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close this bookContributions of Youth to the Implementation of the Habitat Agenda (HABITAT, 1999, 137 p.)
close this folderPART II: NATIONAL REPORTS
View the documentII.1 BRAZIL
View the documentII.2 COLOMBIA
View the documentII.3 INDIA
View the documentII.4 KENYA
View the documentII.5 PAKISTAN
View the documentII.6 SENEGAL
View the documentII.7 TURKEY


June 1999, prepared by, Youth and Human Settlements Development Network (YHSDN) c/o Enda-Rup Ecopole Ouest-Africaine BP 3370 Dakar, Senegal Tel: (221) 822 09 42 Fax: (221) 823 51 57 Email:


1.1 Demographic situation

Through various determinant factors, the Senegalese population is subject to a significant growth. From 3 millions inhabitants in 1960, it nowadays reaches 9,000,000 inhabitants. According to the official estimates from the Prospective Study “Senegal 2015”, Senegal will count 16 million inhabitants in 2015 with 56% of them living in urban centres, mainly Dakar which will have 5 million inhabitants.

With an annual growth rate of 2.7%, the population analysis reveals considerable disparities between rural and urban areas. Even though 58% of the population is rural, the observed tendency since 40 years shows an important evolution of the urban population. Demographic analysis reveals a considerable increase in urbanization: 23% in 1960, 30% in 1970, 34% in 1976 and 42% nowadays, this surpasses the average rate of urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa which is about 29%. This evolution has favored the existence of big urban centres and constituted also an actual source of new problems directly hitting the population. Currently, the region of Dakar is urbanized up to 96.5%, Ziguinchor follows with 37.7% and Thiis third with 34%. None of the other seven regions reaches 30%.

A retrospective view gives more details about that tendency of urbanization. So, in 1904, the most populated regions were Thi(19.1%), Saint-Louis (17.4%) and Louga (15.5%). In 1936, there had been a change with the following classification: Thi(14.6%) Saint-Louis (13.5%), Louga (8.8%) and Tambacounda (5.8%). In 1958, an important recombining came out through the following configuration: Sine-Saloum (22.4%), Casamance (18.2%), Thi(13.9%), Saint-Louis (11.8%), Dakar (11%).

The growth of Dakar as the capital and its region has been very fast. Its population has significantly increased since the independence with the capital transfer from Saint-Louis to Dakar. Its annual growth rate has been 3.22% from 1904 to 1958 and 6.14% from 1958 to 1998. With 550 km², 0.3% of the country’s whole surface, an important share of the population lives in Dakar: 14% in 1960, 17% in 1971, 18.8% in 1976 and 21.6% in 1992.

In 1960, the population density was about 930 inhabitants per km², nowadays it is about 2707 inhabitants per km² compared with the national average density which is 35 inhabitants per km² and the density in the region of Tambacounda (the least populated) which is 6 inhabitants/km².

Inside the region, the highest annual growth rate is found in the department of Pikine, (Dakar Suburban area) with 5.55%; the lowest annual growth rate is found is in Dakar-City with 2.37%. According to the official expectations, in the year 2000, nearly half of the population of the region will live in the department of Pikine and 57.2% in 2015. In comparison at the same period, none of the other Senegalese regions, apart from Dakar, will reach two million inhabitants.

The breakdown of the population as far as nationality is concerned features 4.4% foreigners. The breakdown of the population by sex gives 52% women and 48% men. The Senegalese population is also characterized by its youth group. 53% of the population are teenagers. Yet, there is a certain disparity between regions and inside each region itself. For instance, Dakar is populated with 54.8% teenagers. At departments’ level, the highest percentage is found in Pikine where teenagers are 57.3% of the population followed by Rufisque (56.7%) and Dakar (52%).

As far as the age of first marriage is concerned, there is a progressive backward trend. In 1978, 40% of women between 15 to 19 years old were single, 56.5% in 1986 but now it has climbed up to 57.2%. The available information gives 54% of married women. As far as men are concerned, the percentage of bachelors is a bit high up to 30 years. On the whole, nearly 36% of men are married.

The breakdown of the population based on ethnic groups shows the preponderance of Wolofs (42.7%). But the percentage varies in accordance with the region because the sharing of ethnic groups through the national territory allows noticing ethnic groups’ concentration. There is a strong concentration of Sereres in the regions of Thiand Fatick, Pulars in Louga, Kolda and Saint-Louis, Diolas in Ziguinchor and Soninkes in the Region of Tambacounda.

The Senegalese demographic situation is deeply influenced by national Health and Population related policies. With the adoption of new methods of preventive health care such as Enlarged Vaccination Programme (PEV), the infant mortality rate has decreased more and more up to 62%o new living births. Contraceptive methods use has also helped to increase reproductive health care and to decrease the number of births. From 1000 15 to 19 years year-old women, there have been 155 births.

1.2 Major Human Settlements Conditions

Mapping of Human Settlements

With the Regionalization law passed in 1995 by the Parliament, local authorities system has been henceforth composed of Rural Administration authorities, Municipalities and Regions. Regionalization has also given the power of local authority to the region. In the framework of this new division of the territorial space, an outstanding reform of the legislative and legal apparatus, which governs local authorities, has been carried out.

The Home Office (Ministry of Internal Affairs) issued in December 1994 the bill referring to local authorities. The impact of this bill focuses on sharing functions between Regions, Municipalities and Rural Communities Administration. The human settlements structure includes 433 local authorities divided as follows:

10 Regions
103 Towns and Municipalities
320 Rural Authorities

It is for the purpose of bringing population and local authorities together that big towns (Dakar, Pikine, Guediawaye and Rufisque) have been divided into 43 municipalities.

The living conditions in human settlements

The speed at which urban population has grown does not allow governmental and local authorities to efficiently use the available financial and human resources to ensure basic social services for population, mainly those in urban areas. The inadequate and mostly insufficient basic equipment is the cause of an urban dichotomy characterized by rich areas on one hand and by badly shaped shanty towns on the other hand, short of basic equipment, where an important percentage of the population can not have access to drinking water, sanitary equipment, medical equipment and to socio-educative equipment.

Another complicating factor in Senegalese cities is the crowd of rural population rushing into bigger cities pushed by the overwhelming drought, which often hits them severely. The rural exodus phenomenon that has increased through the worsening of the drought has also contributed to the existence of new urban crisis due to difficulties in planning and management of the urban space. Besides, the structural adjustment programme undertaken by the government under the guidance of World Bank and International Monetary Fund since the eighties has been the source of a particularly difficult socio-economic context that has severely affected the living conditions in rural as well as urban areas. In fact, the economic reforms drawn in the framework of these programmes have been directed to reducing the role played by the government in the economic and social fields. The goal on one hand is to promote the private sector, considered as the growth engine and therefore, development engine, and on the other hand, to reduce shortage in public finance by allocating less financial means to social sector, such as health, education, social assistance, basic equipment.

The social and economic crisis felt in major urban centres constitutes a serious survival concern nowadays for the population and for youth in particular, whose economic, social as well as cultural perspectives remain uncertain.

Environmental Conditions

Environment in Senegalese urban centres has always been a problem, very difficult to master by governmental authorities as well as by municipal authorities. High concentration of population in suburban areas and shantytowns remains the source of high daily production of wastes, which are difficult to get rid of due to the lack of material and financial means.

Despite the existence of tax on household rubbish, collected by municipalities, the problem is still unsolved and has even worsened by the liquidation of SIAS (a public enterprise founded by the government on the purpose of clearing household rubbish for the account of municipalities in the region of Dakar). The problem of household rubbish has essentially been caused by the way the tax on household rubbish fund is allocated. For example, in 1994, it was planned to allocate 2.400.000.000 CFA to the clearing of wastes in the budget of Dakar city. But information gathered by specialized services in SIAS has revealed that the credit share allocated to material and maintenance has been made difficult because of the lack of vehicles. Delays on clearing out containers result in leaving wastes on roads.

Like other African capital cities, Dakar and its suburban districts are facing the atmospheric pollution phenomenon. This is due to the increasing number of cars on the roads using gas-oil as fuel. In addition, we can mention the concentration of pollution industries, most of the time in juxtaposition with overpopulated shantytowns, at the Industrial zone which stretches up to 20 km.

Besides, in spite of the existence of important investments from municipalities, Dakar and the main regional capital cities are still facing the problem of improving the sanitation. In fact, taking into account the financial difficulties municipalities are facing, the government has to call on international aid in order to cover the cost of waste cleansing.

With the recent creation of the National Agency for Improving the Sanitation (Office National de l’Assainissement), and the increase of community based initiatives, some improvements have been notified in some towns as far as stagnant water processing in the rainy season is concerned.

The Dwelling Conditions

The urban habitat policy is bothered by the high cost of building materials, the lack of decentralized management of land reserves or their occupation control, speculative activities and the low family incomes. According to the survey by “Plan Directeur d’Urbanisme de Dakar” (Urbanism Director Plan) only 2% wages meet the conditions required by the two major building societies, SICAP and SNHLM.

Facing this problem, the government in relation with local authorities initiated a programme for social habitat promotion. That is why the Assisting Bureau for Social Habitat (Bureau d’Assistance pour l’Habitat Social) has been a part of the Ministry for Urbanism and Habitat since 1989.

Social Services

The continuous reduction of credits directed to social services hinders satisfaction on social needs. The growth of urban population and the generalization of poverty make the living conditions inside popular districts hard.

The available information from the Ministry of Health reveals one medical centre per 15,000 inhabitants. As far as Social Action policy is concerned, the available means are very limited. Most of the time, due to the harassment of administration, actions do not reach poorest population. Actions in favor of education heavily supported by the International Cooperation suffer from a bad sharing of equipment. For instance, the region of Dakar lodges the majority of the schools in the country. This has as an effect of reducing access to education for thousands of young people. In addition, the costs relating to child education are discriminating for poor families.

Socio-Economic Challenges

The difficult economic situation of Senegal has created serious impacts on the social field. The state meets more and more difficulties to provide basic public services. Similarly, local authorities face difficulties in supplying population with basic services resulting from the transfer of competencies designed in the decentralization policy. This alarming situation ever since the adoption of structural adjustment programme has worsened with the devaluation of the national currency, the CFA franc, which occurred in 1994.

The survey made on the current macro-economic trends features an antagonism between the growing needs of the government in terms of income and the desire to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups within the society: young people, children and women.

The economic strategies conducted in various sectors have caused a decrease in the incomes of families, while their needs have been heavily growing. This context of general poverty creates serious concerns of survival nowadays, particularly among young people whose perspectives of the future are more and more uncertain and gloomy.

The Unemployment Challenge

The heavy employment crisis has strongly hit town people, especially middle class. Employment in public administration widely reserved to towns has seriously been obstructed by adjustment. In the civil service sector, the manpower estimated to 66,549 in 1988/89 falls by 3.2% on an annual average. This trend to manpower decrease hits more seriously the private sector. Despite the non-existence of reliable statistics, this phenomenon can be measured through closing enterprises and working posts reductions for restructuring reasons.

Weak employment generation cannot regulate the gap. In fact, every year, nearly 100,000 working age young people apply for a job. The employment survey conducted in 1991 brought out a non-employment rate of 34.6% for people in the 20-24 age group. Among active people, 40% are wage earners, 38% independent and 14% students.

The Social Exclusion Challenge

This situation of poverty and unoccupation among an important part of the youth has brought serious consequences in the social frame. It has generated an exclusion phenomenon upon thousands of young people, who have decided to get outside the society.

In fact, being troubled by ignorance and illiteracy and hopelessness, they drop out to delinquency, drug addiction, and prostitution. Solidarity networks burdened by the economic crisis are no longer able to supply relief to those young people in dire straits situation, due to the fact that the government’s action is essentially directed towards internal peacekeeping matters through delinquency repression based on physical violence.

For other categories of the youth, the main concern lies in unemployment but in moral crisis of families too, related to social changes and current economic difficulties, to the deadlock noticed in the major part of the education and training system. While social inequalities are widening and future perspectives are becoming more and more hypothetical, new methods of survival occur and spread out in urban areas, such as theft, violence and mendacity that throw Senegalese towns into insecurity.

Considering this situation and the resulting trends, it is undoubtedly noticeable that the main challenges the coming millennium will have to face and overcome remain those of the fight against poverty, the struggle for social inclusion and a hopeful youth policy, matching with the national strategies for social and economic promotion of the population.


Since the independence in 1960, Senegal has been endowed with institutional devices and structures in charge of implementing the national youth policy. This policy has been, under economic difficulties, subject to dire crises, which heavily trouble the daily life of the youth.

The various five-year plans that had been the key pieces of the national strategy for economic and social development before structural adjustment programme defined the objectives to attain. Those objectives were based on the following principles:

· to educate and train good citizens who are capable of efficiently participating in the national development endeavour;

· to value national culture and be open to the external world;

· to supply those in need with health care services;

· promoting sports and physical fitness among youth;

· welfare work for the youth in difficulty and social inclusion of marginalized people;

· safe leisure places for young people;

· to supply employment according to qualifications.

Under government direction, various centralized or decentralized structures are in charge of implementing those concerns through two approaches:

The global approach: it is essentially based on defining global objectives in the framework of macro-policies. It is coordinated by one or more central authorities, the recipients being generally absent could therefore no longer have influence on it.

The sectoral approach: It is based on the determination of specific objectives to attain in a given sector. Its aim remains the fulfillment of specific needs of one part of the juvenile population involved in the implementation process through associative organizations.

In parallel with that national policy, local authorities have mechanisms designed to train and support the youth. In compliance with their mission to manage the population’s daily concerns, they have directly or indirectly contributed to the development of initiatives in favor of youth, according to their available means of intervention. That action of local authorities has been reinforced by the increase of decentralization, based on an important transfer of competencies.

With the regionalization and new laws relating to decentralization in force since January 1997, some fields which had been run so far by central authorities, have been placed under the responsibility of local authorities at various levels: regional, municipal, and rural. Those fields include education, training, youth, culture, socio-educative issues, health, leisure and so forth. There is also the development of community-based initiatives among the youth, and partnership between youth community based organizations and local authorities.

Such a context constitutes nowadays an opportunity for youth participation to the local development in general, and to policies and programmes dealing with economic, social, educative and cultural issues in particular.

2.1 National and Local Youth Policies

2.1.1 National Policies

Education and training

Since its independence, the Senegalese government has started to build an educational and training system to consolidate the right to education and training for children and young people as established by the constitution and according to the country’s needs.

Headed by the Ministry for National Education, the government policy on education aims at:

· Assuring all children of a basic education;
· Allowing young people an access to knowledge;
· Promoting girls’ schooling;
· Forging a citizenship spirit among the youth;
· Cultivating good behavior in young people.

The main objective designed by the government is to succeed in a universal schooling. The various plans for education development have set the intermediary objective of schooling 70% of school aged children by the year 2000. At the same time promoting national dialects can fight analphabetism of young and adult people, mostly in rural areas. A particular concern is drawn on girls and women through projects specially created for them.

Despite all the efforts made, the education sector faces a lack of means while there is an increase in needs because of the population growth. Because of the emergency of economic restructuring and budgetary shortage, government is obliged to reduce the budget allocated to that sector.

As far as higher education is concerned, the lack of means is still too big with the size of classes beyond the capacity of departments and institutes, in spite of the newly existing Second University of Saint-Louis built in the north of the country in order to relieve the pressure on the University of Dakar. This is also the reason why there are lasting strikes in higher education centre where the main actors (students and teachers) gather around social and material demands.

Like the education, training has always been among the government priorities in terms of youth policy. In the first years following independence, professional education had been considered as an important lever of development and it had been directed towards:

· Training young people for a know-how and practical skills;
· Supplying enterprises with qualified manpower;
· Monitoring the agents who have to implement different government policies;

In order to reach those objectives, many training structures have been created for all levels of education: primary, secondary and upper education. For the youth’s better access to those structures, training centres have been built in regions. Considering the various problems noticed in the system, the state is trying to involve the private sector in professional education reorientation.

Culture The cultural policy has been considered by authorities as an opportunity to root the youth into national cultural and traditional values with the following objectives:

· the rehabilitation of national heritage for current and future generations;
· to facilitate cultural and artistic expression of new talents;
· to fight ignorance;
· to allow young people to open themselves to other cultures.

The main ways to achieve those objectives are creating and equipping cultural premises (cultural centres, libraries) and the existence of training structures (school of arts, school of dance, dramatic art institute etc.)


The Senegalese health policy is framed into the improvement of population’s living conditions. Its objective is to assure the population’s right to health through:

· offering health care services to all social groups, particularly to the poor;
· prevention of serious diseases;
· fighting STD and AIDS;
· promotion of reproductive health.

Specific bodies for young people are created at national and regional levels for preventing and curing diseases related to alcohol, drug and prostitution. With the support of international cooperation, the government, through the Ministry of Health, has scheduled since 1987 an enlarged vaccination programme (PEV) to fight infant diseases.

Sports and leisure

Sports and leisure constitute an important chapter in the policy of the Ministry of the Youth and the Sports. The major axes of the national policy about sport and leisure are based on:

· building and equipping sporting places;
· promoting safe leisure;
· training the technical team;
· supporting sports people.

Socio-economic issues monitoring

Included in the policy of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, monitoring socio-economic issues for young people through movements and associations has been considered as an opportunity to favor youth self promotion. The socio-economic monitoring chapter suffers nowadays from the priority given to sport, which absorbs almost the whole budget of the Ministry.


With the current economic crisis and programmes elaborated to stop it, the Senegalese policy on employment has heavily been blocked. However, employment promotion has always existed among the government priorities. Nevertheless, compulsions from the economic liberalization and the flexibility of employment dictated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have not conducted to an actual solution of the problem.

In order to solve the problem, the government adopted in 1997 a new National Policy of Employment. That new policy, supported by the National Fund for Employment, has started its work with a general census of job applicants from February 22nd to March 7th 1999 for the following goals:

· the reinforcement of the National Manpower Service in order to furnish good quality services to enterprises and job applicants;

· the creation of an information system in the employment market to help government decisions on employment promotion.

Besides, facing the seriousness of unemployment in urban as well as in rural areas, institutional mechanisms have been set up to:

· help re-employment of those who have lost their job from the public, semi-public and private sectors;

· facilitate the employment of graduates from professional education schools;

· support young people’s initiatives relating to self-employment and promote entrepreneurship among the youth.

2.1.2 Local Policies

The Senegalese local authorities services have long been used as relay instruments between the Central Power and the people. This created a heavy dependence of local authorities on guardianship central authority that is the Ministry of Internal Affairs. That phenomenon has contributed to restricting the power of local authorities.

With the reinforcement of a democratic process that has worked towards the achievement of integrate multipartism (political liberalization), that trend has been reversed and administrative reforms in succession finally gave local authority administrations an autonomy somehow restricted by the weakness of means. With the regionalization and the new decentralization law in force since January 1997, regions, municipalities and rural community administrations have become legal entities with financial autonomy and new competencies. The new local administration law defines their power as well as the relations between themselves. That is why local authorities deal with education and training culture, youth and sports, health, social service and environment.

The working policies deal with:

Social Investments

According to available resources, budgets are allocated to improving social services, particularly in districts and peripheral areas.

Those investments are concerned with the following fields:

· protection from plagues;
· health and hygiene;
· education, culture and youth;
· administrative equipment.

Transfer of resources in parallel with the transfer of competencies allows local authorities to:

· build and equip sanitary structures;

· create centres for youth activities: socio-cultural complexes in the cities of the Region of Dakar, Youth and Culture houses in urban centres inside the country, Youth Homes in rural areas;

· build, equip and maintain sport places: stadiums, playing yards, jogging tracks;

· build, rehabilitate and equip schools, colleges and training institutions;

· supply students with material and financial assistance through offering scholarship and school materials.


The monitoring policy contributes to the reinforcement of the above mentioned actions and is based on:

· supplying young people with monitoring agents for sport and cultural activities;
· appointing additional staff to schools;
· appointing qualified agents for socio-economic issues monitoring and income making activities.

The involvement of youth in decision making

The youth participation in decision making is still of great concern. In fact, despite the available associative structures that have showed evidence of participation in development issues at national and local levels, young people are facing difficulties which constitute obstacles to an effective participation in decision making concerning their promotion and their future.

This brings out consequently the question of the place of young people in national and local institutions. Heavily influenced by cultural aspects, youth participation in institutions is limited to a mere symbolic presence.

Despite the existence of a democratic civilization, and evolutions in legal matters with the reduction of the electoral age to 18 years and eligibility age at local and national assemblies to 21 years, the representation of young people in political structures is insignificant. For instance, there are only 3 young people at the National Parliament out of 140 members of parliament. At regional, municipal and rural assemblies, young members are between 10% and 15% out of the total number of members.

There is only one youth representative at the Economic and Social Council who is the President of the National Council of Youth. There is also only one youth representative for regional advisory bodies, economic and social committees.

An important representation of youth is noticeable through regional and department youth councils, which gather youth organizations from regions and departments. This representation is generally issued per field of activity: health, education, culture, environment, economic activities etc. At the sanitary districts level, young people have representatives in the bureau elected to manage the Associations for Health Promotion (APS), in charge of the daily material and financial management of hospitals and health centres.

Youth support

In the framework of youth policies and programmes created by local and governmental institutions, endeavours on support exist and cover several fields. This support, though occupying an important place in actions planning, depends mostly on the priorities established by authorities as well as on the available resources. The efforts of supporting youth initiatives are still weakened by the harshness of procedures, which reduces their accessibility.

The financial support

At the national level, grant programmes coordinated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports are generally orientated towards sports activities. Because of the centralized management of those programmes, the financial support can only reach a very limited number of associations, most of which located in urban areas. At the local level, financial assistance is more important due to the proximity and it depends on the possibilities given to each local administration.

The Urban Community (Communautrbaine) of Dakar has always a chapter in its budget devoted to granting financial aid to youth associations. The targeted activities are sport, culture, environment and socio-economic activities. Some difficulties can be noticed due to the poor share of the budget left to grants that varies between 0.38% and 1.16% on average.

The material support

This type of support is based on supplying youth organizations with materials for undertaking large-scale activities. It is the responsibility of municipalities in particular and directed towards united actions such as:

· household rubbish clearing and environmental management;
· preventing and fighting natural disasters;
· restoration of public places and buildings.

The institutional support

With the scarcity of financial resources and the difficulties in coordinating, the institutional support has become a remedy for young people as well as for authorities. It is an opportunity promoting self-management of young people in organized structures with specific objectives. National Directions and local community administration choose more and more the above type of support which creates basic groups. The institutional support is based on the following points:

· support for setting up assistance socio-economic groups;

· support for the creation of micro-enterprises or production cooperatives for an economic exploitation of some activities;

· support for the creation of Mutual Savings and Credit banks for access to loans;

· training and technical monitoring for management capacity reinforcement.

Assistance for deprived youth

This type of assistance is from local authorities in the framework of policies scheduled for deprived people. In general, it constitutes a direct aid for disabled young people and children, from poor families or delinquency groups in order to improve their situation. The lack of allocated means does not improve their living conditions and it urges them to organize themselves in order to have the advantages of the institutional support.

2.2 Youth Related Organizations and Institutions

Government Institutions

In the framework of the youth policy the government has set up institutions for its implementation in various fields. Beside traditional institutions, other institutional mechanisms have been created for better supporting development practices for young people.

Education and training institutions

Senegal has education and training centres of all teaching levels:

77 Kindergarten schools are involved in preparing 3-7 year-old children to start elementary education: 16 in Dakar, 12 in Ziguinchor, 9 in Thi 8 in Saint-Louis, 6 in Diourbel, 6 in Fatick, 6 in Kolda, 5 in Tambacounda, 5 in Louga and 4 in Kaolack. 3505 elementary schools provide education to 7-13 year-old children. There is a concentration of classes in the most populated regions: Dakar, Thiand Kaolack.

The medium level is composed of 167 colleges providing general education to 13-17 year-old young people. Like the elementary level, there is a heavier concentration in regions with a high population density. Secondary education is provided by 34 high schools, all of them located in urban centres. Devoted to preparing 17 to 22 year-old young people to enter higher education level, it constitutes an opportunity for improving general knowledge or preparing for engineering and technician jobs.

The higher education system is composed of two national universities, the first in Dakar, the second in Saint-Louis, institutes and graduate schools amounting to 10 of which 9 are controlled by the University of Dakar. Most of them are concentrated in Dakar, with 7 higher training centres dealing with young executives training for public and private sectors.

Monitoring and vitalization institutions

Under authority of the Ministry of Youth and Sports are structures set up in order to support youth community based organizations. They are 31 located in department capital cities and their actions are concerned with popular education, sports monitoring and organization assistance. Apart from those institutions, other mechanisms have been designed like projects with the support from development partners, in order to take charge of specific problems.

Therefore, the Direction of Youth and Socio-Education activities has elaborated the Project Promotion of Young people (PPJ) funded by UNFPA through the national policy of population. The project counts 7 Adolescents Advisory Centres in 4 regions with a mission of advising, educating and rising awareness among young people about reproductive health, STDs and AIDS.

As far as enterpreneurship initiatives are concerned, the government has set up the body for Employment Promotion Support under the authority of the Ministry for Employment whose mission is to design and implement training, funding and assistance actions in favor of youth organizations.

In the process of setting up a national structure for fighting poverty and young people’s under-employment, the government has created AGETIP, the Agency Implementing Public Interest Building against the under-employment in charge of designing programmes with a high need for manpower in order to temporarily give occupation to some categories of young people. The Agency implements also building equipment projects for people and projects for poverty eradication, such as the Community Nutrition Programme (PNC) funded by the World Bank.

Assistance and social institutions

In the process of implementing the social assistance policy, Promotion and Social Reinclusion Centres (CPRS) are relay structures through the 30 department administrative areas. They provide various forms of aid to deprived young people. However, their impact is becoming less and less noticeable because of their approach based on specific aid. Having early felt the necessity to favor social reinclusion among young people in difficult situations of delinquency, drug addiction and theft, the Ministry of Justice created a department devoted to reeducating sentenced young people. That department had created 5 centres in charge of educating and training 15 to 25 year-old prisoners on labor activities, preparing them for social reinclusion.

Because of the remaining difficulties, other efforts have been provided mainly by the Ministry for Internal Affairs with the support of French cooperation and this permitted the creation of the Information and Sensibilization Centre on Drugs located in Thiaroye, the suburban area of Dakar. The Centre urges sensibilizating actions to fight drug abuse, initiates reeducation opportunities in order to help young victims of illicit products’ consumption. The main target group is young people above 15 years of age living in peripheral areas.

Non-governmental institutions

Besides government institutions, monitoring and funding efforts in favor of young people have been provided by national and international non-governmental organizations. Even if they do not entirely devote their activities on youth issues, they take very important actions, mainly technical monitoring, training and institutional support.

Nearly 260 NGOs have been registered in 1993, but almost half of them are concentrated in the regions of Dakar and Thi The example which is worth being underlined is that of ENDA-TIERS-MONDE which has succeeded to set up adequate institutions totally dedicated to young people.

ENDA-YOUTH-ACTION has, since 1985 been facilitating the improvement in organization of children and young workers, at local, regional and national levels. It undertakes actions in field, mainly micro-projects, training and organizational support issues. It has for instance worked in the setting-up process of a District Development Associations Network in order to facilitate exchange of information and experiences.

Always following its mission of assisting community-based groups involved in the fight against poverty and for environmental conditions improvement, ENDA has since 1997 opened the Ecopole-Ouest African (West African Ecopole) in the premises of a former factory, located in shantytown in the centre of Dakar. Services provided by this communication and exchange space are related to:

· Support to urban economy, more particularly creativity among young people and children.
· Creating and contributing to the implementation of poverty eradication projects.
· Production, exchange and dissemination of information.

Local institutions

The evolution of institutional mechanisms of local administration is related to the responsibility policy of local authorities stipulated in the decentralization law. Like the programmes scheduled, those institutions are depending on the available resources of each local community administration. That in the reason why, only Dakar, as a city, is currently provided with an adequate institutional apparatus.

Monitoring institutions

They essentially have been composed of structures placed at young people’s disposal in order to shelter their activities and also, provide some services relating to training and assistance. Each municipality is equipped with a Youth and Culture House. There are young people’s homes throughout the 320 rural community areas, more often built and equipped jointly with associations.

As for the city of Dakar, its sports and socio-cultural programme aimed at providing each district with a socio-cultural complex. Presently, there are 5 functioning complexes, which, apart from traditional activities, provide training actions related to sewing and cooking. They are also fit for culture and leisure spaces through libraries and game rooms.

The institutions of the urban community of Dakar

Due to its larger resources, actions of Dakar city towards urban social services are comparatively at the highest level. It has created various institutions in charge of implementing its youth policy. The department for Cultural, Educative and Sports Promotion (DACEPS) is in charge of drawing up and implementing policy related to those fields. It is coordinating the different actions relating to youth organizations assistance (grants, institutional support, training). It supervises the management of youth equipment.

The Department for Social and Sanitary Action (DASS) is in charge of studying and evaluating population’s requirements and coordinating the assistance to the poor. But, being aware of the limited power of the humanitarian assistance due to the worsening of poverty, the above department has orientated its actions toward young people by organizing them into Common Interest Business Groups (GIE) to allow them to deal with income making activities. Those GIE members group themselves according to demands and living places. In addition, in order to foster employment through social policy in the city, it has grouped more than a hundred Associations and youth movements of the urban community.

The Enterprise and Employment Promotion Assistance Body to better coordinate actions favoring young people’s employment. Its mission is based on providing a varied support to young people planning to create micro-enterprises or Common Interest Business groups: studying and setting projects, financial support, training. Those target sectors are various and include fishing, agriculture, commerce and arts and crafts.

Youth organizations

Severely hit by the economic and social crisis, young people endeavour to get together more and more through movements and associations. There are different youth organizations: community-based organizations (CBOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and networks. They consider themselves as democratic, apolitical and without religious restrictions generally conducted by 18 to 35 year-old young people; their functioning principle is based on voluntary services.

The available data features 2024 youth organizations with all categories.

Community-based organizations

This category gathers 2000 Sport and Cultural Associations, District Development Associations and Common Interest Business Groups.

The Sport and Cultural Associations, 1483 in number, are located in urban centres as well as in rural areas. Deeply involved in sport, education, culture and environment fields, they participate in environment protection and to population’s education through Information, Education and Communication Programmes. They constitute also an excellent device for promoting solidarity and cohesion inside districts and villages.

The Districts Development Associations and Common Interest Business Groups are economic-based associations mostly involved in development activities and micro-projects. Those two types of organizations are intimately linked. Being incapable to deal with income making activities, Districts Development Associations have been obliged to create Common Interest Business Groups, which constitute actual micro-enterprises. 517 in number, their involvement in community development initiatives is based on sharing experiences and fostering self-management.


Young people are trying to progressively take care of themselves through the above-mentioned organizations in order to achieve their economic and social promotion. The Associative sector of young people, based on solidarity, voluntary services and mutual aid favors fostering popular initiatives and endeavours that trigger social mobilization participating to the improvement of living conditions in towns, cities and villages.

3.1. Self Development Activities

Awareness raising and advocacy

Education and awareness raising activities deal with wide fields such as environment, reproductive health, citizenship, participation, community development and so forth.

On the way to preparing Habitat II Conference, ENDA-RUP was given the functions of sensitizing and information collection tasks related to youth movements and associations in Dakar (EMAD). EMAD had initiated a programme of meetings among young people that consisted of inviting them to debate parties, a suitable frame for communication created by youth associations to express their concerns and send their messages. That was a great opportunity for Enda-Rup to get directly in touch with youth and discuss the Istanbul Meeting.

The same procedure has been undertaken by the Network of District Development Associations, which is supported by Enda-Youth-Action team and located in the suburban area of Dakar, in order to draft a guide book for young people working through District Development Association concerned with the Istanbul Conference.

Actions are initiated despite the low capacity of negotiation of organizations for some claims of youth groups dialoguing with authorities. When visiting Senegal, the President of the Republic of France had visited the Information and Stabilization Centre of drugs, created with French Cooperation support. That gave about twenty District Development Associations representatives the opportunity to express themselves face to face with both the Senegalese and French President in underlining the fact that drug discrimination through peripheral districts is mostly due to unemployment and poverty, and on the other hand the legal and statutory provisions and heavy taxes that prevent them from self funding in organizing money generating events. Those claims combined with suggestions must foster negotiations with authorities for redefining a legal, statutory and fiscal frame suitable for young people’s associations.

Trading and capacity building

Being already considered as real training and education frames, youth organizations have always been leaving a place for training and capacity building in their programmes. The aim is to develop young people’s technical and practical capacities in relation with elaboration, implementation and follow up of projects.

Mostly supported by specialized Governmental and Non-Governmental bodies, those training actions are based on:

· Workshops on administrative and financial management of organizations and micro-enterprises.

· Sessions on educative bodies monitoring and on information, education and communication techniques.

· Seminars relating to environment, decentralization policy, health and population matters.

In those various fields, successful examples have been identified and are followed by other organizations.

In the Management Field

The Coordination Committee for the Development of Guinaw-Rail, a network of associations located in the city of Pikine (the second town of the country) has very early placed management training among priorities. That led to many training sessions dealing with accountancy and financial management and the management of mutual savings banks and credit. That allows it to have qualified agents, ready to play the role of manager for the committee as well as for member organizations. The same strategy has been noted among Districts Development Associations Group that is concerned with the reinforcement of administrative and financial management of organizations.

In the field of micro-enterprises creation and management

The young entrepreneurs network of Senegal has decided to direct it actions to capacity development of its members through workshops on techniques relating to micro-enterprises creation and management: market study, fundraising, shopping projects etc.

Networking and information exchange

Networking has nowadays become a strategy of youth organizations for building a negotiation force, joining resources, exchanging information and coordinating some activities.

The National Youth Council

The reinforcement of the Senegalese National Youth Council held in 1994 as a coordinating body gathering all youth associations and movements constitutes an additional endeavour to the process. In relation with local networks - rural youth council in rural areas, communal youth council in municipalities, departmental youth council in department and regional youth council at regional levels - it fosters organizations activities and programmes coordination at all levels. At the local level, the different councils are involved in stimulating community development actions jointly with local authorities.

The National Youth Council (N.Y.C) which remains an absolutely necessary and unavoidable interlocutor on subjects relating to youth policy, participates fully in dialogue mechanisms set up by public authorities. In this respect, the N.Y.C has participated to all dialogues initiated by the government relating to the decentralization policy for taking better charge of youth concerns.

In order to fully involve young people in that new policy, the N.Y.C held awareness campaigns for political leaders just before local elections in 1996, to promote youth participation to executing local power. In order to enable youth organizations to be in step with the regionalization policy, the N.Y.C has set up 10 regional community development centres. In the field of information exchange, issuing an information bulletin enables youth associations to adapt themselves to activities and programmes relating to them, it also gives them the opportunity to express their point of view about local and national interest matters.

The Youth and Human Settlements Development Network (YHSDN)

It was born from a partnership between Youth Organizations and ENDA-RUP, local point for French speaking Africa in Habitat International Coalition, out of a national forum held in August 1997 in Dakar initiated and conducted by Youth Alliance for Enterpreneurship and Development Education (Y.A.E.D.E), funded and monitored by ENDA-RUP.

Through the theme of “Human Settlements Development in the decentralization context: Participation of youth and popular organizations”, the Forum aimed at reinforcing and stimulating the will to react to recommendations in the Istanbul Declaration. In this connection, the Forum had been an opportunity to gather community-based actors to create a reaction about their activities and to exchange their experiences. It mostly had an ambition to encourage and enable the involvement of the civil society more particularly the youth, in the implementation process of the Habitat Agenda. That is why the 70 youth CBOs who took part in the meeting have launched the YHSDN to enable an efficient coordination of the participation of the youth to the habitat follow-up and thee implementation of the programme drawn from that meeting.

Having underlined in its declaration the responsibility of the youth before the double challenge to protect the environment and to improve the quality of life and fight against poverty, the YHSDN goal has been to fully participate in solving the problems our towns and villages. From its first months of existence, the YHSDN started holding meetings with youth CBOs and local authorities for the restitution of recommendations drawn from the forum and for launching an effective collaboration between the above mentioned groups, for a joint management of human settlement as its main concern. In order to empower that trend, YHSDN has established a partnership with the Senegalese Mayors Association for a joint training programme for youth movement and local authorities on the decentralization process. The programme’s major goal is to promote a better understanding of the above mentioned process through three major themes:

· Legal and statutory aspects of decentralization;

· The transfer of competencies and their sharing between the different local powers (Regions, Municipalities and Rural Councils);

· The joint management of sustainable human settlements.

To meet its goal, the plan of action of the YHSDN is drawn around the following main programmes:

· Development of the urban popular economy: fighting against poverty, reinforcing actors capacity, promoting income making activities;

· Educate and sensitize population on legal aspects of local power, inform them about the shares of those powers and about their relation with the associative movements.

· Participation to the joint management of the environment, educate and train young people to the techniques of transforming domestic wastes, domestic wastes management.

Monitored and funded by ENDA-RUP, the YHSDN constitutes a successful example of partnership between NGOs, CBOs and local authorities.

The presence of 5 young municipality council members in its management constitutes another stimulating element for it opened relationship with local authorities. Beyond coordination and exchanging information, the goal of those networks is to help for institutionalization and long-living actions undertaken by the youth in order to participate generally to local development. For that concern, the devices used, though bearing limits, have permitted to notice a significant progress such as the creation of projects and programmes under the direct rule of the youth and oriented on their concerns and needs. But the difficulties noticed have essentially been of a financial order and they are due to the weak capacity of mobilizing financial means by the youth CBOs. With the scarcity existing in the government financial grant, and the poor support from municipalities, self-funding mechanisms - based on individual contribution and moneymaking ceremonies - do not permit to undertake large scale and long-life actions.

New ways are being tested, notably the involvement of the private sector through sponsorship. This method is mostly found in urban areas with a great industrial concentration, where youth CBOs have succeeded through dialogues, to receive financial support from polluting plants, for environment re-establishment. Popular participation to financing operations related to domestic wastes is an efficient method because proximity favours a financial participation of families inside the planned districts. Appointing goodwill persons enables to collect voluntary contributions, also based on proximity and solidarity.

Cooperation at regional and international levels

The networking system used by youth organizations has been an opportunity to set up contacts at regional as well as international levels in order to promote exchanging experiences and communication between young development actors of the human settlements. At regional level, the Africa Training Programme created by ENDA-youth Action toward several West African Countries Districts Development Associations since 1991 has always been an ideal frame of meeting for young urban actors of several countries facing the same concerns.

Participative action allowed the country representatives participating in the programme to launch the foundations of the West Africa Districts Development Associations and Children and Young Workers Network held for the first time in Bamako in October 1994 with the support of ENDA-Third World. Circulation of information between Districts Development associations (DDA) had been agreed to as a means to share experiences, to reproduce one or more actions in a district, to keep solidarity and to work together on local issues.

The setting-up of a similar Network in Latin America was supposed to create cooperation at the international level between Associations from the two continents. That has well contributed to taking charge of urban youth development actors concerns during international meetings (Social Summit, Habitat II etc.) Also at the international level the contacts between Youth Alliance for Enterpreneurship and Development Education (YAEDE), pioneer of the Forum on Habitat II follow-up in Senegal, and Youth for Habitat International Network (YFHIN), have brought to - after the creation of the Youth and Human Settlements Development Network (YHSDN), in Senegal - a profitable cooperation between the above mentioned two Networks. That’s how YHSDN has joined YFHIN as a national focal point.

3.2 Contribution to the Improvement of Living Conditions in Human Settlements

a) Activities relating to adequate shelter for all

Restructuring of spontaneous habitat and fighting against evictions

Government’s urban areas planning mostly generates demolition and eviction actions, mainly at squatter areas. With the lack of actual dialogue mechanisms, population is used to undertaking certain resistance methods created and conducted by the youth, that resistance, which is based on mobilization and demonstrations, ending sometimes with a fight with the police, has enabled to obtain benefits contributing to protecting the most deprived population right to a decent habitat. The example of the district called “Baraque” (HUT) located near an area belonging to the National Building and Housing Company (SICAP) shows how youth commitment in particular is able to constitute an efficient answer to the lack of dialogue in urban space planning.

Supported by ENDA-RUP, the inhabitants of that district enlarged from rural exodus, convened to an agreement with authorities for the restructuring of the district and the improvement of dwelling conditions. Similar examples exist in other peripheral urban areas of Dakar and that is why local and national authorities have been doomed.

Participation in improvement of urban areas

The rapid urbanization has generated a strong demand for new housing sites in urban centres. The inadequacy of planning and urban space planning related national policy has obliged communities to take initiatives for improvement of existing areas and creation of new dwelling spaces. There are three projects identified on that topic:

Social Housing Development in Touba

A large town, Capital of Mouridism, one of the biggest Islamic groups in the country, Touba is a victim of rapid growth. This phenomenon is the source of crucial problem of lack of adequate housing.

The administration of the town involves heavily the Islamic group members in the process of solving the problem. In this way, the Common Interest Business group called “Keur Serigne Fallou” (Serigne Fallou’s Family) conducted by young people, has designed the social housing development project in 1996, in Touba. This programme started with sensitizing sessions through villages neighboring the Holly town to involve population, mostly authorities (headmen) in improving and implementing the programmes. Then, the following steps were taken:

· Training on village and town planning
· Designing plans of houses at low costs
· Constructing new housing units

With an outcome of 500 recipients, the programme promoted actions against ad hoc buildings and to adopt new rules and techniques of planning and building in rural areas. Besides, the programme bears an education and sensitizing chapter on hygiene to prevent endemic diseases. Its interest is based on the fact that it has contributed a lot to stop spontaneous housing units in the holy town of Touba and is an example which can be promoted in other parts of town.

Rehabilitation of the Traditional Technologies of Housing in Sedhiou

Located in the natural region of Casamance (South of Senegal), Sedhiou is a town characterized by its far distance from the national capital and the difficulty of accessibility due to its bad roads and paths. The association for housing improvement created in 1996 by a group of young people, have issued a project on the rehabilitation of traditional technologies of building promoting access to modern building materials by the population.

As a CBO, the project’s means were essentially made by contributions and the financial and material participation of recipients. The association members voluntarily take charge of the implementing process. The project has first started with making bricks out of local materials, young technicians training on traditional techniques and the identification of recipients and their expectations. This permitted at first the maintenance of abandoned traditional huts and the demolished houses. 200 houses have been built in a 6 months period and 100 houses were rehabilitated.

Common management system of housing in Ziguinchor

Capital city of the natural region of Casamance (South region), Ziguinchor is facing a special situation due to conflicts and the civil war since 1981. The population movement from villages (war areas) to the capital city is a source of uncontrolled growth and contributes to worsen the housing problem in the town. That is why, the Housing System Group has undertaken a Community based management of abandoned buildings in transforming them into functional houses for the population considered as refugees.

The project started with a dialogue with authorities in order to leave all unoccupied buildings of the administration to Housing System; most of those buildings date back to Colonial period. Those buildings collected and registered by the group have then been improved with the participation of youth voluntary services and the material support of NGOs. A total number of 600 recipients have been re-lodged and they are participating in the common management of the housing. With low fees of participation, paid for housing maintenance, the community management system has enabled the project’s extension and durability.

Participation in improving sanitation in urban areas

Cleansing practices in heavily populated urban areas are becoming more and more important in youth activities. These actions are various and have impacts in large towns.

The cleansing Programme of Diokoul and its surroundings (PADE-CPDS).

Started in 1990 by ENDA-RUP in Diokoul, a district in Rufisque, the programme aimed at solving the sanitation problems that the town had been facing. For implementing the project, the town has called for Diokoul cleansing and compost making (Diokoul Assainissement Compostage (DAC)), whose members have been the major technicians of the programme. They work in various fields such as:

· Filtering waste waters and maintenance of technical equipment
· Picking natural fertilizers from filtering basins
· Collecting waste
· Setting aside organic elements from the waste
· Purification and recycling water
· Fermentation and compost making

This experience has contributed to solving problems related to unhealthiness and was considered as a best practice for the Habitat II process.

Cleansing the District of Guinaw-Rail in the town of Pikine

Deeply disturbed by the spreading out of liquid and solid waste, this urban area located in the region of Dakar is specially characterized by an overwhelming lack of a cleansing system. In this respect, the association “MANKOO” involved itself into traditional methods of cleansing. Voluntary youth groups equipped with old and traditional materials have succeeded to build up a system of liquid and solid waste management based on waste water drainage, waste filtering and purifying, and supplying families with waste bins. With the support of local authorities, they have created water pipes along the roads for waste water and ravine drainage.

Collective well drilling in the town of Pikine

The lack of cleansing systems and networks in the district of “WAKHINANE” (dig and drink) in Pikine motivated young members of the district Development Association “JANT-BI” (the sun) to build a cleansing system based on making joint wells for families. This equipment enables families to collect wastewaters and the separation of liquid from solid wastes. Ruled and conducted in partnership with the 6637 recipients, the District Development Associations (DDA) members take charge of the periodical maintenance of wells and training the recipients.

Development of basic infrastructure and services

The absence of basic infrastructure related investments has induced youth Associations to initiate actions to participate in rehabilitation, maintenance and building collective infrastructure equipment. In urban as well as rural areas, actions multiply whether they are in the frame of governmental projects or youth programmes.

Wakhinane Youth Club, a group of young people located in the town of Pikine, has - since its creation in 1990 - committed itself to reopening the Social Centre for unemployed youth and the educated girls. With the help of ENDA-JEUNESSE ACTION (the youth wing of ENDA), the club has fulfilled technical training competencies in the district and accommodated about 30 young girls.

With the success of the club in this first experience, the group decided to extend the centre through public participation. By sensitizing, the club members succeeded to convince more people to join the club. This ended with renting of a new building of 9 rooms for 50 000CFA (100USD) per month entirely paid by the club through fund raising organized in the district.

The projects of public authorities have been directed to actions towards health and education sectors rehabilitation through the Human Resources Development Project (HRDP-PDRH) funded by the World Bank. The youth participation in these public jobs is of a particular importance since they facilitate the production of necessary equipment less costly compared with those that would need specialized enterprises. In rural areas where the lack of equipment is more significant, youth actions are generally substituted to that of public authorities in order to equip villages with some basic services.

The most important examples are in high migration areas where youth organizations undertake building and furnishing schools, youth centres. In Saint-Louis (at the north and Tambacounda at the South of the country), about ten rural community areas have been supplied with such equipment. In some cases, the monitoring staff is entirely under the charge of community groups because of the financial problems of the state.

b) Activities related to sustainable human settlements development

There is a strong trend for initiating actions to promote sustainable development in various cities and rural areas. These actions are mostly concerned with poverty eradication, development of informal urban economy and social integration, the improvement of environment, urban security etc. The growth in the informal economy is a positive response to the current economic crisis, a mechanism of social regulation, and a factor for integration and solidarity.

The precariousness of living conditions and the absence of job security motivates urban populations to find ways of survival. In such a context and jointly with NGOs, youth organizations undertake several actions in order to implement enterpreneurship and employment generating programmes.

Popular enterpreneurship

The increase of youth enterpreneurship gave rise to numerous non-profit business groups as micro-enterprises created on the bases of solidarity. Common Interest Business Groups (CIBG) are working for income generating activities. Members contribute to financing through equal shares for starting the business. Beside their economic aspect, they participate to fulfil the needs in providing less costly goods and services to the population.

The importance of these initiatives influenced the municipality of Dakar to support the creation of CIBGs in districts on high unemployment through a Programme designed by the health and social actions department to promote youth self-management of job creating activities.

The following examples elaborate on the impact of CIBGs in the daily life of their members.

The CIBG “Takku Takhawal

Created in 1994, this CIBG is composed of 30 members and it deals with sewing, dyeing, cloth wearing and commerce of food products. All its members are now employed and food products use is widened and secured.

The CIBG of “seaside inhabitants of Gueule Tapee

Created by district inhabitants, it is involved in selling sea products, market-farming products, poultry farming, dyeing and chair making. Members work in those various activities according to their qualifications. The CIBG has 6 hectares for farming purposes.

The CIBG “Njabootu Ababacar Sy

Located in Yoff, traditional district in the suburban areas of Dakar, and composed of ten members, the CIBG is specialized in processing sea products. It had the advantage of a 5000 000CFA (10,000USD) loan completely refunded. Its members are ready for larger loans in order to diversify its activities and to serve particularly the sub-region market.

The CIBG of Medina youth (GIE des Jeunes de Medina)

A branch of the Medina youth Association created in the popular district of Medina in 1994, it has a farm for growing vegetables and fruits. It is involved in selling tea and various products. In its projects, there is a poultry-farming activity. It is trying to make the necessary funding through savings. It has planned to call for other members.

The CIBG “Viviane

Located in the districts of SICAP; it is only composed of women. It deals with selling sea products and is funded by the contribution of its members. After selling products, they deposit the money every week. A follow-up committee is monitoring the young girls involved in selling products in order to provide them with selling techniques with a plan to improve their capacity in other fields such as serving and cooking. The CIBG has activities also to improve housing conditions.

The CIBG “Takku Lgue”

Located in Thiaroye, a district in Pikine, this group is composed of 30 members and just after its creation in June 1997 has initiated a project based on the setting-up of a community shop for storing and selling common use products. It has funded itself with the individual contributions of its members who participate in management. As a community shop, members buy their goods from it and profits are immediately reinvested.

The CIBG “Fass Relaxe”

Created by the young members of Sport and Culture Association of FASS, this club is specialized in restaurant activities. Self-funded, this project has employed 4 persons for its management. The success it had in the first restaurant stimulated the members to enlarge the restaurant up to 100 seats with employment for ten persons.

The CIBG of Thieundeme youth

Located right in the middle of Dakar, the district of Thieundeme is characterized by the young age of its population. Created by the youth Club of Thieundeme, (JAT), the group is involved in the field of sewing. Training, which constitutes its major activities, is conducted by three agents. They work with local materials and prepare low cost clothes for their clients. The group has generated employment for 11 persons and is committed to improving the skills of its staff in the field of management and production.

The popular system of savings and credit

In parallel to the entrepreneurship projects, there is an increasing need of saving and credit facility, which can assist the actors of the informal urban economy to reach modern funding bodies. The creation of popular banks for saving and credits is a new approach of youth organizations and women groups devoted to creating savings productive activities.

Considered as actual “poor’s banks”, those popular saving and credit banks are organized by people who save their money in a common body, and who borrow from the same body at small interest rates. Based on solidarity, mutual aid and trust, its members participate fully in its management. They democratically elect the management bodies.

These popular savings banks also constitute training centres in the field of economy, saving and credit use. The following fields are directed to the youth:

· Funding projects created by the youth (individual or collective activities).
· Economic inclusion through loans to buy tools or materials.

The following examples enable a better understanding of the impact of those popular savings banks on the improvement of living conditions of the urban population:

The Senegalese Association of Promoting Education (ASAPF)

Located in Dakar, this organization is involved in the field of educating and training the disadvantaged youth. Its training centre supplies with technical issues. In order to employ young graduates the association has created a savings and credit bank in 1995. This bank enables young entrepreneurs involved in small-scale jobs to get the necessary means for the launching of their enterprises. Within a couple of years 500 recipients benefited from the project.

The mutual savings and credit bank of the western area of Rufisque (MECZOR)

Located in the city of Rufisque, this bank is a successful popular experience. Starting in 1996 with 324 members, it has grown now up to 600 members.

The CIBG “Soutoura”

Composed of young people from the suburban area of Dakar without a specialty and sometimes non-educated, the CIBG is created by a club of young people devoted to the urban transportation staff, whose functions are to play an intermediary role between drivers and passengers.

Being aware of the necessity to save money and have other longer-lasting activities, those young people have set up a saving and credit and selling food office. The bank has currently registered 81 members and it provides loans with varying interest rate between 3 and 6%. This type of bank has permitted food products to be supplied at reasonable prices.

Reinforcement of solidarity and social integration

Based on working together modalities, youth organizations developed solidarity and self-assistance mechanisms. With the existing socio-economic crisis characterized by poverty and lack of job opportunities among the majority of the youth, exclusion and marginalization phenomenon of the young people is worsening and criminal activities and drug addiction are increasing.

The fight against drug abuse

The following actions have been conducted by the information and sensitizing centre on drugs:

· Information and sensitizing on drugs drawbacks
· Drug addicted people re-education
· Supporting re-inclusion

With the help of youth voluntary services, the centre implements its programmes in partnership with youth organizations. That is why the “National Network of Youth Against Drugs” has been created as a coordinating body of the different programmes of combating drug abuse.

Assistance to children and young people in difficult situations

The fringed and youth in difficulties, street children are often compelled to devote themselves into delinquency. District Development Associations have involved themselves in stopping that trend through programmes drawn by ENDA THIRD WORLD, relating to education and training sessions, such as “Street Corner Training Activities” which are popular schools created in areas where youth and street children are concentrated. Activities conducted by young monitors help students to acquire some notions and capacities that can facilitate their integration.

The improvement of environment and rational management of natural resources

The protection of the environment and rational management of national resources are currently deemed as major concerns in human settlements. In this respect, youth associations and movements have actively participated in the elaboration process of the National Plan of Action for Environment (NPAE-PNAE). From 1995 to 1997 with a consensus around environment and natural resources safe keeping and awareness raising related to environment were the goal issues among societies at all levels. That process occurred through community based actions such as those conducted by youth CBOs. From education to designing projects, these actions contributed to improvement of living conditions in towns, urban centres and villages.

Environmental education

It constitutes of awareness raising and committing populations for their full participation in these joint endeavours to protect the environment and improve the quality of life. 36 recorded youth organizations have currently conducted successful environmental initiatives related to education programmes.

These programmes aimed at fulfilling the following points:

· To help individuals and social groups to be aware of the global environment.

· To help individuals and social groups to acquire information related to environmental issues.

· To enable individuals and social groups to actively participate in these initiatives.

The struggle against unhealthy settlements

The most important and popular action is the popular phenomenon of “SET-SETAL” (“be clean and keep clean” in the national dialect of Wolof); a large scale cleansing activity undertaken by youth CBOs in districts and villages. Started from Dakar, early in the nineties, the phenomenon spread throughout the whole country with a spontaneous character, which involved all population groups. Coordinated in districts and villages by youth organizations, the original character of operations is based on the fact that labour replaced the lack of material means, and this led authorities to launch initiatives to invest in human resources.

The following cases give a better understanding about the scope and size of these initiatives:

Sports and cultural association of Grand Yoff

This Association located in the popular district of Grand Yyoff in Dakar, succeeded to turn set-setal initiative to a real programme of public health. With the system of collecting individual voluntary financial contributions, the association was able to raise sufficient financial resources prerequisite to acquire materials such as: wheelbarrows, dust masks, brooms etc. During summer holidays, the association conducts intensive operations with the participating students. Those actions mostly concern getting streets off the sand, fighting against domestic waste and purifying rain waters.

The Cosapere

In relation to the Environment World Day celebration programmes, the Network of female teachers of environment related subjects, has conducted cleaning activities in the district of Fann Hock. The Cosapere is planning through those activities, to underline the children and young people’s role in conducting and disseminating information within their community, and to establish practical methods as support for education related programmes.

The group Askann-Wii of Fann-Hock

Specialized in collecting domestic wastes, through door to door process, the club has succeeded to remove 17 cubic meters of wastes per day. Facing the difficulties of public authorities involved in cleansing in the urban communities of Dakar, support to youth associations for a better cooperation of their actions fighting against unhealthiness was strengthened. This context gave birth to Coordination of Youth Associations and Movements in the Urban Community of Dakar (CAMCUD) which mobilizes 2000 young people to collect and remove household refuse.

Recycling activities

They constitute the continuation of actions of collecting household wastes. Qualified young people separate solid wastes from organic elements. The recycled elements are plastic and some metals (iron, aluminum etc.). The waste-recycling club, which uses those materials, has succeeded to develop a waste products industry. Products manufactured by these activities are various, including toys, bags, utensils and other useful items.

There is also another group of young people in the premises of West-African Ecopole of ENDA-Third World, which is specialized in the recycling field through learning. The group has set up a Workshop, for a few months duration, which has become an actual training and production centre with about thirty participants. Specialized in metal recovering, they produce objects interesting to the public such as: small suitcases, lamps, miniatures of cars, planes and bicycles.

Natural resources safe keeping

In order to take up the challenge of managing natural resources for a long lasting development at the national level, youth organizations have demonstrated their capacity. Participating actively in the national resources management project elaborated and conducted by the Ministry for Environment, these youth organizations are devoted to:

· Reforestation
· Fighting bush-fires
· Conservation off the fauna and flora

Large-scale activities have been undertaken by some organizations supported by the concerned departments.

The Association of Youth for the promotion of Non-Wage-Earning Employment (AJUPENS), through its project based on agroforestery and located in the rural area of Thies, this initiative has succeeded to promote arboriculture (tree growing) and regenerating rare categories of plants that are used in traditional health care pharmacy.

The Scout Organization (les Eclaireurs et Eclaireuses du Senegal: EEDS) has, in the framework of a common local project, participated in fighting against erosion at the northern region of the country as well as in the suburban area of Dakar. The project was based on reforestation and sand-hill fixing. The youth camps organized in rural areas are good opportunities for monitoring efforts in creating village forests.

The Senegalese Wing of the West Africa Association for Marine Environment has successfully conducted a project on the biodiversity of the mangrove ecosystem in the reserve of the biosphere of Saloum DELTA. The project has regenerated the mangrove forest intensively exploited by the island population and permitted a long-lasting management on sea-products, which constitute an important income source for the unemployed young people.

Prevention and fighting against natural disasters

The geographical situation of some towns and the failure of urban planning are frequent cause for natural disasters such as flooding, advance of sea etc. To prevent and fight against such situations, youth involve themselves fully in prevention jobs.

The most important and successful actions took place in Rufisque and Saint-Louis. Rufisque is a town located in the west-seaside and is under the threat of advancing coastline. This situation led to the destruction of entire districts. Relying on youth associations grouped in a network, the municipality has made a project, which consists of building a sea wall alongside the shore. Entirely implemented by the youth, the project has increased protection to the threatened parts of the town and the reestablishment of the damaged houses.

Located in the Senegalese River Delta, the town of Saint-Louis is accustomed to frequent floods during rainy seasons. In order to prevent this phenomenon, the Communal Youth Council has taken charge of construction of a sea wall and pipe for the passage of the water. Youth assisted emergency organization of the regional authorities in this initiative and young volunteers have been assisting displaced families.


The lack of proper documentation on urban initiatives constitutes a major constraint to a correct analysis of actions led by youth within the formulation and the application of local development programmes. The existing information systems, although being entirely supported by the international cooperation - in this case the World Bank and the UNDP - deal insufficiently with questions related to youth. Initiatives have been undertaken by NGOs and CBOs in order to address this deficiency and to better assess the programmes mentioned above.

Enda-Rup, acting as the national contact of the Best Practices Programme of UNCHS, implements mechanisms for data collection, identifying best practices and monitoring basic development projects. These mechanisms have given the opportunity to present many projects for the Best Practices Awards, to set-up the Urban Participatory Information System (SIUP) in collaboration with local authorities, and to follow-up decisions relating to projects management with the involvement of youth CBOs.

On the other hand, the creation of the Youth and Human Settlements Development Network permitted the identification of 288 actions favored by information collection from member-organizations. These actions - all of them conducted at districts, villages and built-up areas - have permitted to better understand the means, results and difficulties. Information gathered for the purpose of preparing this report constitutes a useful directory of basic initiatives, source of ideas for the partners and actors engaged in human settlements development.

In this connection, total projects and programmes are:

Field of activity

Number of Presented Actions





Saving and credit


Public equipment




Urban popular economy








The analysis of information from this total underscores the importance of monitoring in the concerned programmes. These monitoring activities are very useful for evaluating the impact of basic projects on the target-groups. Generally, monitoring allows guaranteeing sustainability of projects.


The analysis of mentioned actions in this report supports that the youth (CBOs, NGOs, and Networks) can be considered as a dynamic group for local development and capacity building. Through some programmes, it is noted that youth contributed to the success of certain initiatives mainly in the fields of poverty eradication and environmental management in human settlements.

Identified as best practices, these programmes defined strategic methods for addressing the insufficiency of policies conducted by national and local authorities, or for supporting those authorities within the framework of finding new alternatives to face the lack of material and financial means. On this basis, different partners have found it necessary to capitalize on the initiatives of youth organizations active in the same geographic area, and favoring a strong relationship for:

· developing solidarity

· awareness raising and advocating

· promoting better coordination of different organizations related to youth

· setting-up a continuous framework of dialogue for the follow-up, reinforcement and promotion of basic initiatives.

In order to implement these initiatives, youth organizations are increasingly committing themselves to building sustainable partnerships by:

· signing agreements for the carrying out of joint projects

· launching cooperation with other community leaders (religious chiefs) for facilitating the dissemination of information

· developing the dialogue between partners (NGOs, international organizations, and multilateral agencies) for taking into account the actions leaded by youth.

These initiatives must find real support at the international level for the effective participation of youth in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, Agenda 21 and the Declaration of the Social Development Summit.

In this connection, it will be necessary to reinforce the networking system of youth at the international level.

Youth For Habitat International Network has a great role to play in this context and should:

· reinforce and widen its organizational basis and regional focal points

· institutionalize its activities by organizing meetings at regional and international levels on themes dealing with aspects concerning both youth and local governments

· work for capacity building of active local organizations by supporting their training programmes

· promote cooperation with UN agencies particularly with UNCHS, UNDP and UNEP and generate sufficient and sustainable financial resources for funding projects.

This cooperation must be open to governments and the private sector (multinationals) also for the search of new sources of funding. These new sources can be focused on projects conducted at the national or international levels and on the support of YFHIN representatives to attend international meetings, mainly those organized by the UN system. The major goal should be effective participation of youth in the decision making process at the international level and in evaluating the different plans of action.


“The fight against poverty in Dakar”: Urban Management Programme-Regional Office for Africa, 1996

Gaye Malick: “Entrepreneurial Cities”

Demographic and social studies-National Direction of Statistics-1994

National statistics of education-Ministry of Education, 1998

National studies on NGOs-Ministry of Family and Social Affairs, 1995

National Youth Council-Information papers, 1997-1998

Ministry of Health information documents, 1998

National Agency for Public Interest Works (AGETIP)-Report on the cleaning operations in Dakar, 1997

Enda Youth Action information bulletin No. 93

Enda Youth Action information bulletin No. 103

“The Urban Letter” Enda-Rup newsletter, October 1997


* National Youth Council
Rue Ramez Bourgi Dakar, Senegal

* Eclaireures et Eclaireurs du Senegal
5, rue Pierre Million BP 744 Dakar, Senegal email: asfall@ucad.refer.sen

* COSAPERE-African Network Women Teachers in Environment
Sicap Fann-hock cite I N° 5 BP 11184 Dakar, Senegal email: mbeinda@syfed.refer.sen

* Youth Alliance for Entrepreneurship and Development Education
BP 10146 Dakar-Liberte Dakar, Senegal

* Diokoul Assainissement Compostage-GIE BP 87 Rufisque, Senegal

* National Network of Youth against Drugs c/o West African Ecopole BP 3370 Dakar, Senegal

* Entente des Mouvements et Associations de Developpement-EMAD
Networks of Movements and Associations in Development
38, rue Sandiniery x Jean Jaures Dakar, Senegal

* Comite de Coordination pour le Developpement de Guinaw-Rails
Coordinating Committee for the Development of Guinaw-Rails
Quartier Talla Diene Pikine, Senegal

* Collectif des Mouvements et Associations des “Parcelles Assainies” (CAMPA)
Network of Youth Movements and Associations in “Parcelles Assainies”
Unite 16 n° 313 P A Dakar, Senegal

* Enda Youth Action BP 3370 Dakar, Senegal