• forum connect proposal for aci

last modified January 25, 2022 by facilitfsm



Proposal for "Africa Connections in WSF" initiative






  • it invites to join the buildup whatsapp group ACI WSF build up and  fill  a  ACIWSF participation form version 0
  • This present  page is mentionned in the   http://openfsm.net/projects/pfsm22/pfsm22-on-mobilization-in-africa page 
  • The initiative could be developped between several organizations starting a facilitation group (in which case there will be an ACI WSF autonomous space in openfsm, distinct from the "forumconnect" space in which this text is currently located) 




There is growing trend worldwide to have online personal and collective  interaction, as a complement or substitution for physical interaction through travelling.  Moreover the accessibiilty to physical long distance travel is heavily linked to accessibility to economic resources and visas ressources that are limited in many countries in the global South and particularly in Africa 

Throughout the world people in personal and social sphere, using mobile phones and the internet  are learning to combine online interactions and face to face  interactions .This trend has been accelerated by the 2020 Covid pandemic and also  by the increasing awareness of the huge environmental impact of plane travel, compare to that of online meeting that can be diminished by self limited usage of video, privileging audio.

In the context of social forums, this trend has been visible since years 2009 with the development of usage of internet and possibility for "extension" of  face to face activities and events ( see links  sfex and dynex )  with efforts to make them accessible to remote participation,  and thus include those that could not travel to the physical events . This has been dramatically accelerated with the first fully virtual world social forum in january 2021 using join wsforum.net platform,  and now can being consolidated with a first hybrid world social forum in may 2022 in mexico 


Base idea 

In Africa ( and elsewhere) 

1/ It is  possible to get together locally and cooperate logistically "in kind"  between local organizations to gather ressources for a reasonnable quality internet connection  set up ( venue, equipment, data credit) , that will be usable collectively, and thus foster both long distance exchanges, and local exchanges, on occasion of preparation and holding of those long distance exchanges. This can convey in practice  values that are mentionned in the WSF principles 
2/ There is less cooperating motivation  between local organizations to gather bigger financial and institutionnal ressources to make possible the long distance travel of one person ( money for ticket and visa). 


Main description items for proposed ACI WSF initiative  

This items are used for describing  an initiative of action  in join wsforum platform

Who ; a series of organizations interested to act together to sustain the initiative and facilitate it  - When this group gets formed through interaction in the ACI WSF  whatsapp group  , a first versin of the  initiative can be formulated in the join.wsforum platform


ACI WSF group  where organizations involving in sustaining COOPs gather -
see the draft online form for participation in the group


The suggested logo for ACI WSF show that ACI  is is about intercommunications ( the arrows)  using internet  ( A of ACI is turned into @ )   with others inside and outside the African continent  and  in context of WSF  ( presence of WSF historical logo) 


What / How  : Mainly through local cooperations between local organizations, developping COOPs,  Collective online Participation points, that create a collective atmosphere of interaction locally, and empower the local groups to be fully present  in the virtual interactions,  and with a possibiliry of expression  for international solidarity support that can be developed progressively.


COOP Collective online Participation point, empowering local organization to collective on line participation in WSF process

Developing the How 

1/ local organizations, or local branches of bigger organization interested by this perspective  get in an ACI WSF group  and look locally for cooperation, and when possible declare a ACI WSF  COOP, where they cooperate logistically, but maintain their political autonomy.  Local organizations use the join wsforum.net platform to make themselves visible as WSF process participant organizations, formulate COOPs as  logistical cooperation initiatives, empowering them to be active participants in the WSF intercomunication process and declare activities,   

2/ COOPs  are  the channel of participation to "ACI WSF moments/event"  decided in common, where  "online activities" will be proposed by the organizations in a COOP to organizations in other COOPs, and to organizations outside of Africa.The ACI WSF group may decide such an ACI Moment between the COOPs  that are agreeing on it. There is no consideration of number of COOPs involved , because there is no  significant "centralized logistical investment in venue/travels etc " that has to be  made and be "relevant " and requires a critical mass of participation  

 ACI event  group of days when organizations in COOPs propose "online activities"   to organizations in other COOPs and beyond 

3/ These ACI moments/events are in the first place an occasion for intra africa intercommunication exchanges between local organizations, through online activities, this is similar to what happened in WSF2021 virtual forum.

4/ These ACI moments may be decided also on dates coinciding with the date of an event in africa or in the rest of the world,  that is a concentration of "activities" in a few days, that is visible in the WSF calendar of events,on the condition that this event is either extended or hybrid - 

  • In an extended event, there will be a significant proportion of the pyhsical activities in the event  that are extended, that is opened to remote participation by their organizers, and  local organnizations involved in ACI-WSF can decide to participate ( that is their participation  in an extended  is programmed as a activity in  the ACI moment
  • In an hybrid  or fully virtual event , online activities are welcome of the event program,  so it is possible for organizations involved in COOPs to proposenline activities in those events


When : whenever a few COOPs are set up throughout Africa, a first ACI WSF moment intra-Africa can be decided  in the ACI WSF group for a first experience . Then on  a second ACI WSF can be scheduled coinciding with the dates of an event in the WSF calendar ( for instance WSF 2022 in Mexico

Such an ACI WSF initiative can develop and be one among various possible channels to develop participation from african organizations in the world social forum process, in short term with a first implementation towards Mexico 2022,  and in  the years to come