Development champions in the Sahel [Inspire Africa]

This episode of Inspire Africa is produced in partnership with the women's empowerment project and demographic dividend in the Sahel (Swedd).

In summary of this episode:

Investing in women and girls is one of the most effective means of increasing equality and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, according to the project to empower women in the Sahel and demographic dividend (Swedd).

Investments in programs intended for women and girls have significant impact on development, because women generally devote more of their income than men to health, education and well-being of their familyand their community.

Swedd is a regional initiative that brings together nine countries in West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali and Niger) with the goal "Accelerate the demographic transition, to reduce gender inequalities and to promote development in the Sahel thanks to the empowerment of women and girls ".

The Swedd project has just launched the 2021 edition of the "Stronger Together" campaign on the theme of "girls' education and women's leadership".One of the objectives is to link the education of girls to development in the countries of the Sahel.This campaign emphasizes the maintenance of girls in school, access to training, employment and economic opportunities and decision -making bodies, access to sexual and reproductive health services and'menstrual hygiene, the fight against gender -based violence and harmful practices.

Forced marriage

Baba Sultan Brahim is the president of the Union of Women's Women's Groups, who benefits from multifaceted support of the Swedd project: tractors, motopvages, seeds, spare parts, millets in millet, etc..

Force married at the age of 14, which took her a lot of freedoms and dreams, she did not give up her arms.Today, she is the founder of a group of women who contribute to the empowerment of women in her community and all of Chad.

UN price

Hassane Hausseize Zouera is police commissioner, head of the Division of the Protection of Minors and Women.The Nigerian is an individual winner of the United Nations Prize for the Population 2021, which honors an individual and an institution for their exceptional contributions to the population, development and reproductive health, it is recognized as a leader in the fight against violence violencesexist and for his contribution to making Niger a safer place for women and girls.

Interview with Ousmane Kane

Ousmane Kane, the Minister of Economic Affairs and the Mauritania productive sectors, also chairs the regional steering committee of the Swedd project.Why are the education of girls and the strengthening of women's leadership in the Sahel are key points of the "Stronger Together" campaign of this year?

Les championnes du développement au Sahel [Inspire Africa]

Education is the path that each individual, every child, boy or girl must travel.In the Sahel, girls have a historic handicap.So we have to fight against this.For young girls, education is the basis.Progress has been made since the Beijing Conference in 1995, but we know that girls in Africa and in the Sahel in particular, are considerably late in terms of education or leadership.It is up to the Swedd project to make a priority because this is how they will acquire their rights.

Faced with the current health crisis, what does the Swedd project do to help women and girls to face the pandemic?

First of all, by accompanying states in their efforts to support populations in general.The Swedd project must notably emphasize the actions to be carried out to bring children and young girls to protect themselves with the distribution of kits, with targeted awareness of these young girls.It is therefore a question of protecting them more.I must say that unlike other regions of the world, despite the pandemic, the country is not to be outdone.

Unlike other regions of the world, despite the pandemic, the Sahel was not too touched by violence, by gender -based violence, against young girls.But it is a mission of the Swedd project: protecting children.

What is your dream and your ultimate goal for the education of girls and female leadership?

I dream, like you, and like any African citizen, to see our sisters, our daughters, our grandchildren recover their rights, flourish, be well educated, to occupy the functions they deserve in society, in n 'No matter: economic, social or political.

Interview with Véronique Tognifode

As a woman minister, you embody female leadership in key fields for the emancipation of women: social affairs and micro-finance.How does that make a difference for women and girls?

I have a personal and professional commitment in favor of the empowerment and leadership of women, and I think it is important for the younger generations to have inspiring models.Models play an important role in our way of seeing things and can help deconstruct the pictures and stereotypes that tend to perpetuate social and unequal standards in our society.

The very first thing I did in my department was to deploy the Agbazasche campaign, which means: "My body, I have to take care of it".It allows us to go to several schools, to meet young girls and teenage girls to dialogue with them or encourage them to develop their self -esteem.

Adopt responsible behavior by identifying risks, flee the easy solutions that are ephemeral and above all, exhort and encourage them to believe in all the chances of success with work and determination.

Economic empowerment

How does microcredit for women change the situation of the community and the whole nation?

Studies have shown that the economic empowerment of women is fundamental to reducing poverty and constitutes a prerequisite for sustainable development, because women are at the heart of any development project.Investing in the economic empowerment of women is the safest path to gender equality and poverty eradication.Then inclusive economic growth.

Microcredit is a learning credit to contribute to the economic empowerment of disadvantaged persons, by the development of income -generating activities and by strengthening the financial capacities of women, and especially their financial inclusion.With microcredit, we can promote their personal development and allow them to increase their participation in social life.

An evaluation of the old programs has shown that access to credit significantly contributes to improving household living conditions by increasing their sources of income.

Microcredit program

"Little money but big changes": this is how microfinance is often summed up.What do you do in Benin to facilitate access to women in microcredit?

The government of Benin has made the question of the access of women to microcredit a real priority.To this end, several programs and reforms have already been initiated and the question of identification has been fundamental, not only to have access to basic services, but also to obtain credits.Measures have been taken to reduce the costs of issuing land titles, which have been dematerialized in order to allow the improvement of the business and credit conditions.

For women specifically, a microcredit program has been launched to help disadvantaged women start or strengthen their activities.For example, this is microcredit Alafia.It aims to grant them credits between 30 and 50,000 CFA francs, or about 100 dollars.The program is funded up to ten billion CFA francs per year by the State and is accompanied by a large financial education campaign which is very important.

In less than nine months, the program has affected more than 100,000 beneficiaries, the majority of whom are, of course, women.This same program made it possible to issue biometric identification documents to more than 30,000 women to allow them to access other essential services.

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