Photo credit: Mathieu Cros
On Monday 20 January, the official closing day of the Concerted Programme for Capacity Building of Guinean Civil Society and Youth Organisations (PROJEG) took place in Paris. It was an opportunity to look back on 12 years of intervention in Guinea and to draw a more than conclusive conclusion!
Since 2007, Aide et Action has been the leader of a Concerted Capacity Building Program for Guinean Civil Society and Youth Organizations (PROJEG), supported by the French Development Agency. This space for consultation and collective work, where more than 500 civil society organizations and Guinean and French public authorities are gathered, is intended to strengthen development and peace in Guinea.
Challenges and key issues for Guinea
On Monday 20th January, Aide et Action organized the official closing day of the project in Paris. On this occasion, about a hundred people participated in the following round tables to discover the results and changes achieved: How to promote the inclusion of youth in the democratic space? What is the contribution of PROJEG to the democratic order in Guinea? What is the impact of PROJEG on the mining sector, its texts and practices? Disengage by favouring the autonomy and the durability of the dynamics of actors: What is the experience of PROJEG?
" We worked on key issues and topics for Guinea, such as corruption, youth, human rights and the rule of law, and miningsays Sonia Vinolas, French Coordinator of PROJEG. It's a real chance that the project lasted 12 years because it allowed us to structure the action and to go further. We have achieved great results, great successes and great changes. But the most impressive thing is the evolution of the actors who have grown from year to year. This is a real source of pride for us. "
A considerable impact
Indeed, the impact of PROJEG is considerable, not only in terms of its duration, but also in terms of its scope, since 16,000 people have been reached and have thus been able to structure themselves to influence the decisions of the public authorities on fundamental issues. Thanks to the project's support, more than 50 proposals were made by civil society to improve the new Mining Code. The Social Movement, a platform that brings together employers, human rights organisations, all the central trade unions, the Bar Association, the national confederation of farmers' organisations and civil society networks, was launched. Monitoring and advocacy on democracy and the rule of law were carried out. Community-based conflict prevention actions were carried out, as well as actions to support consortia of organisations in documenting cases of human rights violations.
Practices reflecting equality and respect
In all of its areas of work, PROJEG has encouraged the expression of youth and their active participation in Guinean society. " Civil society actors, including young people, have become real political actors in the noble sense of the term. They have become more legitimate and are now listened to and recognisedsays Moctar Diallo, Director of Aide et Action in Guinea and coordinator of the programme. They are more expert on the country's issues, more empowered and exemplary with practices that reflect equality and respect.
" Now, the last and perhaps most important task is to ensure that the dynamic continues. Today the programme is coming to an end, but only in administrative and financial terms, while the actors will continue to be linked and to work. Guinea is going to face very dark times, with risks of destabilisation and internal crises, and it is important that everyone continues to invest so that the country is not isolated "Sonia concludes.