Letter to media

Bamako, January 3, 2007

You have made known your willingness to come to Mali to cover the World Forum on Food Sovereignty organized from February 23-27, 2007 and for that we are thankful. During the course of this meeting of crucial international importance our social movements will discuss food sovereignty and a global strategy for confronting neoliberal policies.

All of these activities, whether plenaries or workshops, will be open to the media.

We hope that your presence among us will allow for our alternative proposals to be better understood, as concerns how to organize the trade of agricultural products, based on autonomous family farming which we characterize as constituting the practice of food sovereignty.

We wanted to hold this meeting outside of large cities, because it seemed to us inappropriate to be discussing the farming that we defend in an urban setting. We chose Mali because there agriculture is the central economic activity and because this country has been among the first to take into consideration the principles and practices of food sovereignty in the definition of its agricultural and rural policies. This double choice, an African country and an event in the countryside has had repercussions on the logistics and the organization of this event.

Our meeting will take place in Sélingué, a small town located about two and a half hours from Bamako. Our 500 delegates will be housed either at the Hotel Club, or in the Welcome Center that we have built for this occasion and which will be used later on by the Malian social movement, or with inhabitants of the village. A part of the delegation will be housed in dormitories or at the belle étoile. The housing capacity of the locality is saturated and unfortunately we are unable to offer you housing in Sélingué.

We have worked hard to develop housing with local families for the duration of the forum, but currently we are not sure if we can respond to all the housing needs of journalists. Please do not hesitate to contact us quickly if you are interested in the possibility of being housed with a local family.

The Forum Organizers will put in place a bus service between Bamako and Sélingué with one morning departure and one evening return, which if you wish will allow you to be housed in Bamako.

Our modest budget and the rural nature of this meeting have not allowed us to provide an equipped press center with all facilities (computers…) with which you may be accustomed. Nevertheless, on site a Wi Fi internet access will be available with a range of 512 Km, sufficient for sending articles and photos. Those of you with laptop computers will be able to work from Sélingué.

Hoping to see you soon among us,

Jean-Marc Desfilhes

contact@nyeleni2007.org www.nyeleni2007.org
Tel international : +33 870 467 123 – Mali : + 223 228 74 15 / 272 34 88