Written by CorpsAfrica/Senegal Volunteer Mr. Mama Diop
A locality, whatever its nature, its ground, and its resources, needs all its living forces to develop. In other words, the development of localities is a puzzle in which all types of actors have to bring a piece to form an ideal. According to us the more interesting actors of a locality are the youth and women. These vectors of development are the right persons to bring answers to several difficulties they face. For that, they should be allowed to join the different structures. Being aware of this fact, the Senegalese government has established gender equality at different levels of administration. Thus, we can find the same number of men and women in all municipal and departmental councils. This decision constitutes a great step in the Senegalese decentralization politically but many things have to be done.
What about the youth ????
It is trivially known that the youth represents an important gearwheel in the machine of development. Thus, their absence can contribute to the stamping down of this machine. That is the reason why they should be given all chances to participate in the identification, the conception, and the implementation of all projects of development. But, before that, the youth should be hearten to love and stay in their own locality. That is not the case in my site.
Ndiaganiao is a commune located in the department of Mbour. Its population is estimated to be 50,000 inhabitants in 2016 and youth represent half of this population. However, youth representativeness is not reflected in different decisional structures. In fact, in the municipal council, they only represent 7%. Many young people interviewed about this feeble representativeness almost gave the same answers.
Firstly, there are what we call a generation conflict meaning that old persons think they are the only ones who are capable of making the right decisions for the whole community.
Secondly, the growing frustration of the youth disheartens them to commit to the local politics. Finally, they prefer looking forward on their future rather than loosing time with politics without gain.
In addition, our stay in this site permits us to see and live several difficulties faced by the youth. In fact, this site has the chance to get an educated youth but it does not exploit this human resource for its own development. The problem is that, during the summer holidays they all leave their locality. The main causes of this exodus is not only the lack of jobs in the village but also the non-existence of spaces for intellectual and cultural development like social clubs and sport grounds.
In this site, young persons are almost forgotten in development program and policies. Indeed, we don’t find any partners there working with them like they do with women and others. This is the reason why we have decided to do our best to improve their living conditions.
During our meetings with them, they revealed to us that their wish is to have their social club repaired and equipped. This project would help them to have a space for intellectual and cultural development. Moreover, this project would help them to stay in the locality during summer holidays to organize some activities. In addition, this club would make a profit that will be used for an additional purpose.