ECOWAS pledges support for youth empowerment

BY: Nii Martey M. Botchway
Madam Hajiya Rahemaat Momodu (middle), Head of Drug Control and Civil Society of the ECOWAS Commission speaking at the event.
Madam Hajiya Rahemaat Momodu (middle), Head of Drug Control and Civil Society of the ECOWAS Commission speaking at the event.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has reiterated its commitment to empower the youth in the sub-region.

This was made known by the Head of Drug Control and Civil Society of the ECOWAS Commission, Madam Hajiya Rahemaat Momodu at the opening of a two-day ECOWAS youth engagement workshop in Accra Thursday.

The workshop aims at providing a platform for interactive exchanges between representatives of member states and the youth on youth empowerment initiatives, achievements and weaknesses, among other issues.

Speaking at the event which was on the theme: “Member States Engagement with Youth on Conflict Transformation in West Africa”, Madam Momodu commended the youth in the sub-region for their contributions toward the development of the region.

She said the youth must be encouraged to channel their energies into constructive ventures that would drive development, enhance national cohesion and strengthen society’s resilience against conflicts.


Today’s leader

She urged the youth not to see themselves as leaders of tomorrow, but rather consider themselves as leaders of today.

Madam Momodu, however, expressed concern over how some youth in the sub-region allow themselves to be used by some unscrupulous politicians, terrorists and criminal networks for destabilisation purposes.

She said ECOWAS as an organisation would continue to invest in the youth in its member states.

Youth unemployment

She, therefore, called on governments in the region to invest more in agriculture as a way of attracting the youth in order to help reduce the high unemployment in the sub-region.

The Programme Officer on Conflict Prevention, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of ECOWAS, Mr Constant C. Gnacadja, said issues bothering on the youth were of high importance to West Africa’s peace and stability.