Community Currencies in Senegal
From: Hassan Aslafy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Project Web Site
Subject: Re: Community Currencies in Asia, Africa and Latin America
Stephen DeMeulenaere's idea of "connecting" all of us working in
the field of alternative micro-finance and local currencies is just great!
I think that all of us have experiences, thoughts and enthusiasm to
share, including exchanging ideas on the difficulties we encounter.
Combining our efforts, and putting in synergy our experiences can
contribue to gaining strength and credibilising alternative economic
pardigms and experiences - to combat the economic neclassical
hegemony and the rampant social inequalities engendered.
Well, here goes my personal presentation...
My name is Hassan Aslafy ; I'm French, with Hispanic-Morrocon
origins. My background is in social anthropology.
I've been working for a dozen of years, in "community development",
first in India (Auroville) and then in Africa (with the Tourages and
Bellas in Burkina Faso promoting organic agriculture and and anti-
erosive measures in the Mossi plain). After this experience (from 84 to
87), I worked in almost all the West African countries, including
Mauritania where I helped set up a "holistic" organisation.
When I returned to France in 1994, I became involved in the then-
nascent SEL (French version of LETS. I was involved right from the
beginning of this movement, as the general adminstrator of SEL in
After promoting SEL for a couple of years, the idea struck me that such
alternative socio-economic practices would be interesting to develop in
Africa. I porposed this suggestion to the international NGO ENDA
Third World, based in Senegal; they were immediately enthused. For a
couple of months, I've been collaborating with one Enda team in
particular (Enda/ Graf), oriented strongly towards social change and
promoting alternative and empowering "popular" practices.
We've been working with youngster and women's groups on this
research-action, in order to encourage local community exchange
systems. Our preoccupation is to impulse mutliform exchange
dynamics, from barter (exchange system chosen by women informal
sector hawkers and venders to compensation-oriented systems. With
unemployed youth, we'll experiment with exchanges of service and
creation of community resource centers.
You can take a look at our activity report in the Selidaire Web site:
Our project is intitled "Promotion des systemes d'echanges
communataires / promotion of community-based exchange systems;
We're going to first be working in 30 districts in Dakar, Senegal before
extending our work in other urban centers in senegal as well as in the
sub-region (Guinea, Mali..).
Our function would entail : setting up a resource center in
information/documentation , facilitating training, and strenghthening
initiatives and strategies of poor urban populations. As well as lobbying
at regional and international regional to promote and render
alternative systems more credible.
We'd like to encounter or share experiences with you. From the
beginning of our experience in Sel, we have tried to enter into contact
with the maximum number of partners. We'd like to hear more about
the Tlalocs, experiences in other "developing" countries (Thailand,
Turkey...). We've heard (very vaguely) about the creation of local
currencies in conflict-ridden areas of the Great Lakes and about a
pioneer experience called "Bangwa" in Cameroun; we'd appreciate more
information on these experiences.
I'm very impatient to hear from all of you. May Stephen's brilliant idea
be the beginning of a fruitful network.
Hello from all of us in Dakar,