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Gouvernance locale, maîtrise d'ouvrage communale et stratégies de développement local au Sénégal : l'expérience de la ville de Saint-Louis

Demba Niang 1
1 CIEU - Centre interdisciplinaire d'études urbaines (Toulouse)
UT2J - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès
Abstract : Decentralization in Senegal and its most visible pillar, municipalization, give rise to several issues. A
strong general sentiment exists that, once political quitus acquired, elected officials seem to content
themselves with the representative democracy that brought them to local power. In particular, these
issues are manifested by the populations' distrust of local public action and by social divisions, in which
underdevelopment remains very visible.
Several attempts at reform have been carried out between 1966 and 1996 with the laws on regionalization.
Local government authorities have conducted several experiments, often with foreign impetus,
particularly as a result of decentralized cooperation. Although it soon becomes clear that a considerable
part of this impetus comes from abroad, the experiment carried out in Saint Louis, with the help of
decentralized cooperation in the form of the Lille-Saint-Louis Partnership, demonstrated that it is possible
for local development to become a reality. Despite constraints faced by the city and its Institution, local
politicians expressed a willingness to relay outside impetus.
What lessons can be learned from this process?
To what extent do the funding and construction of infrastructures, mainly financed by foreign sources,
help strengthen the vision and abilities of elected officials to conduct development policy, while taking
into account the point of view and expectations of different social groups? On a more general level, how
do the systems set up in Saint Louis (Agence de Développement Communal or Municipal Development
Agency, and Conseils de Quartier or Neighbourhood Councils) encourage democratic, efficient and
transparent management by local government?
In examining these questions through a thesis, the goal was, on one hand, to build upon ten-years' field
experience in an academic framework and, on the other hand, to gain sufficient perspective in order to
problematize the various development practices induced by this experiment, in a context characterized
by an exceptionally complex game and system of actors. Working toward these two aims led to further
questioning of the transformations which Saint Louis has undergone and their impact on the ability of the
municipality to maintain control over communal development projects as contracting owner, which, along
with the strengthening of local democracy, seem essential foundations for a municipalization worthy of
such a name.
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Demba Niang. Gouvernance locale, maîtrise d'ouvrage communale et stratégies de développement local au Sénégal : l'expérience de la ville de Saint-Louis. Géographie. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-00134553⟩



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