Looking for a viable alternative in the face of the oil crisis in Gabon, the Departmental Council of Bendjè carried out an exploratory mission to Songhai Center from June 8 to 15, 2016.


For the Departmental council of Bendjè, Songhai’s development model is the best answer to the current crisis. Lucie Daker Akendengué, chairperson of the Departmental council of Bendjè explains : “ We needed to come and see what is happening in Songhaï to be inspired in order to make the youths of Bendjè understand that oil – which is not a sustainable commodity, product, and resource– is failing us; and apart from that resource, we have the soil. As our president often says, the soil never lies. We need to go back to the soil. However, we cannot do it anyhow. We must do it in a rational way, with all necessary information for […] the production to be cost effective.”


Guided tour of different production units, on-the-field learning, viewing of videos on Songhai initiative, all these allowed the delegation from the Departmental Council of Bendjè to discover Songhai center and understand its development model and philosophy. The delegation also visited Songhai sites in other localities of Benin such as Ketou, Zagnanado and Savalou.


Visiting with the desire to replicate Songhai model in Bendjè, Gabon; the delegation of the Departmental Council also seized the opportunity to interact with the Songhai administrative authorities on opportunities and conditions of a partnership.


Nevertheless, the replication of Songhai model in the context of public administration or local communities, often shaped by politics, is not an easy task that can be based only on willingness. Beyond the will, it will require a significant level of commitment, conviction and obstinacy. Lucie Daker Akendengué ensured that the departmental advisers are pretty aware of this fact and will tackle it.


The Departmental Council of Bendjè first intends to train in Songhaï a group of committed, able and selected youths based on objective criteria. The training in Songhai is indeed an important step in the process of replicating Songhai model.


In their own words, this visit in Porto-Novo met the delegation’s expectations and beyond. Let’s hope that the first Songhaï model in Bendje will soon be a reality.


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