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World Social Forum gains momentum

Feb 9, 2011, 1:09 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh Reporting from Dakar

The 2011 Dakar World Social Forum on Monday gathered participants from different countries to discuss issues on crisis and globalisation as the main theme of the forum.

In line with the main forum, some groups organised workshops to sensitise their participants about essential aspects of the WSF.

Speaking on the second day of the event, Moses Shaha, a senior regional secretary general for Eastern and Southern African Farmers Association in Kenya, said Africans should not stand by and see European investors take their land.

He stressed the need for increased support to the African farmers. “In Kenya, for instance, in 2008, one of the ministries refused to sign the EPA Agreement. What they did as civil societies is that they went to the original village of the minister to sign the economic partnership agreement,” he explained.

According to Shaha, Tanzania as a country has put 60 per cent local farmers in their parliament just to give farmers more voice.

“It is time for Africans to wake up and help their farmers to develop their farming skills,” he said. “We are to be blamed as African leaders. It is high time for the African people to rise up.”

He said the masses of African people should organise themselves in organisations to fight for their rights. This, he added, can be done through organisations, which are “the main power of human movements”.

For his part, Antonio Tujan, International Director of IBON in Philippines, in his presentation, said on Monday that few years to come, Africans will experience acute food insufficiency as a result of high density of African population.

According to Tujan, there will be a time “Africans themselves should be able” to support capacity building.

In connection with the WSF 11th edition, several activities have taken place around the world since 2010.

In addition to the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the WSF in Porto Alegre in January 2010, activities were held in Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, as well as other countries were they dealt with issues ranging from food security to education, from democracy to economic, social and cultural rights and from solidarity in economy to climate change.

During the forum on Monday, participants were also briefed on the main conclusions reached on the different issues discussed.

The WSF 2011 will take place in a global context marked by the deep crisis of the capitalist system, symbolised above all by the collapse of market fundamentalism, and illustrated by the global financial crisis.

After the financial crisis, the world also experienced food crisis which added millions to the already long list of those suffering from chronic hunger.

According to FAO estimates, more than one billion of the world populations are hungry.