OXFAM in collaboration with DANIDA has organised a forum for youth representatives from five Sahel countries, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Burkina Faso. The forum, tagged ‘Youth, Education for Citizenship and Gender Equality’, was to empower youth and civil society organisations at local and regional levels to ensure they actively participate in the decision-making processes and influence government policies across the Sahel region.

The Country Director of OXFAM in Ghana, Mr. Tijani Ahmed Hamza, stated that it was imperative to bring together the major stakeholders, to identify the various challenges and strategies on the way forward and influence national policies. He also noted that ‘unemployment remain[s] a major challenge for the youth across the African continent, and this require[s] the robust interventions by their governments’.

Also speaking at the event, the Programme Manager, Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), Mrs. Theodora Williams Anti, commenting on another aspect of the OXFAM project said, ‘[T]he project ha[s] been able to effect change in 11 national policy initiatives across various sectors. The implementers [a]re also strategising to push for a pragmatic national policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training to ensure sustainable technical education’. OXFAM says it is set to develop programmes and provide internship opportunities for the region’s youth.

The OXFAM Regional Coordinator for the project, Mr. Wumbei Dokurugu, noted that terrorist threats and insecurity in some implementing countries remained a major challenge to realising project objectives. He urged governments of countries in the region to implement policies that will enable the youth to become active citizens rather than agents of destruction.

Source: PeaceFM Online

Photo source: Andy Wright 

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