Revitalizing a fishing port so as to galvanize a whole region
Konna, a fishing port on the Niger River, is a strategic site in the center of Mali. The capture of the town after the 2012 conflict has been combined with the destruction of many port infrastructures and, as a logical effect, the deconstruction of a large proportion of the economic activities linked to fishing. There has thus been a harmful impact on the town’s 50,000 inhabitants and, more widely, on the whole region, which has a population of about 260,000.
The lack of work has since combined with daily difficulties to worsen the insecurity. And, in turn, this insecurity worsens the living conditions. The trend is even more significant since, in addition to fishing, fish collection, sorting, scaling and transport directly employed thousands of Malians, predominantly those aged under 35. The “Revival and economic stabilization of Konna” project aims to bring this negative spiral to a halt by rebuilding a stable economic and social environment.
Reviving economic activities and jobs creation
It is based on several key points. The goal of the first stage is to rebuild infrastructures, in the port and the paths between the area’s villages, so as to accelerate the resurgence of economic activity and to facilitate trade. Other actions will simultaneously focus on creating and developing jobs directly linked to fishing, as well as agriculture and breeding. These actions will take the form of job-creation and self-employment programs.
The project’s third component will see other actions aiming to reestablish and increase basic services, namely access to drinking water and electricity and the creation of minimum social safety nets. Through all of these actions, the local authorities will also be supported via civic engagement. The restoration and development of basic services like access to water, accompanied by the necessary security measures, should generate support from local inhabitants. This will also help give them a more positive vision of the State.
Photo credit : Mathieu Arnaudet – AFD