On the first day of the week commemorating the 48th anniversary celebration of the establishment of ECOWAS and the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty in Cotonou, Benin, the ECOWAS Resident Representation in Benin, in collaboration with the Government of Benin, organised a “Budding Geniuses” competition, which took place on 22 May 2023 at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou.
The competition, which was in two stages, namely the semi-final and the final, involved teams from four schools from the Littoral (2) and Atlantic (2) Departments, including two public and two private schools.
At the end of the competition, the Collège d’Enseignement Général 1 (CEG 1) of Godomey emerged victorious and was awarded a cup and a book voucher of four hundred thousand francs (FCFA 400 000), followed by the CEG Sainte Rita which received a book voucher of two hundred and fifty thousand francs CFA (FCFA 250 000), then the Collège Catholique Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus which received a book voucher of one hundred and fifty thousand francs (FCFA 150 000) and finally the Cours secondaire Protestant Gbéto which received a book voucher of one hundred thousand francs CFA (FCFA 100 000).
The event also featured addresses by the Resident Representative of UEMOA in Benin, H.E. Yawori Batchessi, the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Benin, Ambassador Amadou Diongue, and Mrs Espérance Flore Noudehou, Departmental Director of Technical Secondary Education and Vocational Training of the Littoral Department, on behalf of the Minister of Technical Secondary Education and Vocational Training. All the speakers stressed the importance of raising awareness about the major activities of ECOWAS aimed at enhancing the daily lives of citizens of the Community, which are, in reality, unknown to the intended beneficiaries. They applauded the investment made in the youth to enable them take ownership of regional integration at the ECOWAS level in order to carry the torch.
It should be noted that a large delegation, including the Commission’s Director of Industry and the Heads of ECOWAS National Offices in Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana and Senegal, will travel to Cotonou to participate in the event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Cotonou Treaty.
ECOWAS week in Benin continues until 28 May and the second day was dedicated to a tour of ECOWAS specialized agencies in Benin, namely the ECOWAS Multilateral Maritime Coordination Centre and the West African Power Pool Information and Coordination Centre (WAPP), by the teams who participated in the Budding Geniuses competition.