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Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
News article11 March 20201 min read

Making the voice of young people heard in the Sahel


"We are the next generation" exclaims Fatoumata Traore, a young Malian beneficiary of the EU funded project "The voices of young people in the Sahel".

In a region with galloping population growth and insufficient economic opportunities, numerous young people face a struggle to make a living and often feel forgotten by the state institutions. The State public service, who is expected to provide employment, is not able to absorb the demand from young graduate students entering in the labour market. Moreover, the growing insecurity in the region hampers the economic progress and constitutes an obstacle to the movement of goods and persons, leading to diminished tourism activities and hampering other business sectors.

Since 2017, 1250 representatives from youth organisations, in collaboration with the governments of G5 Sahel countries, have defined priorities and solutions with regard to economic opportunities and worked jointly to enhance young people's voice in the decision making processes.

After the implementation of a second phase of the project, youth organisations are better integrated in the local and national decision-making process. Young people, particularly women, are acquiring skills to improve associative governance, and to manage and evaluate projects implemented by their respective organisations. Importantly, the knowledge gained about the functioning of decision-making bodies is enabling young people to influence them in their favour.

The youth in the region has been vocal about their main concerns, placing education, economic opportunities and citizen participation on the top of the priorities. By gaining more trust on the authorities and with the strengthening of civil society organisations, there is no doubt that young people will be able to advocate effectively to achieve their goals and contribute to change in the Sahel region.


Publication date
11 March 2020
Region and Country
  • Regional
  • Greater economic and employment opportunities
  • Centre pour le dialogue humanitaire - HD

Programmes in the region