Municipal Volunteer Corps
The delay in the socioeconomic take-off of African cities is mainly due to local governance issues. To address the numerous urban challenges, our African cities urgently need to rethink urban logistics to best meet the requirements of sustainable local development, controlled urbanization, and the social demand to meet the needs of citizens that are now "customers" of the city.
The mission of the elected representatives today resides in their ability to build a territorial collective intelligence in order to federate all the energies of stakeholders and thus create constructive synergies of a community whose people are talking, communicating and exchanging on issues that they share – harmonious and inclusive development of a socially stable and economically sustainable territory that is concerned about the quality of the level of urban functionality.
Dakar, the capital of Senegal, covers an area of 82.38 km2. According to the latest report of the National Agency of Statistics (ANDS) of 2013, the population of the department of Dakar is estimated at 1,081,222 inhabitants and is growing at an average annual rate of 4%. Due to rapid urbanization and high demographic pressure, the city is facing many challenges, like all major cities of the African continent.
The challenges that Dakar faces include the environment and the living conditions, the urban security, the urban mobility, the health and the social development of citizens, among others.
In light of this, the city council, which promotes participative and inclusive governance, initiated a city strategy with the ambition to rebuild Dakar by rebalancing the urban landscape into a wonderful place to live, and in which the different stakeholders talk, communicate and share the same community development issues.
In Dakar, this option of promoting citizen participation and inclusiveness is materialized by the creation of frameworks for concerted actions across the city, the municipalities and the neighbourhoods. The population of the capital city is predominantly young, which constitutes a significant labour force, and therefore an opportunity to get the better performance of this force and enjoy a demographic dividend.
In this context, the Municipal Volunteers Corps was created in order to stimulate and boost citizen participation in the urban construction process. The mission of this project is to improve the level of functionality of the territory, through the civic engagement of volunteers.
The Municipal Volunteers Corps has a staff of 500 officers and is organized into six brigades: Community Policemen, Green Brigade/Environment, Urban Mobility, Traffic Control, Beaches, and Static Guard.
The observed results are:
- Improvement of the anarchic use of public space,
- Improvement of the safety of swimming on the beaches of Dakar,
- Improvement of the mobility and urban safety,
- Improvement of the environment and the living conditions.