Children & Youth
- Country:Body:In Liberia, 42 000 candidates took the exam that is common for all of the region’s English-speaking countries for entrance into West African universities, but only one person managed to score at the level required to move on to university. This massive underperformance has revealed the flaws in the country’s education system, which is experiencing a shortage of teachers and suffers from a lack of basic educational facilities.
- 18 Oct 2016Members:Body:On 6 October in Abidjan, the representatives of national human rights institutions of UEMOA member countries decided organise themselves into a network. The move will create a framework for discussion and exchange on all issues linked to the promotion and protection of human rights within the UEMOA region. The network will look at themes such as: the respect for human rights, access to justice, education and issues related to migration and refugees.
- 18 Oct 2016Country:Body:The African Development Bank organised a ministerial conference on jobs for young people in Africa, a meeting that was held in Abidjan on 18 October. The event brought together some of the continent’s Ministers of Finance and Youth Employment, young people from Côte d’Ivoire, as well as government officials, leaders of civil society organisations and other private sector representatives from ECOWAS countries.
- 15 Oct 2016Opinion:Body:On the occasion of the International Rural Women’s Day on 15 October, held at Mount Kilimanjaro, a group of civil society organisations supported the calls of West African women for land justice. In this plea, the signatories are protesting against the fact that rural women in sub-Saharan Africa, who form the continent’s main agricultural labour force, only own an average of 15% of the land that they cultivate
- 07 Sep 2016Body:This documentary traces the paths of 38 young migrants from Guinea-Bissau who became beggars in Senegal. The children who appear in the film have benefited from an education/re-integration programme that was implemented by the West African Network for the Protection of Children (RAO) and co-ordinated at the national level by civil society organisations.
- 15 Jul 2016Members:Body:Following on an international conference held in late May at the ECOWAS Commission headquarters in Abuja, a group of experts commissioned by ECOWAS, UNICEF and the ILO, launched an appeal urging West African political authorities to eradicate child poverty. While health crises like the Ebola epidemic, natural disasters and conflicts have contributed to maintaining a high level of child poverty, above all it is inequalities and social exclusion that sustain the phenomenon.
Seven West African countries rank among the top 20 countries in the world with the highest rate of child marriage [Niger (1), Chad (3), Mali (5), Guinea (6), Burkina Faso (8), Sierra Leone (13) and Nigeria (14)]. In Niger, three out of four girls marry before their 18th birthday, contributing to the highest fertility rate in the world of more than six children per woman. Nigeria and Niger are among the top 20 countries with the highest absolute number of child marriages, with 1.193 million and 244 000 married girls, respectively.
- 12 Feb 2016Country:Body:African leaders are gearing up to realize the demographic dividend in Africa. John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, opened the 7th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in Accra on 8 February 2016. The five-day conference gathered some 1 000 high-level experts, including African women and youth associations and other civil society representatives.