EXCLUSIVE – Slow Food was proud to play host to a special guest, former Mali Minister of Culture Aminata Traoré, at the weekend.
Born in Bamako (Mali) in 1947, Traoré is one of the brains behind the African Social Forum, and in 2006 took part in the Slow Food Terra Madre event in Turin. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, set up in October 2006.
Traoré spent the weekend in Pollenzo, home of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, where she discussed the project for the restructuring of the historic Missira market in Bamako with other representatives of the Slow Food Foundation.
The aim of the project is to provide peasant farmers with a space to sell their produce directly, allowing them to make decent earnings and preserve typical local traditions.
During her stay in the area, Traoré also visited the small historical town of Cherasco to receive the Premio Gina Lagorio, an award assigned every year to a woman who, through her life and work, has made a significant contribution to the values of civil society.
In her books and speeches at international events, such as the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 2002, Aminata Traoré has denounced the way in which globalization and international politics are strangling the African continent economically, depriving it of the opportunity to build a different social, political and economic future.
‘Thinking in terms of another Africa is possible,’ she says, ‘an Africa liberated from the chains of the powerful, capable of fighting for a market with a human face and imposing democracy and human rights as fundamental premises.’