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ZINIARE: ECOWAS youth enhance their technical and vocational skills

Ziniare (Burkina Faso), 8 February 2018. Sixty-four (64) West African youth were presented certificates on Wednesday 7 February 2018 in Ziniare, Burkina Faso. It came after a thirty-day training organised by the Youth and Sports Development Centre of the Economic Community of West African States (EYSDC) based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The ceremony was presided over by the Chief Staff to the Burkinabe Minister for Youth, Training and Professional Integration, Traore Issouf, under the aegis of the Reference Centre for Vocational Training in Ziniare (Z-CFPR). A number of key personalities attended the event, including the EYSDC Director, Francis Chuks Njoaguani, who represented the highest authority of the regional organisation.

The youth, comprising 51 male and 13 female, had just completed a theoretical and practical training on refrigeration and air-conditioning for some and auto-mechanics for others, two modules currently running under the programme organised by EYSDC in partnership with the Z-CFPR for several years now.

The current edition, which kicked off on 9 January 2018 brought together trainees from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. Cabo Verde and Sierra Leone were the only countries unable to participate.

In his address, the EYSDC Director praised the achievements of the awardees, and the impressive representation of the youth and Member States at the training.

“Sixty-four of the seventy-five expected participants attended the training of which thirteen were female. Also, 13 of the 15 Member States were represented,” indicated Mr. Njoaguani.

He urged the awardees to make the most of the new knowledge acquired from the training, and share the knowledge with the youth that would be employed in their respective businesses.

It was also an opportunity to remind senior officials from the Burkinabe Ministry of Youth, Training and Professional Integration of the EYSDC letter sent in August 2017 regarding follow up on the youth trained by the regional organisation and request for a comprehensive database on the youth in question. This was aimed at facilitating follow-up and necessary assistance, while tracking entrepreneurial development.

Post training follow-up was also stressed in the address of the trainee representative, Leno Sia Yalamba of Guinea.

“We earnestly desire that the EYSDC assist in setting up a plan for post training follow-up and experience-sharing among trainees so as to maintain a needful relationship upon return to our respective countries”, she stated.

She also made some recommendations, including improvement in accommodation and communication facilities, medical care, and feeding for future trainees, while expressing the wish for proper profiling of trainees to ensure a productive training exercise.

In his closing address, the Chief of Staff to the Burkinabe Minister for Youth, Training, and Professional Integration, Traore Issouf, extolled the joint initiative of the EYSDC and CFPR-Z with its yearly capacity-building programme for West African youth in refrigeration/air-conditioning and auto mechanics.

Mr. Issouf called upon the awardees to make good use of the knowledge acquired during their one-month training in Ziniare.

At the end of the session, each trainee received a kit based on their area of training and a sum of USD500 to be invested in their respective projects (existing or new).

The ceremony ended with presentation of certificates to young graduates, who obtained good results with scores ranging from 12.50/20 to 14.50/20 in auto mechanics and 13/20 and 15.26/20 in refrigeration and air-conditioning, and a 100% success rate in each field.

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