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ECOWAS consolidates youth empowerment efforts
Group photograph of officials and experts at th EYEP inauguration

Abuja, July 2nd 2017 . In line with its desire to reduce youth unemployment in the region, a steering Committee of the ECOWAS Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Programme (EYEP) has been inaugurated.

The EYEP which is an initiative of the ECOWAS Commission, is set up to promote entrepreneurship among the youth of West Africa while increasing decent employment opportunities for them.

Inaugurating the EYEP steering Committee at the Commission Headquarters in Abuja on the 29th of June 2017, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, said its birth marks a milestone in the march towards providing youths of the region with jobs as the programme is expected to ‘greatly alleviate the scourge of unemployment that has been ravaging the region’

Her remarks read by the Head of Division, Youth, Employment and Sports, Mr. Kennedy Zaro Barsisa noted further that the programme will in no small measure put smiles on the faces of the youths. She assured members of the Steering Committee that ECOWAS is indeed unequivocally committed to the livelihood and well-being of youths within the sub-region.

The steering Committee, shortly after its inauguration, held its first meeting to review guidelines for the implementation of the programme and to adopt a roadmap of activities for the immediate take-off of the youth empowerment programme.

The programme will provide youths from the 15 ECOWAS member states with seed money to start Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). The EYEP will empower 20 youths from the 15 ECOWAS member States in its first year with the intention of increasing participation of more youths in the future.

Apart from building capacities of the youths, the Programme is expected to support young entrepreneurs with resources to make them self-employed in line with the other steps being taken by ECOWAS to address the high rate of youth unemployment in the region.


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