Sidiki Abdoul DAFF
Senegal, West Africa
What makes me tick: voicing the voiceless
I am Senegalese, a history teacher by profession, married and father of 2 children. I got involved in social activities very early on, from the age of 15 (I’m now 49). I started by teaching people to read and write in French in my native village, Kanel (Northern Senegal) and then within other organisations in different areas of Senegal (in Casamance, in Sine-Saloum – the River region, among others), continuing to work in organisations doing different jobs as a volunteer; what motivates me is helping citizens to express themselves. This commitment opened up other areas to me, including politics and unionism and I am actually an active member in a political party and in a trade union, although most of what I do is still within social organisations.
The alpha and omega of my approach is the “construction of active citizenship” in whatever realm I am involved in. One of the tools I always use is the DPH method adapted to conditions of Africa. I use this to create accessible tools that enable the most modest citizens (house workers, labourers, illiterate peasants, etc.) to express their concerns in a way that doesn’t create a rupture between them and their environment. It was this issue that I wanted to convey through translating the charter into Wolof, and, to make it more inclusive, by putting it on tape. It’s true that if the majority of Senegalese don’t know how to read or write, everyone (except those who suffer from physiological and mental inabilities) knows how to listen and understand.
I am also involved in national activities sustained by both what I mentioned above and the desire to promote the participative budget in Senegal, another process which contributes to helping citizens speak out (Inhabitants).
On an international scale, this activity forms part of the work being done by the International Alliance of Inhabitants, of which I am one of the founding members. I am involved in “altermondialist” (alternative globalisation) movements in my country (Senegalese Social Forum) where I am in charge of gathering all materials to develop and circulate them. In the same line, I work in the World Social Forum’s Commission on Memories and Contents.
These seemingly numerous activities result from having a focus which conditions my commitment: the construction of a citizenship. This is achieved not only through access to information but also by citizens themselves producing the information.
As a citizen of Senegal, Africa and the world, I feel the need to articulate territorial scales because a world cannot be built in just one territory even if this territory may be the starting point of this building process.
CERPAC= Popular Research Centre for Citizen Action
 Centre de Recherches Populaires pour l’Action Citoyenne - Popular Research Centre for Citizen Action
 Agriculture, Paysans, Alimentation et Mondialisation - Agriculture, Peasants, Food and Globalisation
 Association pour le Développement de la Pêche artisinale en Afrique - Organisation for the Development of Artisan Fishery in Africa