Senegal, the announcement of the news triggered a new movement known
as Collectif Non aux APE. This movement highlighted the lack of consultation with populations and expressed fears about loss of sovereignty and the
destruction of a local economy unable, for the time being, to withstand European competition, which benefits from public subsidies and is endowed with
advanced production technologies. Acceptance of the EPAs, the movement
argued, would be the end of small-scale farming under threat of expropriation
195
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
by multinational corporations that practise land grabbing. The agreements
would also lead to loss of budget revenue (nearly CFA200 billion) estimated at 54 per cent of customs duties regularly imposed on imported products
(Seneweb 2014). The loss of revenue would result in the removal of subsidies
to electricity and gas, with the direct consequence of raising their cost, inducing an increase in inflation, dismissals and unemployment and, therefore,
increased insecurity (Collectif Non aux APE 2014). The unpreparedness of
our economies for this commercial opening seems, from that point of view,
incompatible with the ambition set forth in the PSE.
The media in Senegal has been active in reporting on the anti-EPA movement, land grabbing (including of the littoral), power outages and water shortages. Their treatment of social ills is bothering the regime. That’s the reason
why the adoption of the bill decriminalising press offenses that is being drafted
at the national assembly runs up against the reluctance of the parliamentary
majority. Better still, President Sall referred to the ‘press reviews’ and fora on
current events ‘wax sa xalaat’ as ‘dictatorship imposed to the nation every
morning’ and ‘pollution (…) that impedes work in the country’ (Sall 2014).
This response is indicative of the ambiguity of a regime that is ready to go
and defend Charlie Hebdo (by participating in the republican march in Paris
against the Islamist attack that virtually wiped out the said editorial board)
but that internally tends to muzzle freedom of expression through a ban on
demonstrations and the implementation of Article 80 of the Penal Code
against opponents (Samuel Sarr) and journalists (Sidy Lamine Niasse).2
2 . Article 80 of the Senegalese Penal Code is considered by journalists, civil society activists and opponents
as a ‘catch all’ - a means of repression against any dissenting voice. It punishes (with a prison sentence of
three to five years and a fine of CFA100,000 to 1,500,000) authors for any act ‘(...) likely to endanger public
safety or cause serious political unrest, discrediting political institutions or their functioning, or encourage
people to break the laws of the country (...)’. This article was used against Samuel Sarr, a political opponent
member of the PDS who published in social networks a bank statement supposedly belonging to President
Macky Sall featuring billions of CFA francs. It was also used against Sidy Lamine Niasse, the boss of the
Walfadjiri Group, who was accused of insulting the head of state and the Catholic Church.
196
Modou Diome
Summit and counter-summit: when are we going to have the
francophonie of the people?
From 29 to 30 November 2014, Senegal organised the 15th Francophonie
Summit under the theme ‘Women and Young People in the Francophone
World: Peace-builders and Key Players of Development’. The summit was
held in Diamniadio under the shadow of public outcry about the lack of attention to the social ills apparent in Senegal and therefore the appropriateness
of spending an estimated several billion CFAF to organise the event. Malick
Noel Seck, a key player in the movement created to oppose the summit, wrote:
They are preparing the Diamniadio fancy-dress ball, while our
children are dying of benign diseases through lack of proper
medical care, while whole parts of the population have been
living in untreated flood water for ten years now, while families
can only afford one meal a day. (Seck 2014)
The counter-summit which authors this indictment is an initiative of three
political parties: Front National de Salut Public (FNSP – Moom sa reew) led
by Seck; Yoonu Askanwi, Rassemblement national démocratique (Democratic
National Rally); and civil society organisations. All these organisations considered the Francophonie as an instrument for perpetuating the domination of
France over its former African colonies. In parallel with the summit, and with
the purpose of denouncing an economic, monetary and media neo-colonialism that results in Balkanisation, political assassinations and coups, validating
and invalidating elections in Africa (Diatta 2014), the front organised a counter-summit whose march was banned, with the seminars planned at UCAD
and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation being forcibly disrupted by police.
197
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
The counter-summit project is indicative of a Francophonie hitherto unable to
reassure African peoples. Lack of confidence related to an anti-colonial feeling
and little concrete impact in the fight against poverty are today the major obstacles to the shift from a conference made up of ‘Francophonie of elites’ to a
‘Francophonie of Peoples’. In an international context dominated by English,
the institution is, for France, the only way to exist in the world, through its
economic Francophone space in the making (Attali 2014), by the number of
speakers, of member countries, of affiliated universities, of military bases …
In the face of such stakes, one can understand why the multiple attempts to rehabilitate local languages run into a wall. Francophonie has become, through
language, the separation wall between peoples of the member countries and
their national languages, between people and development, between the political elite in the higher reaches of the state apparatus and the common aspiration of peoples. French, an official language most of the governed do not
know, is the instrument through which international agreements, constitutions,
laws, regulations that frame the rights and obligations of citizens and states in
Francophone Africa are coded, decoded and disseminated. In this situation,
how can we have a proper dissemination, or even ownership of the texts that
are supposed to guarantee democracy and the rule of law? How can we also
engage the people in agreements written in a language they are unfamiliar
with? We are surprised that the populations do not sufficiently support the development effort. This is because the language of economic and social development is inaccessible to the majority. What should be social ties appears to be
throughout history a caesura that prevents leaders from talking to their people,
and a barrier to the latters’ full awareness of themselves and their heritage.
Language is the bedrock of all progress, because it is difficult to achieve economic development on the basis of another’s language. This is partly demon-
198
Modou Diome
strated by the failure of the various panaceas imported from the West to develop the continent. A borrowed language, however perfect, always conceals
the genius of the culture and deep reality of the individual (Niang 1975). Yet,
the scientific capacity of African languages, as demonstrated by Cheikh Anta
Diop (1981), could be an effective defence against the linguistic cannibalism
of colonial and neo-colonial politics (Hountondji 2000: 47–54) that the counter-summit movement is denouncing.
From this perspective, the myth established by the former elite – that of French
language as war booty and a tool picked up in the ruins of colonialism – collapses. It is corrected by actors, most of who were born after independence
and seek to denounce an unfinished decolonisation (Diome 2008). Senghor’s
paradigm of ‘colonisation as a necessary evil’ is no longer accepted with the
same fatality, even though it is difficult to deny outright the usefulness of the
colonial language.
However, what should never be obscured is the fact that France has never voluntarily given up her colonial intentions. Francophonie is the ultimate means
of fulfilment of the desire for greatness, and the secret weapon that crushes
the hope of its former colonies to free themselves for good. Indeed, as Montesquieu wrote: ‘as long as a conquered people has not lost its language, it can
have hope’ (quoted in Diop 1981).
Let’s get to work for an emerging Senegal!
After the fall of Wade in March 2012, the victorious coalition, arguing that
state assets were stolen to be invested in real estate or stashed abroad, triggered
a witch hunt against the dignitaries of the Wade regime. The instrument of
implementation of this new accountability policy is the Cour de répression
199
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
de l’enrichissement illicite (CREI). Put on hold in 1981, it was reactivated by
decree and began its mission by an important political figure, Karim Wade.
During the reign of his father, he received the nickname ‘Minister of heaven
and earth’, in light of his travels by private jet and the importance of his ministerial portfolio comprising several departments into one: minister of state for
infrastructure, international cooperation, air transport and energy.
After two years of tracking stolen assets, and over five months of trial, the
outcome did not live up to expectations, for lack of evidence to support the
serious charges initially laid against dignitaries of the former regime3. The
selective arrests of the latter (‘transhumant’ people are spared) and the detention of those seen as troublemakers resulted in an incident in which the driver,
Talla Diakhoumpa set himself on fire in front of the prison where Bara Sady
his former boss and former managing director of the Port Autonome de Dakar is kept. The prolonged detention gave birth to the Front Patriotique pour
la Défense de la République, under the leadership of the Parti démocratique
sénégalais of Wade who, referring to the Burkina uprising of October 2014,
promised a ‘hot November’ (novembre de feu) to those in power. During the
opposition’s protest, Wade, in a vindictive move, accused the president’s brother of theft in the Petro Tim case, and the state of having made a ‘deal’ in the
Arcelor Mittal case.
In regard to the Petro Tim case, Wade accused Macky Sall of giving his younger brother, Aliou Sall, 30 per cent of shares in this company for oil exploration
and development in Saint-Louis and Kayar, against 60 per cent for the said
company and only 10 per cent for the state. As for the Arcelor Mittal case,
Wade announced that he would file a complaint. Wade said he suspected a
‘deal’, in light of the fact that the regime in place preferred to receive CFA75
3 . Recently, after eight-month trial, Karim Wade was sentenced to six years in prison and a fine of
CFA138 billion. His lawyers intend to appeal to the supreme court.
200
Modou Diome
billion from the mining company, while the Arbitral Tribunal in Paris had
condemned the latter to pay to the Senegalese state CFA2,500 billion. There
are some who wonder whether Wade is not trying to have his son released by
putting pressure on the government through these actions.
In any case, the CREI is likely to be put on the backburner as was the case in
1981 – a decision that would recognise the supposedly irreconcilable nature of
the political-judicial proceedings and the pursuit of development goals. This
possibility comes with the removal of the two major symbols of financial malfeasance from their position as a result of the hearings: Aminata Touré, the
prime minister and former minister of justice, and Alioune Ndao, the special
prosecutor of CREI.
This sacrifice of expiatory victims reveals, on the one hand, a feeling of having
wasted time unnecessarily and, therefore, the desire to turn the page on tracking of stolen assets, though it is presented as social demand. In addition, the
incidents noted during the trial of Karim Wade including: violence against a
prisoner; hunger strike; reciprocal attacks between the court and the defence;
exclusion of lawyers; a boycott of the hearing; and the resignation of the assessor following a disagreement with the president of the court, are indications
that justice is bogged down in a political affair. On the other hand, it expresses
a change in the government’s priorities, through the let’s get to work leitmotiv of
Mouhamed Boun Abdallah Dionne, the new Prime Minister.
The driver of this new ambition is the PSE, a framework for economic and
social policies for 2015-2035, submitted in January 2014 to the Paris Consultative Group by a delegation led by the president of the republic himself. This
act is interpreted as confirming the plans to sideline Aminata Touré is a new
state of affairs, which is in contrast with a well-established tradition that such a
201
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
mission is chaired by the head of government. But in fact, this option was simply a step in the preparation of the future implementer of the major projects
of the head of state. It will become clearer with the establishment of the ministry in charge of the coordination of the Bureau Opérationnel de Suivi du
PSE (BOSSE) in the government of Aminata Touré. The BOSSE is entrusted
to Mouhamed Boun Abdallah Dionne, who is very receptive to the president’s
vision, having been twice his chief of staff when he was prime minister and
later when he was president of the national assembly.
Conclusion
Apart from the protest parentheses (counter-summit of the Francophonie, university crisis, etc), the year 2014 was not very dynamic in terms of social mobilisation. With the suppression of regional councils and the establishment of
new communes, some local collectives emanating from Act III were faced with
budgetary constraints; some of the redeployed workers organised collective
actions due to the non-payment of their salaries.
In 2015, confrontation with trade unions, political and civil society actors
seems inevitable due to: the risks of enactment of the university framework
law; non-compliance with the agreements signed with teachers; the signing
of the EPAs; and the delaying tactics around the reduction of the presidential term of office from seven to five years, a promise made in 2012 by the
candidate Macky Sall who seems to have changed his mind. A sign of future
demonstrations is already apparent by the protests that sanctioned the participation of President Sall in the Charlie Hebdo solidarity march, ‘Je suis
Charlie’. This event is likely to lead the country to a new protest phase, insofar
as some religious movements already see in his array of reforms (Law on the
202
Modou Diome
status of Koranic schools, or daaras; law authorising medical abortion; and
struggles for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, etc) an attack on religion,
through the attempt to impose a societal project which attacks the cultural and
religious foundations of the Senegalese society.
References
Attali, J. (2014) La francophonie et la francophilie, moteurs de croissance durable, Paris, La Documentation française
Collectif non aux APE (2014) ‘Non aux Accords de partenariat économique’, 17
septembre,https://galsenspring.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/non-aux-accordsde-partenariat-economique, accessed 15 November 2014
Diatta, J-M. (2014) ‘Un contre sommet en gestation à Dakar’, http://www.sudonline.
sn/un-contre-sommet-en-gestation-a-dakar_a_21205.html, accessed 16 October
2014
Diome, M. (2008) ‘“Pratiques scientifiques complexées et complexité contextuelle :
un regard critique sur une mentalité à désaliéner”, communication à la
conférence Décoloniser les sciences sociales en Afrique : le programme inachevé’,
Dakar, CODESRIA
— (2013) ‘Médias, Mouvement Populaire et Violence politique: Le contrat social
Sénégalais à l’épreuve de la contestation et des urnes 2000–2012 ’, Thèse de
sociologie, Université Gaston Berger de Saint Louis
Diop, C.A. (1981) Civilisation ou barbarie, Paris, Présence Africaine
Hountondji, P. J. (2000) ‘Cultures africaines et mondialisation : un appel à la résistance’,
in F. Houtart, B. Duterme (eds.) Cultures et mondialisation. Résistances et alternatives,
Montréal, L’Harmattan
203
Recent Political Developments in west Africa
MESR (2013) ‘Plan de Développement de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche
au Sénégal 2013-2017, August’, http://www.gouv.sn, accessed 20 November 2014
Niang, S. (1975) ‘Négritude et mathématique’, Ethiopique 3, revue socialiste de culture négroafricaine, July
Sall, M. (2014), ‘Discours d’installation du Tribunal des Pairs du CORED (Conseil
pour l’observation des règles d’éthique et de déontologie dans les médias)’, 27
August, Radio Télévision Sénégalaise
Seck, M.N. (2014) ‘Front contre la francophonie : à l’attention du gouverneur de
Dakar’, 11 novembre, http://www.ferloo.com/index.php?option=com_content&
view=article&id=2642:lettre-ouverte-au-gouverneur-de-dakar-par-malick-noel-se
ck&catid=10:analyses&Itemid=102, accessed 24 March 2015
Seneweb (2014) ‘Le collectif “non aux Ape” alerte les députés et l’opinion’, 16
October, http://www.seneweb.com/news/Societe/le-collectif-quot-non-aux-apequot-alert_n_138019.html, accessed 12 November 2014
204
Fly UP