The ECOWAS Commission has convened the 10th Meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) of the ECOWAS Volunteers Programme (EVP) at its headquarters in Abuja on December 4th and 5th, 2023.
The main objective of the two-day event is to take stock of the programmes’s implementation in 2023 and consider proposed new orientations for the EVP, aimed at developing strategic initiatives to empower youth development across the ECOWAS region.
The opening session was attended by Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, who also serves as the Chairperson of the EVP-RCC. In her opening address, Prof Sow Sarr expressed sincere gratitude for the exceptional level of participation at this significant gathering. During her address, the Commissioner highlighted the significant importance of youth-related initiatives within the ECOWAS framework. She pointed out the remarkable statistic that 75% of the region's population consists of young people.
Commissioner Sow Sarr underscored the importance of broadening the scope of the ECOWAS Volunteer Programme to encompass all member States while shedding light on the organization's upcoming agenda scheduled for 2024. The Commissioner emphasized the importance of considering the varied needs and distinct characteristics of each member State, while also ensuring fair distribution of resources under ECOWAS's core principles of equity and fairness.
H.E. Francis Chuks Njoaguani, Director of the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC), and alternate Chair of the EVP-RCC, expressed appreciation for all attendees' active participation and commitment to advancing the programme's objectives. Recognizing the time constraints, Mr. Njoaguani expressed confidence in the collective efforts to advance the Programme's mission.
The inaugural session sets the tone for two days of intensive discussions, envisioning strategies to bridge human resource gaps, valorize experiences, and enhance competencies to effectively nurture the region's human capital.