Le cahier de Mapidunzi 4

Introduction

For some time now, civil society has been perceived by the international stakeholders as a new peace and development partner guaranteeing more quality in actions that affect local communities, as well as better governance in public policy. But what are these multi-facetted civil societies, which are often reduced to instances of coordination of non-governmental organisations? What are their links with the population, their goals, strengths and weaknesses?

At the same time, in many African countries, the population is experiencing a widening of the gap between rich and poor, as well as episodic, cyclical or structural violence to which the reactions vary from impotent or destructive despair, fleeing to Europe at the risk of their lives, to the emergence of nonviolent citizen movements. The Mapinduzi think tank could not remain indifferent to this situation and decided to take a closer look at the range of these phenomena, analyse the specifics of the changes that arouse hope or fear in the population and the players in power, with the goal of better defining the potentials for long-term social transformation.

Our Mapinduzi meeting on civil societies and citizen movements in Ségou in March 2015 was mutually enriching for everyone. The discussions were frank, sometimes controversial but always supportive and fruitful. Our thanks go to everyone present. We would like to thank once more our Malian hosts, Mamou Daffe, Attaher Maiga and all the staff at the Koré centre for their warm welcome. We were able to take a peek at their extraordinary work and the hope they represent in their dear Mali that is torn and in danger of being plunged back into violent conflict.

Our visit to Bamako University and the exchanges with professors and students on the challenges facing African youth today was a final event worthy of the activities of the week. Warm thanks to Ambroise Dakouo of ARGA for having organised it. Lastly, we are grateful to Bread for the World, Germany, for supporting this initiative of an Afro-European think tank. As usual, we are sharing the individual contributions with you. First you will read a brief summary of our discussions and questions by the facilitators, enhanced and validated by the group. Then we will enter into the contributions: In the first part we will present to you the analyses of certain participants of the challenges currently faced in West and Central Africa. Gilles Yabi of the Wathi Network proposes a programmatic article on the key elements for change.

Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan discusses the situation of Islamic fundamentalism in Niger and the underlying reasons for its establishment. Abdoulaye Diallo explains the situation in Casamance and the challenges for civil society there. Godefroid Kä Mana considers the pathologies of his country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and their impact on civil society. Kamdem Souop from Cameroon writes of the death of the original tribe and the rebuilding of the African state. In the second part we take a look at the concept and the various manifestations of what we call civil society.

Christiane Kayser evokes the recent history in Africa and the Near East in relation to the initiatives and movements that have led to social transformation. Uta Bracken gives us a donor’s point of view of the potential and limits of development projects in relation to long-term social change. Jeanot Minla Mfou’o shares his experiences of African civil societies in Cameroon, Burundi, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Conakry and Chad.

In the third part, our authors analyse civil society and the citizen movements
in their respective countries. Flaubert Djateng shares a critical perspective from the inside of civil society in Cameroon. Laura Anyola Tufon focuses on the place of women in participatory governance, taking the example of Cameroon. Mamou Daffe considers the opportunities and issues surrounding civil society in Mali. Ambroise Dakouo examines the situation of youth in Mali and the reinvention of governance in Mali today. Frederick Golooba-Mutebi gives an analysis of the relations between civil society and the Rwandan State. Djeralar Miankeol looks at the question of land ownership in southern Chad.

Lastly, Pierre Kahenga shares his experience with the desperate struggles of the farmers and miners displaced to Katanga in DRC. Once again, any feedback from you will be most welcome.

We hope you enjoy reading this publication.

Mapinduzi Journal 4 : Civil society in Africa

Yaoundé and Goma, May 2015
Flaubert Djateng, Christiane Kayser

Table of Contents

Flaubert Djateng and Christiane Kayser
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Summary of exchanges at the Ségou meeting in March 2015 . . . . . . 10

Gilles Olakounlé Yabi
Changing the future in West Africa – Wathi’s Wager . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan
Thoughts on the situation in West Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Abdoulaye Diallo
The situation in Casamance:
challenges and opportunities for civil society . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Kä Mana
Civil Society in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Between fatal pathologies and building smart power . . . . . . . . . . 48
Kamdem Souop
Death of the original tribe and rebuilding of the African state . . . . . 58
Christiane Kayser
Civil societies: initiatives, movements, NGOs
Where is the leverage for social transformation? . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Uta Bracken
Contributing to social change?
Potentials and limits of development projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Jeanot Minla Mfou’ou
Different perspectives on African civil societies
Based on the cases of Cameroon, Burundi, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire,
the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Conakry and Chad . . . . . 88
Flaubert Djateng
Is Civil Society in Cameroon not usefull, harmful or
engendering hope? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Laura Anyola Tufon
Women in participatory governance
How do civil society organizations address
the specific needs of women? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Mamou Daffé
Civil society in Mali: Opportunities and questions . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Ambroise Dakouo
Youth and reinventing governance in post-crisis Mali . . . . . . . . . . 123
Frederick Golooba-Mutebi
Partnership? Emasculation?
Government – Civil Society Relations in Rwanda . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Djeralar Miankeol
The grabbing of land from the poor
in the Municipality of Moundou, Southern Chad . . . . . . . . . . . 144
Pierre Kahenga
Land resources in Katanga
International implications and spontaneous resistance movements . . 147

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