The GSEF2023 Dakar Declaration
6 May 2023
Read the GSEF2023 Dakar Declaration
We, the more than 5000 individuals present at GSEF2023 in Dakar, from more than 250 cities and 70 countries affirm that throughout the world, everyone has the right to decent work and sufficient income to live in dignity. A liveable world requires emancipation from precarity and the destructive impact of the dominant economic model on the planet.
We also affirm that today, the social and solidarity economy (SSE) is the socio-economic model best able to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Hosting GSEF 2023 in Dakar, Senegal, the first Forum in Africa, is an exceptional event for the internationalization of the SSE on this continent. The social and solidarity economy is indeed present throughout the world, demonstrating its capacity to positively transform our societies and our territories.
Each new GSEF Forum reminds us that the power of the SSE lies both in its great unity and its great diversity. The diversity of the SSE increases its capacity for innovation and experimentation, while respecting local cultures and identities while working towards greater democracy and social and environmental justice.
The GSEF Forum 2023 in Dakar comes at a special time for several reasons.
First, because we are gradually emerging from the pandemic which has had dramatic humanitarian, health, economic and social consequences. The GSEF Declaration Mexico 2021 reminds us that SSE organizations were able to demonstrate their capacity for resilience during these hard times.
Second, because of the inequality generated by the dominant model. There are winners, but above all there are losers. Young people, women, people in informal, popular and platform economies are especially affected. The economic model proposed by the social and solidarity economy based on cooperation and not competition, the primacy of people and nature over profit, is a powerful means to reverse this trend.
Our world today is characterized by increasing inequality and poverty, wars, discrimination and a succession of alarming IPCC reports. As already stated by GSEF Mexico in 2021, we need « a paradigm shift giving priority to people and the planet ».
Finally in one of its resolutions, the 2016 Montreal Declaration invited public authorities, and in particular, international organizations, to recognize the key role played by the SSE. The series of recent recommendations by international organizations, including the ILO, the OECD and the UN on April 18, have successfully advanced the institutional recognition of the social and solidarity economy. Continental organizations and States have also adopted enabling legislation, support and development strategies for the SSE. The social and solidarity economy is increasingly part of the political and economic landscape in all countries throughout the world.
However, these resolutions must not constitute mere texts ; they must lead to concrete actions. Therefore, given that Dakar 2023 is the first major international post-UN SSE Forum, it has made it possible to embody the resolution and to build a roadmap together. It will allow us to develop transformative territorial policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN.
By focusing on the specific conditions of young people and women, who experience even greater precariousness than the rest of the population and whose empowerment is a priority issue, as well as on improving the working and living conditions of workers in the informal economy, this Forum is also an opportunity to remind local and national governments of their responsibilities. These focuses have demonstrated the need to promote the transition from informal economies to collective and sustainable economies to enable access to social protection for workers living in economic insecurity. This also requires facilitating access to markets, sharing services, expertise, knowledge and resources.
Finally, we affirm that it is urgent to reconsider how wealth is created and work towards a more equitable redistribution.
Dakar GSEF2023 has been the occasion for numerous exchanges, reflections and proposals paving the way for an ecological, social and economic transformation.
Call to action
- Have confidence in new generations by allowing them to exercise their power to act
- Fight against all forms of discrimination that calls into question the autonomy of individuals and their ability to develop socio-economic initiative
- Enable the social economy’s processes of co-construction in territories by local population
- Strengthen the collective economy as a privileged means of improving the conditions of those living in precarious and informal situations
- Protect natural resources and biodiversity by promoting the commons and the circular economy to fight climate change
- Institutionalize spaces of co-construction of inter-sectoral policies at all levels of government
- Create alignment between local and national levels of government to assure the sustainable development of the social and solidarity economy
- Create representation of youth within GSEF to follow up on proposals from the Youth & SSE Pre-Forum, especially the development of financial tools to enable initiatives by youth
- Integrate the themes of youth and women throughout future GSEF Forums
- Initiate a campaign of awareness and promotion to better inform public authorities, the population at large, all economic actors and civil society of the ESS and its principles
- Put in place tools to accompany local and national governments wishing to support the development of SSE in their territories
- Work on the systemization of SSE indicators and their integration into national systems of statistics and accounting
- Encourage the creation and development of SSE teaching programs at all levels of education and training
- Strengthen research-action on SSE and partnership between the research community and SSE
- Put in place an integrated of local technical and financial support adapted to the needs of collective enterprises, in particular for projects by young people and women
- Create platforms to disseminate, share and promote initiatives, experience and knowledge to strengthen the capacity of SSE actors and public authorities to act
- Hold an SSE-UN summit on a regular basis to take stock of the impact of the SSE Resolution adopted by the UN and the actions to be taken