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49th Anniversary of ECOWAS Celebrated in Cabo Verde with Focus on Youth Engagement

Youth Engagement
Youth Engagement

The 49th anniversary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was celebrated with an event titled “Getting to Know ECOWAS,” organized by the Office of the Resident Representative of the President of ECOWAS in Cabo Verde.

Held at the Secondary School Manuel Lopes on Santiago Island, the event aimed to educate and inspire students from various municipalities across the island.

This year’s celebration centered on the theme, “Enhancing Regional Unity, Peace, and Security,” featuring a range of presentations designed to foster a deeper understanding of ECOWAS’s role and initiatives in regional integration. The students had a unique opportunity to gain insights into the Commission’s efforts in promoting economic cooperation and social cohesion among West African states.

Engaging the Youth

Throughout the morning, students engaged in interactive sessions covering various themes such as the cultural diversity, geographical richness, and socio-economic development of the ECOWAS member states. These presentations highlighted the importance of regional integration and the benefits it brings to the collective development of West Africa. The agenda included an awareness session on the recently inaugurated ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Center in Zone G, headquartered in Praia, giving students a close perspective on ECOWAS operations.

Cultural and Educational Activities

A key component of the celebration was the focus on the cultural and geographical aspects of the member states. Students explored the diverse cultural heritage of the region through multimedia presentations and discussions, emphasizing the shared values and common goals of ECOWAS countries. They also participated in cultural activities, showcasing their talents in singing and dancing.

The activities included quizzes and discussions that encouraged active participation, making learning enjoyable and relatable to the students’ everyday lives and future aspirations.

Youth Engagement
Youth Engagement

Address by Dr. Samuel Lamptey

Dr. Samuel Lamptey, Resident Representative of the President of ECOWAS in Cabo Verde, addressed the students, underscoring the importance of involving the youth in such commemorations. He emphasized that the future of ECOWAS lies in the hands of the younger generation and highlighted the need to equip them with knowledge about the organization’s mission and achievements.

Dr. Lamptey also discussed the ECOWAS Youth Policy Strategic Plan of Action (SPAO), a 10-year plan adopted in 2016 aimed at promoting youth development and empowerment in the region. The SPAO focuses on Education and Training, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Health and Wellbeing, Peace and Security, and Governance and Participation.

SPAO Objectives

The SPAO addresses challenges such as high unemployment rates, lack of access to education and training, and poor health outcomes among youth in the ECOWAS region. It outlines strategies to tackle these issues, including:

  • Investing in Education and Training: Enhancing educational infrastructure and opportunities.
  • Creating Jobs and Supporting Entrepreneurship: Fostering a business-friendly environment and providing support for young entrepreneurs.
  • Improving Access to Healthcare: Ensuring better health services for the youth.
  • Promoting Peace and Security: Engaging youth in peacebuilding activities.
  • Strengthening Youth Participation in Governance: Encouraging active involvement of youth in political and civic processes.

The celebration in Cabo Verde not only marked the 49th anniversary of ECOWAS but also highlighted the essential role of youth in shaping the future of the region, promoting unity, peace, and sustainable development.

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