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ECOWAS weekly Press Conference: focus on humanitarian achievements and the next West African youth conference | www.l-integration.com – INTEGRATION

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The ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of human development and social affairs held a press conference on April 19, 2024 in Abuja, at the Commission’s headquarters. At the time, Professor Fatou SOW SARR returned to ECOWAS policies in the fields of humanitarianism and youth. She heads a department that manages ECOWAS policy in the directorates of Science, Education and Culture, Humanitarian Affairs, Equality and Gender, Youth and Sports.

Each of its parts works for the development of the community through regional policies that take into account gender, education, youth, humanitarian sectors, etc. With the various challenges facing the region, the humanitarian issue remains a priority for the Commission. In the event of a natural disaster or security-related challenge, this department intervenes to support member states and the affected populations.

The ECOWAS Commission, through the Directorate of Humanitarian Affairs, provides financial resources for the management of issues related to floods and migration crises. Remarkably, ECOWAS provided financial assistance to Guinea during the fire at the oil terminal and the floods. By 2024, more than $9 million has been provided for internally displaced persons, refugees and host communities.

As part of its policy to stabilize the region and fight terrorism, ECOWAS has provided financial support to Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso for the restoration and strengthening of community resilience. In this dynamic search for peace, he is equipped with an observation, monitoring and warning center based in Abuja that works to prevent violent extremism in the region. This center facilitates a better discussion of humanitarian issues in the ECOWAS region.

In terms of youth, the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Center implements the Commission’s policy in areas related to youth, sports and voluntary work. Since 2014, 217 volunteers have been sent to member states including Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. This Directorate works to promote a volunteer spirit in the sector and the commitment of young people to serve communities.

Sport, beyond its recreational aspects, is an original means of promoting regional integration. In wrestling, marathons and cycling, the CDJS / ECOWAS provides annual support to sports federations with loans of 100 thousand dollars per federation.

Regarding the socio-economic integration of young people, professional training and promotion programs are implemented by the Commission. We note, for example, training in mechanical refrigeration and air conditioning, in building electricity in Burkina Faso and Mali. As part of the partnership with China, 12 youth projects in the region have been selected and funded in 2023.

The Directorate of Education is active within the framework of the academic transfer program and the professional integration program for young people within ECOWAS institutions to provide a greater framework for learning and expression of skills for young people in the region. Since 2016, 845 young people have benefited from this policy. The youth integration program in private sector businesses will reach 180 young people between 2021 and 2022.

Since 2019, 42 young people have been sent for masters in diplomacy and international relations in Spain. The research and innovation support program made it possible, between 2018 and 2024, to train 30 young people in masters and PHD with funding of almost 700 thousand dollars. At film and art festivals, awards are given to artists. We have the example of FESPACO in Burkina Faso and MASA in Ivory Coast.

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