Press Releases


West African Youth Demand the Creation Innovation Hubs, Greater Investment in Digital Entrepreneurship, and the Collective Enhancement of Regional Security through Technology

08 Jun, 2024

The youth of West Africa are demanding the creation of innovation hubs for young people in various ECOWAS member states, greater investment in digital entrepreneurship as well as the initiation of grassroots actions to enhance peace and security through digital technology.


They also reason that the inclusion of training in new technologies in schools’ curricular from an early age, through viable partnership with national education ministries of Member States, would prepare the youth to take up the challenges of the 21st century seamlessly.


These among others, came to light at the end of the 2024 Youth Voices for Change Summit on the 6th of June in Accra, Ghana.


The youth, who made demands on themselves, the region’s national governments as well as the ECOWAS Commission on the most expedient way of releasing their energies for development, also called for the necessary political will by national governments for the adoption of transformative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that can uplift the region through the creation of jobs in the critical sectors such as agriculture, security and telecommunication.


In their 40-point declaration, the youth also positioned themselves to take utmost advantage and wisely use the social media and social networks to create jobs while leverage such platforms for the promotion of advocacy campaigns to reach a wider range of young minds.


Pledging willingness to lend a helping hand in countering cybercrime, terrorism and the disempowerment of young people, they called for mentoring models to inspire and equip young people for modern jobs, as well as provide start-ups funding for youth self-realisation.


The youth also want an active participation and involvement of their kind in policy discussions and advocacy in line with pillar 4 of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 and aspiration 3 of ECOWAS Vision 2050.


During the summit, the youth did analyse the current peace and security situation in the region as well as the role of technology in accelerating regional stability and growth. They also considered the existence of scarcely promoted, yet very relevant initiatives by young people in the digital field.

Closing the summit, the Director, ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre and Ag Resident Representative in Burkina Faso Amb Francis Njoaguani who represented the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, expressed the willingness of the Commission to stand up for the youth to build a more prosperous and peaceful region together.

His exhortation came on the heels of related remarks by the Ag Head of the Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs (MRCPA), ECOWAS Commission Mr. Constant Gnacadja who urged sustainability of the “fire of partnership”. Officials of supportive partners- Mr. Alimou Diallo (United States Agency for International Development -USAID), and Mr. Vincent Azumah (West Africa Network for Peacebuilding- WANEP), all stressed the need for continuous positive engagement of the region’s youth.

Actively supported USAID, WANEP, the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWAS) and the Danish Agency for International Development (DANIDA), the focus of the youth summit 2024 was: Digital Innovation, Inclusion, Regional Economic Growth, Peace and Stability in West Africa.

Member States