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24 March

At the IC of the WSF in Nairobi (2)

Notes from the 2nd day of the meeting of the International Council (IC) of the World Social Forum in Nairobi from 19th to 22nd March
[World Social Forum] 

On Monday morning 20 March the international council of the WSF met in plenary to evaluate the polycentric social forum of Bamako and Karachi last January, and to pre-evaluate the PWSF which is to start in Karachi after a few days (24-29 March).

After lunch the plenary continued with the presentation and discussion of the preparations of the WSF 2007 in Nairobi. The first speaker was Oduor Ongwen, a key figure in he Kenyan organizing committee. Oduor works with the Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI)   and is also a member of the council of the African Social Forum.

During the afternoon and until the evening followed the report of the Methodology commission and a long discussion about the programme of the Nairobi WSF.


The Nairobi WSF must not be focussed mainly on African issues. It should have a strong African imprint, but since it is a World Social Forum it must not be dominated by African issues,  Oduor Ongwen  stressed. Another way of saying this, repeated by many of the praticipants here, is that the Nairobi WSF must not be about charity for Africa. Solidarity, not charity!
The Kenya organizing committee is presently being merged into an East African structure with members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The new regional organizing committee will meet for the first time on 22 April to  set up subcommittes for content, mobilization, resoutces, communications and logistics.
Keeping in mind the lesson from Bamako, where the WSF events were dispersed in too many different venues, all events of the Nairobi WSF will (hopefully) be arranged in the centre of the town. The government owned Jomo Kenyatta international Conference Center has been selected to be the main venue. Negotiations are going on with the university of Nairobi to use some of the university's facilities. The Youth Camp of the WSF will,hopefully, be located in the  park ner the university, which is owned by the city council. Thus a closer interaction between the Youth Camp and the WSF than at earlier WSFs should also be made possible.

The Caravans of buses from Capetown and Bamako to Nairobi and the Mogadishu-Nairobi Peace March should help to expand the involvement of Africans in the WSF.  The South African organisers have already designated the routes and stops of  the Capetown-Nairobi Caravan.

The website of the Nairobi WSF is hoped to be up and running in 2-3 weeks from now, Oduor said. The suitability of the web concept of the European Social Forum is presently being tested for the purpose.

After Oduor, Taufik completed the presentation of the preparations from the African side  by stressing the responsibility of the African Social Forum for the WSF in Nairobi.

THE DATE  OF THE WSF IN NAROBI : 20-25 January 2007

The first issue to decide on was brought up by Oded Grajew from Brazil, namely the date of the WSF in Nairobi. Some of the participants wanted it to take place at the same date as the World Economic Forum in Davos which is scheduled to 24-28 January. However, during the  discussion it became clear that the Jomo Kenyatta Int'l Conference Centre is very competitive, and that it has  already been booked by an Indian organisation at the end of January, starting January 26. The Kenya organizing committee, for their part have pre-reserved  the Kenyatta Centre for the period 10-25 January.

The IC then unianimously decided that the WSF in Nairobi will be held 20-25 January 2007.
20 January is opening day.
21-22-23-24 January are full working days.
25 January is the closing day.
The planned World Forum of Local Authorities and the World Parliamentarian Forum will then take place on 26 January.

Roberto Savio proposed that the IC of the WSF will hold a 2-days meeting after the WSF.


The discussion about the methodology - the methodology to be agreed upon and used in  the planning and organisation of the WSF - was long and at times tedious. Considering the both multinational and  multicultural (in terms of political and organisational traditions)  composition of the IC of the WSF, this could hardly be otherwise. However, the chairman of this session, Vinod Raina (from Jubilee South) managed to lead the IC to a number of reasonable conclusions and decisions:

1. A common working committee with representatives from the ASF and the IC will  be set up. (This had been requested by Tawfiq.)

2. A working meeting is to be held in June to finalise the working plan. (This is to ensure that the IC, the council of the ASF and the East African organising committee are working on the same plan.)

3. A working group will be set up to do the consultation and mapping of themes for the actual program during 20-25 January. The IC will come up with a proposal about the composition of this group.

4. There should be some ("a few") events which are sponsored by the IC.

In addition to these points, the African organisers are expected to come up with a proposal about how to increase the visibility of marginalized groups of people.

muzungu, kwa heri, they say, although I do not know what it means.
(Karibu, welcome i s the only word I have learnt so far.)

  - Mikael

At the IC of the WSF in Nairobi (1)| Paradsidan | At the IC of the WSF in Nairobi (3-4)
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