In the heart of the Forum of the People, from June 6 through the end of the forum, Fana was home to “the market of the people,” initiated by CAD-Mali to promote fair trade.
Seated behind a table laden with items for sale, Ms. N’diaye Founemousso Sakiliba was delighted with CAD-Mali’s initiative. “The market of the people is a beautiful event. We have items in the stalls from several countries in the sub-region; they allow us to quickly see what is done elsewhere in the processing of local products,” she said.
An original initiative of the organizers of the Forum of the People, the market of the people aimed to be a tool for public education. According to Ms. Cissoko Fanta Touré, an activist with CAD-Mali, “it is a virtual market created to show the interactions between the market economy and the other types of economic behaviors.” The market of the people’s initiators think that it is time to promote traditional systems of exchange, such as the village granary, barter, and less formal exchanges of goods and services. “In our world, the farmer always traded his millet for Peul milk,” she recalls. “That could be feasible for other trade associations and other types of products.”
The spirit of the market of the people was characterized by the presence of tradesmen who came to display and sell their products, consumables, and handcrafts. The stalls were full of products manufactured using only local materials. Designed to promote local products, and to raise awareness among businessmen and consumers of their methods of consumption and the unjust rules of the World Trade Organization, the market was a place where products were sold at a price allowing the producers and craftsmen to earn a reasonable living from their work.