ECOWAS Youth And Sports Development Centre Co-Hosts China-Africa Youth Forum On Volunteering08 Dec, 2022
Virtual/Jinan, December 3, 2022
– The success of the ECOWAS Youths Volunteers Programme was one of the major highlights of the China-Africa Youth Forum on Volunteering that took place in Jinan, Shandong Province, China from 2-4 December 2022 in a combination of online and offline event formats. The event which was proposed by President Xi Yinping in November 2021 at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference on the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was themed “Pooling Strength of Youth Volunteering to build China-Africa Development Partnerships”. The forum aims to facilitate international cooperation in youth volunteering, promote and implement the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and and contribute to global development and shared future of Chinese and African Youth.
In his virtual keynote adress to the forum, the Director of the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre, Dr. Francis Chuks Njoaguani, shared the experience of ECOWAS in designing and implementing a successful model regional volunteers programme that covers fifteen countries in the ECOWAS region. He stated that large population of young people in Africa with huge potentials for driving the future of the continent makes it important to develop and execute policies that incorporate them into the development equation, citing volunteering as one of such policies.
He added that ECOWAS Volunteers Programme (EVP), which was set up in 2004 with technical and financial support of the United Nations Volunteers Programme and the African Development Bank, is a skills-based volunteering model that leverages the professional and specialized skills and talents of the individual volunteers to respond to demands, fill gaps and provide support to Member States in areas of identified need and development deficits.
He listed the success of the programme to include the deployment of about 200 volunteers to three post-conflict zones with volunteers including mainly medical doctors, midwives, nurses, STEM teachers, language and M&E specialists among others. He urged the forum to support EVP as it offers young people in West Africa the possibilities for contributing to national and regional development, while building their personal and professional competencies through volunteering and partnerships for a collaborative prosperous future.