From the 4th to the 6th of May 2023, E4Impact Foundation and CIHEAM Bari (International Centre for Advanced Agronomic Studies and the Mediterranean) took part in the GSEF World Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Dakar, at the Grand Théâtre National. The forum aimed at sharing practices and visions to build a more inclusive and egalitarian world through sustainable economic development.

Indeed, it constitutes a privileged platform for mutual learning, exchange of knowledge and visions on all facets of the social and solidarity economy. Each edition adopts a declaration binding the host cities and the participants, which formalizes the commitment to work for this human-centered economy, which is an essential tool for achieving the objectives of sustainable development. 

The GSEF is also a global network of local governments and civil society networks, committed to the promotion of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) as a way of a “different economy” for the benefit of all, of an emancipating local development, centered on people and respectful of the environment.

On the 6th of May, experts from the E4Impact Foundation and CIHEAM led a workshop within the forum, entitled: “How Small and Medium Enterprises can contribute to the development of the blue and green economy in Africa.”

More than 30 experts and observers from the blue and green economy sectors took part in the event, which was an opportunity to present the projects that E4Impact lead in Senegal: Blue & Green and FISH (financed by the DGMO- General Directorate for Globalisation of Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale and carried out in partnership with CIHEAM Bari) and Dakar Reve (financed by the Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo and carried out with Comune di Milano, IPSIA, Ville de Dakar and several local partners).

During the event, representatives of the municipalities of Yoff and Hann Bel Air presented the state of play of artisanal fisheries in their different municipalities and the problems they are facing in terms of artisanal fisheries. The experts proposed technical support practices for the actors of artisanal fisheries and for small and medium enterprises in the blue economy sector.

These municipalities are very important for artisanal fishing in Senegal, as an example and model of participatory management, food security of the population and, also, for the development of a responsible and sustainable vision of the sector in the productive context of the country.

The workshop concluded with the presentation of 2 projects of the entrepreneurs that are taking part to the Dakar Reve training, both operating in the green economy sector. 

After the event, the experts of E4Impact Foundation and CIHEAM made technical visits to the Quays of Yoff and Hann Bel Air/Dakar, in the framework of the project FISH. This Italian project is financed by the DGMO (Directorate General for Globalisation) of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and aims to promote the blue economy, particularly artisanal fishing in the communes of Yoff and Hann Bel Air. 

E4Impact and CIHEAM experts had the opportunity to meet the fishermen and women processors, working on these quays. They shared their ideas on important topics, such as microcredit, product quality and food security, and they also illustrated the participatory system of fisheries management between actors and institutions.  

The visit to the fishing quay of Yoff was supervised by the Mayor of the Municipality of Yoff, Seydine Issa Laye Sambe, and a dozen actors of artisanal fishing in Yoff, including fishermen and presidents of unions, who took the opportunity to talk about the main problems of the sector and the difficulties they encounter daily in the exercise of their activities. 

Fisherman highlighted the need to have a specific traning and technical support to export their fishes and not just to sell it at the local level. Another issue they face everyday is the lack of adeguate spaces for processing fish transformation: currently, the fish tends to remain for a long time to the open air and in precarious conditions. In this way, the final product can hardly meet the standards of hygiene and healthness requested for exportation and it becomes a problem for fisherman themselves, who work in deplorable conditions.

At the end of each visit, experts from E4Impact Foundation and CIHEAM shared technical support and best practices for the fisheries value chain, particularly for small and medium enterprises operating in the blue economy sector.