Involving ʺNeo-Urbansʺ in the Political Game: The Example of Senegal Notes de l'Ifri, December 2010
A paper brought out last year treating the “Hunger Riots had made it possible, among other things, to point out the extreme difficulties encountered by the authorities in power when trying to control urban populations. Current demographic forecasts relating to sub-Saharan Africa all predict an extremely rapid increase in population and at the same time an even more dramatic rise in the size of urban populations.
In Senegal the vote of these populations, in conjunction with the vote of the young people born in the city at the time of the 2000 elections, contributed in large measure to Abdou Diouf’s defeat and Abdoulaye Wade’s victory. Nevertheless, it is clearly necessary to bear in mind that this analysis of the situation in Senegal is by no means a comprehensive one, particularly when it comes to the wide plurality of national situations south of the Sahara.
This is why after painting a brief picture of the demographic future of the continent we shall now turn in more detail to the Senegal example. We shall attempt to single out the dynamic and the “new” forms of mobilization and/or the new solidarity vectors bringing together individuals in their districts, as well as their capacities for turning social mobilization into the political kind. After that we shall briefly outline two counter-examples, which show that developments in Senegal, while they raise questions of general relevance to the continent as a whole, point to answers or a path specific to that country. Finally, we shall note by way of conclusion a certain series of facts which could be valuable for decoding current and future developments in the countries south of the Sahara.