The World Social Forum returns to Africa

By Marc Becker

Fifty thousand activists from around the world descended on Senegal’s capital city of Dakar at the westernmost point in Africa the first week in February for the World Social Forum. Meeting on an almost annual basis since its first gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001, the WSF provides a space to discuss and debate proposals and collaborative actions to build a new and better world.

The WSF first met as a response to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Instead of exclusionary spaces that placed corporate greed over human needs, the WSF championed the daring proposition that indeed another world is possible. The WSF now has a decade of bringing together social movements dedicated to a struggle against neoliberal capitalism and militaristic imperialism, and in favor of constructing a world based on humane fairness and social justice.

Through a sequence of global meetings in Brazil, India, Kenya, and now Senegal, as well as many more local, national, and regional forums, the WSF has fundamentally shifted political discourse to the left. Bringing the forum back to Africa helped refocus attention on the region as well as linking local realities to a global struggle. Continue reading…