At the beginning of March, Aide et Action participated in the launch of the "Competencies for Tomorrow" (CFD) program in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The program is implemented by the association Solidarité Laïque, in consortium with Aide et Action and in partnership with other civil society organizations in sub-Saharan Africa. It aims at promoting employability, empowerment and civic participation of young people (16-35 years) in the outskirts of big cities.
The programme specifically targets six French-speaking West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Mali and Senegal. These countries have many similarities in terms of human development and youth issues in peri-urban areas.
Youth without a future?
Each year, more than 30 million of young Africans leave their villages and end up on the outskirts of big cities because they cannot find work. The mismatch between training and the real needs of the labour market sectors is one of the major reasons for the idleness and misery of young people. Indeed, the rates of job insecurity and unemployment are very high. In such a context, the development of their employability is a necessity to fight against the feeling of exclusion.
To achieve this, the consortium between Aide et Action in Guinea Conakry and Solidarité Laïque, in partnership with other local organizations in the region, has launched the "Skills for Tomorrow" program. This programme aims at setting up Social Innovation Laboratories (LABIS) which are based on two axes. These are: to strengthen the employability and entrepreneurship of young people, their use of digital tools and their civic commitment thanks to local actors. This scheme will enable each person to build their own pathway to acquire the necessary skills and finally find their place in society.
The professional integration of young people remains a priority
Supporting the training and professional integration of young people has been one of Aide et Action's areas of intervention for a long time, as Charles-Emmanuel Ballanger, the association's Director General, explains. "Aide et Action is partnering with Solidarité Laïque on this program because one of our themes is vocational training, integration and employability of youth. Today, there are millions of young people in all our countries, in Africa as well as in Europe, who are unemployed and without hope. And we cannot leave these young people, the future of our societies, in despair and bitterness. This is why Aide et Action found it natural and very relevant to join hands with Solidarité Laïque for this project. ."
Indeed, inn order to ensure that no one is left behind, we aim to provide lifelong learning to marginalised groups so that they have the skills to adapt and keep up with rapidly changing societies in a globalised world. Our intervention aims at building resilient skills while respecting diversity in all its forms. Aide et Action is now paying special attention to opportunities that enable people to learn and develop throughout their lives and to live life with dignity.