ECOWAS calls for commitment to youth empowerment
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called on leaders to be committed to youth empowerment for peace and security.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray, made the call during the presentation of the Status of the Implementation of the Community Work Programmes at the ongoing First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
According to Touray, youth empowerment is crucial to development and also prevents them from joining insurgent groups.
In his words, “You see what we have just learned is that the majority of the young people who join groups, join armed groups not out of conviction or out of religious conviction.
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“But because they are looking for a job, so we cannot address peace and security without looking at youth employment and giving hope to the youth.”
He said ECOWAS adopted a scheme for youths to gain practical skills and experience in the bloc’s institutions and agencies, and contribute to the implementation of ECOWAS programmes and activities.
“For regional educational development, the new concept of our flagship ECOWAS Nnamdi Azikiwe Academic Mobility Scheme (ENAAMS) was adopted with the main objective of enabling youths to gain practical skills and experience in ECOWAS Institutions/Agencies.
“And contribute to the implementation of ECOWAS programs and activities.
“For the 2023 cohort, we have 90 young graduates, competitively selected from 24,332 applications, showing the increased value of the programme as one of the commission’s flagship programs for an ECOWAS of the peoples,” he added.