Country Spotlight: Senegal

PAGE Senegal is among one of the first PAGE partner countries and also one of the first to submit a proposal for a green economic recovery programme. Joining PAGE in 2014, Senegal has had numerous achievements in its sustainable development journey including the Plan Senegal Emergent” (PSE) in 2014 and its five-year Priority Action Plan (PAP 2014-2018) as well as the country’s National Strategy for Sustainable Development. Beyond supporting the integration of Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) into national policies, PAGE also assisted in shaping sectoral and thematic reforms across green jobs, sustainable construction, waste management, green industry and sustainable use of revenues from oil and gas; and fostering ingenuity and entrepreneurship to support green growth. 

In particular, the waste management sector has strong potential for economic and sustainable development. This is one key theme in Senegal’s proposal to support green economic recovery in the country. Continue reading for an interview with National Coordinator Seynabou Diouf to learn about recovery efforts and the integral engagements during the process for putting this proposal together. 

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National Coordinator: Seynabou Diouf

With PAGE since 2019 

Location: Dakar, Senegal  

1. How have the conversations evolved regarding green recovery in Senegal? Who was involved and how did you determine the focus areas?    

We started consultations with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD), which chairs the PAGE National Steering Committee. The MEDD developed a proposal from the paper “Contribution of the Environment Sector to the National Economic Recovery Programme and the Adjustment of PAP 2 of the PS(Senegal Emergent Plan). We then held an inter-agency meeting to discuss the proposal and prioritize the activities, considering their coherence with the UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID 19”the Country Needs Assessment for a Green Economic Recovery conducted by PAGE as well as the PAGE framework in Senegal. The activities thus selected were presented to the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC), who thenpresented the proposal to the Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation. The last step was the validation of the proposal by the Steering Committee and the signature by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development. 

2. Why is waste management so important in Senegal?  

The waste management sector has strong economic and sustainable development potential. Like many other countries, Senegal suffers from a chronic lack of access to waste management servicesAlmost half of the waste produced is not collected, which contributes to the degradation of the urban environment, especially in the capital. In addition, the waste sector employs many workers who are often among the most disadvantaged populations. For these reasonsintegrated waste management and valorization would not only bring economic and financial benefits through job and resource creation but would also contribute to the fight against social marginalization and urban poverty.  

3. What progress has been made so far in this area with the ILO (the lead agency for PAGE in Senegal)? How have you seen an improvement in the green jobs sector?  

The ILO contributed prior to PAGE engagement, through the project "Support for the social reintegration of child waste pickers from the Mbeubeuss garbage dump". 

Now, the ILO is helping the adult waste pickers of the Mbeubeus dump (among both men and women) to organize themselves in the form of associations or cooperatives and better take advantage of the opportunities in the sector. To this end, a market study has already been carried out to obtain information on the most viable and promising value chains in the waste sector (domestic and international). And, a feasibility study is underway to determine the best organizational form to adopt.  

It is expected that the intervention model that will be developed in Mbeubeuss can be replicated in other regions in Senegal. The ILO will thus contribute to the greening of jobs in the sector by improving working conditions, but also by improving the income of waste pickers and their social inclusion. 

4. Can you talk about particularly engaging women and building capacity? What successes have you seen?

In Senegal, women are particularly involved in the various areas of the green economy. There are many businesses created and managed by women who work in activities such as forestry, aquaculture, waste recycling (plastics and electronics), solar equipment production, etc. 

PAGE has contributed significantly to capacity building and training of actors for the creation of green jobs under the Support Program for the Creation of Green Employment Opportunities (PACEV). This has allowed the development and creation of green businesses, with a better integration of environmental concerns in both production processes and products offered. 

For example, a young girl who benefited from this supportAstou Toure, was able to develop an innovative project on solar cookers, which earned her the distinction of being the only woman selected at the national level and in Africa and was awarded statuas Global Action Ambassador at the 2020 Global Goals Summit. 

5. What is your hope for the green recovery action in Senegal?

It is my sincere hope that the green recovery program will contribute to building the resilience of the most disadvantaged populations living in rural and suburban areas, especially women. In Senegal, women play a central role in both the family and the economy. The loss of income related to the limitation of their activities during the pandemic will necessarily have negative repercussions on the living conditions of the entire society and lead to an overpressure on natural resources. I would therefore hope that women might be placed at the center of the green recovery strategy to restore their productive capacities and contribute to limiting the overexploitation of natural resources.