Home A LA UNE SENEGAL: “Politisez-vous”, an invitation to the political thing.

SENEGAL: “Politisez-vous”, an invitation to the political thing.

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Senegal has just passed through a period of campaigning, ended by a legislative ballot on July 30th. This is a crucial moment to look at the political issues of the country. The youth, sometimes isolated from the political ring, issued a warning call for the political leaders to remind them of their priorities. By this invitation it is not only a matter of saying that it exists, but above all it is a matter of calling young people to be actors and not passive spectators. Thus 10 young Senegalese united by the conviction that the current political class is not an unsurpassable horizon, that it is far from being inscribed in a desire for social transformation of their countries, have made an urgent appeal to politicize themselves. Convinced that the problems are multiple and diverse, for them it is only through politics that they will come to bring lasting solutions and anchored in time for the next generations. Different paths, different political sensitivities or even opposites, some live in Senegal and others live in the diaspora. Among them, there are several socio-professional categories: journalists, entrepreneurs, students or authors. Ze-Africanew.com went to meet one of them: Hamidou Anne, former student of the ENA, who is also political columnist and society.

Ze-Africanews.com: You have just published a book titled “Politisez-vous!”, What is it about?
It is a collective work born after long and recurrent debates on the contemporary issues of our country and of Africa in general. We often identify many evils that are plaguing our countries despite real progress. It was therefore important to impose on us an exercise of identifying solutions in the direction of how to bring about progress in Africa, a better life for all those who face many challenges on the continent on a daily basis. We believe that the current political class, in general, is not capable of bringing about deep breaks and imagining fertile and effective choices to change the lives of Africans. But we believe that politics is still useful, in this sense it is the main vector of social transformation and liberation of a people. This book is therefore a call to the politicization of society. It is a matter of inviting African youth to take responsibility for changing the cycle of degradation inflicted on us by those who govern us. It is a call for a citizens’ insurrection capable of carrying new utopias through various contemporary issues such as justice, ecology, women’s rights, equality, the strengthening of the Republic, and so on.

Who is this message addressed to the imperative?
It is aimed first of all at the African youth, majority on the continent but little represented in the decision-making bodies and the definition of public policies. Youth is our heart as a target because we are young, and we no doubt better understand its challenges, aspirations, disappointments and its desire to serve without often finding its place. But this book is also addressed to our political class which must thus understand what is reproached to it without insults or anathemas. Finally it is addressed to anyone who defines himself as African and who dreams of seeing this continent emerge from the impasse to inaugurate a new future.

“There is a depoliticization of Senegalese youth in fact. But it is hardly definitive. It is only the result of a political class that has failed to make it dream by its ability to serve.”

Do you think that Senegalese youth has dissociated themselves from politics?
There is a depoliticization of Senegalese youth in fact. But it is hardly definitive. It is only the result of a political class that has failed to make it dream by its ability to serve. Today, young people are often looking for other means of public involvement, notably through entrepreneurship and digital activism. These routes are interesting but not sufficient by the gigantic nature of the task. It is by political fact that a society is changed.

Do you think that Senegalese youth has dissociated themselves from politics?
There is a depoliticization of Senegalese youth in fact. But it is hardly definitive. It is only the result of a political class that has failed to make it dream by its ability to serve. Today, young people are often looking for other means of public involvement, notably through entrepreneurship and digital activism. These routes are interesting but not sufficient by the gigantic nature of the task. It is by political fact that a society is changed.

Do you think that this youth still has confidence in its political leaders?
No, as we have just pointed out. Trust is broken since the cycle of alternations without transformation of the daily life of millions of people who live in the most absolute destitution. Confidence is broken that public speech no longer has any value among politicians who change their party according to the wind and their personal interests.

Why do you think it is necessary to call this action to invest the political field?
Everyone calls for change but ultimately they are reluctant to invest their time and energy. Youth has the capital of dynamism, energy and dreams. It must therefore put its energy at the service of the construction of a new Africa, better than that which it has received as a legacy. This work is profoundly political. Hence our call.

You want actors, not spectators? Why ?
Watching things get done is interesting, but if we all adopt this passive posture that will educate our children? Who will care for the Africans? Who will fight corruption and bad governance? Who is going to fight against the multinationals that defraud the fisc? Who will finally offer a desire for the future generations. Being an actor of our time is a duty if we want to lead a useful life for our community.

How was the choice of the authors?
We are above all a group of friends, sharing ideas, and, for some of us, an associative or militant commitment. As we mentioned earlier, our particular sensitivities mean that we do not always address issues related to Africa in the same way. However, we are all convinced of one thing: the necessary politicization of the continent’s youth. That is our common intellectual foundation. We also try, through different forms, such as literature and militancy, to share this conviction with other young people in Senegal and Africa. This book is an additional means of spreading this fundamental idea.

 

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