Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Sereer cosmology and population-development dynamic

Abdoulaye WANE student laureate

°1974 Senegal
Masters in developmental sociology, Université Gaston Berger, Senegal, 1998

Cosmologie seerer et dynamique population-développement

With their birth rate of 7,26, which is significantly higher than the birth rates of other ethnic groups in Senegal, the Seerer ethnic group presents a special case with regard to population problems. From the inquiry one may conclude that it is their system of representation which renders the national family planning program inoperative: for the Seerer happiness is not what the state agents propose. They are in search of material security (the earth needs manpower) and honour given by a numerous descendance (at birth no one knows if the child will survive and God looks after the future of children), a representation very different from the equation proposed by the state agents : "planned family = happy family". For the Seerer development is a process of daily realisation. They consider themselves "citizens" not of the nation but of their families and ethnic group and follow the established pro-natal norms to avoid stigmatisation. The proverbs they frequently use also point in the same direction. Obviously imagination seems to play an important role in family planning as opposed to the materialistic vision of the state agents.
Through what the author calls "restitution", he reconcilies induction and deduction in social research ; he situates clearly the unconciliatory nature of the different view points, a base for further suggestions as to how the problem could evolve.