• Karin Elena Ortiz Silva
4. term, European Studies, Master (Master Programme)
Songhai Centre has demonstrated over 25 years that is a viable option to combat hunger and poverty in West Africa. Also, it has become a new vision of farming, where people involved in agriculture sector receive training that gives them tools to become entrepreneurs. Agricultural enterprises created from Songhai model are self-sufficient, promote food security in areas where it develops, and also creates jobs positions.
The Songhai project is being conducted in 15 countries in West Africa with very good results. Gambia is the latest country to join this new vision of farming. Gambia have high rate of unemployment and poverty, and 70% of the population live in rural areas. Approximately one third of the population lives below the international poverty line (of $ 1.25 per day). Food security and fight extreme poverty are Gambian government’s priorities, thence is betting the Songhai model as an alternative. This project has the recognition, economic and technical support of United Nations Development Programme in Africa. But the Songhai project does not have the support of the European Union even though it has a budget through 11th EDF of 33 million euros for development projects during 2015-2016, of which 28 million are earmarked for the agriculture sector. This led to the question: Why does the EU not support Songhai Project in the Gambia? To answer this question during the investigation it chooses a descriptive design of the results found plus a qualitative research method, where two important interviews were conducted with the aim of clarifying ideas: two representatives of the European Union and United Nations Development Programme respectively. In addition, official documents of both the European Union and UNDP, and also the Government of Gambia were used; as well as fieldwork and personal experience, among others.
The result obtained in this thesis is surprising because the main finding highlights that European diplomats in Gambia were unaware on the Songhai project. It should be noted that the EU attaches great importance to food security in the area, as well as fight against extreme poverty and youth joblessness. There have been several factors that have triggered this lack of information: including political problems between the EU and Gambia, the existing bureaucracy in the procedures to qualify for aid, and the pressure exerted to Gambia to follow the Europeans values.
Publication date31 May 2016
Number of pages60
ID: 234442230