For Freedom of Movement & Fair Development!

United against privatisation of railways in West-Africa

By Anne Scheidhauer (2006)

In Senegal and Mali, long planned railway privatisation was executed in October 2003, when the central 1.200 km railway line between the two countries' capitals, from Dakar to Bamako, was sold to the Canadian/French enterprise Transrail. The major profit guided goal of Transrail is more and faster transport of goods – consequentially a reduced transport of people, faster trains, and a reduced number of stops along the track. Since Transrail took over operation of the track, they have closed down 26 out of 36 train stations, gravely affecting the local communities and economies of people living along the track and depending on the use of the railway for their work and lives.


This paper shows the different institutional reforms undertaken in the malian and the gambian cotton sectors. It first deals with the introduction of cotton in these countries before shedding light on the different stages of its development until the questioning of State monopoly which led to the liberalization of their respective cotton sectors.


The Cotton, major source of cash income for rural and the national economic engine of cotton growers countries. Since the colonial period, cotton has played an important role in the economic and social development of many African countries. Cotton growing has also therefore made up a significant share of their export earnings. Moreover, in West and Central Africa (AOC) it involves a significant part of the population. In these countries, cotton cultivation has generated significant revenue for producers.

MALI: People’s Forum takes stance against privatisation

BAMAKO, 11 July 2008 (IRIN) – As G8 leaders wrapped up their forum in Hokkaido in Japan, some 13,000km away, the hundreds of people who had gathered for the seventh annual alternative People’s Forum, this year held in the town of Koulikoro, Mali, were issuing a closing statement to their own conference, and its tone was defiant. The focus of discussions on 10 July, the final day, was on privatisation. Participants issued a statement urging the Malian authorities “to take bold steps against privatisation and to extend public services in Mali… to stop the privatisation of schools, and to establish national strategies to fight against corruption.”

Water privatisation in Senegal