Senegalese cooperatives develop a project to upgrade the handicraft sector

The National Union Cooperatives of Handicraft art, production and services of Senegal (UNCAAPSS) CICOPA’s member, has launched a project to strengthen the influence of the handcraft sector, through the implementation of public policy. One hundred handicraft cooperatives are involved in this project.

14 June 2013

The project aims to "enhance the status and role of the crafts sector", through appropriate policy to reduce poverty and achieve the "Millennium Development Goals". Specifically, its goal is, among other things, to strengthen the skills and tools of good governance of craft professional organizations and micro and small craft businesses, promote skills training for political action, and set up spaces for exchange and information to the general public.

The project was necessary because the craft sector, also known as the "informal" sector is characterized by constraints related first to the difficulty of access to credit to poor technical performance and action of the organizations crafts, and finally the lack of access to basic social services. Indeed, the crafts sector is characterized by a high illiteracy rate of the population (over 52%).

The project, co-financed by the European Union, was officially launched at a workshop held during the month of March 2013, several activities had already been. To date, a study on the development of a strategic plan and a workshop on the legislation governing cooperatives were organized to support a understanding of the legal framework within which cooperatives evolved.

According to Babacar Gueye, Ministry of Vocational Training, Learning and Crafts, this project is very positive because it "aims to provide artisan skills", contributing significantly to the fight against poverty. Indeed, the handicraft sector appears to be a growth area in terms of jobs, income and appreciation of local resources. It is estimated that 1.2 million artisans provide a large part of the production of goods and services valued at 12% of GDP.

Sources: and UNCAAPSS

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives

Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037
E-mail: cicopa[at]

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