Culture & Society

  • Members: 
    Body: 
    The ECOWAS Commission organised a symposium on 5 August 2019 to brainstorm on how to achieve greater participation and representation of women, youth, and disadvantaged citizens in politics and electoral processes. Young people below the age of 25 make up more than two-thirds of the region’s population. Despite many efforts, women and the youth remain both largely underrepresented in politics. Read on
  • Opinion: 
    Body: 
    The empowerment of girls and young women, promoted by a large number of development programmes and contraceptive awareness-raising campaigns, face many barriers that are rooted in local, societal and religious norms. “These deeply rooted resistances should not be underestimated”, explains Assiatou Diarra, a doctor and anthropologist from Niger in an article published by Le Monde diplomatique. Read on
  • Body: 
    Where do rural youth live and how do they engage with the economy? How can young rural women be empowered? How can rural youth prosper in changing agrifood systems? What makes climate change a youth issue? The IFAD Rural Development Report 2019 analyses key challenges of the rural transformation process and opportunities available to rural youth while encouraging thinking differently about investing in rural youth. Read on
  • Body: 
    Oxfam published a new report on rising inequality in the Sahel. Beyond the many security, humanitarian and environmental challenges, the problems in the Sahel have their roots in the inequality and the strong sense of injustice among the region’s people, particularly young people. The report offers a series of recommendations in order to reduce inequality and deliver on the SDGs. They notably call upon Sahelian countries to uphold their commitments and allocate at least 20% of their national budgets to education and 15% to health. Moreover, the G5 Sahel should place more emphasis on development and governance. Read on
  • Body: 
    This report produced by GSMA, a group of 750 operators with nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, offers a wealth of information on mobile operator data, analysis and forecasts about West Africa. The number of unique subscribers in the region will reach 248 million (54%) by 2025. 3G will overtake 2G in 2019 to become the leading mobile technology in West Africa. Smartphone connections accounted for 38% of total connections in 2018; this number will rise to nearly 70% by 2025. Read on
  • Country: 
    Body: 
    The Burkina Faso Ministry of Commerce has decided to protect the “Faso dan fani”, the famous African “pagne” traditionally woven by Burkinabé women. The measure aims to combat counterfeiting and unfair competition and to support local production by consolidating some 30 000 jobs in the cotton sector. It will also protect the cultural identity of the fabric. Faso dan fani means “woven loincloth of the homeland.” Read on
  • Body: 
    Switzerland is partnering with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) to support the implementation of a regional financial inclusion strategy in the UEMOA area. The two partners aim to develop regional financial education programmes and targeted information campaigns, in particular for women, youth and rural populations. In particular, they plan to integrate financial education modules into school and university programmes. Read on
  • Country: 
    Body: 
    Some 150 West African bishops, archbishops and cardinals currently gathered for a week at the 3rd General Assembly of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso’s President Christian Roch Kaboré spoke at the opening ceremony on 13 May and called upon all citizens to stay united regardless of religion or ethnicity. “Terrorists have reorganised their operation methods, seeking first to create inter-communal conflict, and now an inter-religious conflict. Christians have been killed for practicing their religion by people who have no morals or ethics,” deplored the President Kaboré. Read on
  • SWAC: 
    Body: 
    Voter turnout is a key indicator of the vitality of a democracy. It helps measure the trust that citizens place in their political institutions and politicians, and shows how citizens participate in the governance of their country. While the global average voter turnout has decreased significantly since the 1990s, registered voter participation in Africa’s still-fragile democracies has varied widely between countries and over time. Nigeria is the most striking example. Read on
  • FESPACO turns 50

    Body: 
    Africa’s largest film festival, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), celebrated its 50th anniversary from 24 February-2 March. The 26th edition of the festival brought together nearly 100 000 film-lovers and screened 165 films from 16 African countries. The government deployed about 2 000 security forces to maximize security surveillance and protect the festival. Joël Karekezi, a Rwandan filmmaker, won the prestigious Golden Stallion of Yennenga for his “Mercy of the Jungle,” a film that denounces the absurdity of war. Read on

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