The Griot – E-newsletter V.1 No.4

Foreword

Dear friends, colleagues, and partners of the Sahel, in 2021, the question of empowerment and building resilience was top on our collective agendas, including the United Nations. This involved largely initiatives that prioritized protecting important sectors and the people, especially Sahel’s most precious demographic dividend – the youth. As women and youth remain a core priority of our Sahel Strategy, the United Nations throughout 2021 implemented a plethora of actions and accelerated existing initiatives with a goal to achieving this thunderous agenda.


This 4th edition of the Griot – our quarterly UNISS newsletter, the last edition for 2021/ and early 2022 therefore captures the remarkable work of the UN in the Sahel in youth and women. In this edition, you would discover with delight all the strides that have been recorded including our continuing efforts to deliver on UNISS. And without hesitation, it is my remit to duly acknowledge, commend, and to applaud us all, for our collective and meaningful strive to directly accompany the youth and women agenda under the UNISS Umbrella. As the African proverb states, “if you want to travel fast, go alone but if you want to travel far, go together”. In the Sahel, we have resolved to travel on the UNISS journey together and to collectively lend our support to the people of this region filled with a true promise of growth, peace, and stability.


Dear readers, on this note, I warmly invite you to proceed to read about the impactful work being done which captures several contributions of young people in the Sahel, in the journey of transforming the region, which again is still a work in progress, but nonetheless, a notable one.

The Griot – E-newsletter V.1 No.3

Contents

Voices of the Sahel

The Sahel is literally a youthful region, with two thirds of its population being young vibrant people, 46 to 50 percent of the region’s population under 15 years old, and under 24 said to number above 230 million. This indeed is an asset and represents great hope for the future of the region. Recognizing the power of Africa’s youth, African Union member states adopted in 2006 the African Youth Charter to reaffirm their commitment to the development of the continent’s population between the ages 14 and 35 years old, and to ensure the participation and involvement of young people in the development agenda of Africa.

The United Nations Integrated Strategy of the Sahel (UNISS) also underscores a focus on youth as critical to addressing root causes of the multifaced challenges in Sahel. Thus, youth empowerment constitutes one of the priority areas of intervention of its accompanying United Nations Support Plan (UNSP). Young women and men of the Sahel have shown incredible resilience and creativity in various fields. In this edition of the newsletter, we will showcase just a few initiatives led by youth. These are innovative, effective and inclusive responses from nine (9) young men and women who are real actors of change in the Sahel, tackling the challenges facing their countries and making a difference in their communities. Please note that from where they come from, there are many more.

So, kindly allow us to take you on a journey from Cameroon, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger to Senegal, where we will be highlighting the transformative actions of youth, with a focus on climate resilient agriculture, transformation and technology to protect the environment.

The Griot – E-Newsletter V.1 No.2

The griot n2

Contents

CHILDREN IN THE SAHEL

The Sahel region is a youthful region with more than 135 million inhabitants with about
65% under 25 years old of the total population. The population growth rate of the region is
also among the highest in the world. This number includes children who after the youth, are
the next significant demographic age group in the Sahel. In the face of the uncertainties
in the countries in the Sahel, which have resulted in limited or even the lack of basic
services in some parts, but also in recognition of the role the present day children will play
in the future as youth and young adults in the realization of the Sahel of their dreams, this
edition of the United Nations Integrated Strategy of the Sahel (UNISS) newsletter is shining
a light on the work that the UN has done and is doing as concerns children. This is based
on the understanding that collective, coordinated, innovative and transformative actions
on the ground for children will benefit Sahelians and, will be vital to the achievement of the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in the Sahel…

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