Mali Peacebuilding, Stabilization, Reconciliation Project Artisans for Peace 

Dates

March 2022 – February 2023

Summary

Creative Associates International (Creative), is implementing the USAID-funded Mali Peacebuilding, Stabilization and Reconciliation Project (Project de Consolidation de la Paix or Mali PSR) which is a 5-year project (2018-2023) created to support the Government of Mali (GoM) in the implementation of the Algiers Peace Agreement and to contribute to building resilience and peacebuilding in the North, Center and South of Mali. Mali PSR is implemented by a consortium of Creative, Think Peace and the Association Malienne pour la Survie au Sahel across 43 communes predominantly in the central and northern regions of Mali (Ségou, Mopti, Timbuktu, Taoudénit, Gao, Menaka and Kidal). The project works with communities to address the following key factors: conflict mitigation and management, promoting inclusive governance, strengthening civic engagement, and empowering young people. 

Creative Learning (CL), through its Aid to Artisans division, will implement “Artisans for Peace” in response to Mali PSR’s Objective 3.  Artisans for Peace, a pilot project, will empower young artisans to strengthen their ability to resist recruitment by violent extremist organizations as a result of their productive employment.

Artisans for Peace addresses the economic problems of young people in two ways: First, youth will learn from master artisans and artisan business owners living in their communities about the potential of a career in the artisan sector. The idea is to introduce them to the different aspects of running an artisan business: from production to quality control, from designing to sales and marketing. Second, youth artisans will learn to develop artisanal products for local consumption and export.  

Project Goals

CL will implement a two-track approach to artisan development in these communities: 

  • Track 1 will focus on the local market, which is currently dominated by cheap imported products. Likely products may be kitchen utensils, saddle bags, basketry, brooms, mats and fans, the latter four from recycled agricultural waste and by-products. Jewelry can be produced for horn, bone, and fish scales and sold locally. 
  • Track 2 of our intervention will identify the most advanced youth artisans who have demonstrated talent and are willing to upgrade their skills to develop products to supply the international market. Youth artisan apprentices will shadow experienced artisans working in two businesses that are active through internet sales internationally and have export sales. These two artisan businesses identified to support apprentices are have worked with Creative Learnings’ West African Cotton Improvement Project that was implemented in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali from 2007 – 2013.

Project Lead in the U.S.

Maud Obe, Director, Aid to Artisans- MaudO@creativelearning.org 

Project Lead in Mali

Djènèba Kéïta, Project Coordinator, Aid to Artisans- Djenebak@creativelearning.org