The Plan International Nigeria has engaged youths from Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria to become change agents in stabilization of the Lake Chad Basin, plaque by protracted security and economic crises.
The Regional Project Manager of the Europe Union (EU) Project, Mrs. Lisa Angulo said this yesterday in Abuja at a ‘Regional Exchange meeting on Youth Leading the Stabilization Efforts in the Lake Chad Basin’.
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She said that the regional exchange meeting brings together young people from the three countries to promote learning, connection and experience sharing of best practices for peace building.
Angulo said this would help the participating youths to create awareness among themselves on their role towards establishing peaceful coexistence in the Lake Chad region.
“Youth Leading the Stabilization Effort in the Lake Chad Basin is a EU funded project that contribute to the effective participation of young people in peace building efforts,” she said.
Angulo said that the protracted crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region remains one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world affecting the North East of Nigeria, Far North Region of Cameroon, the Lake Chad region of Chad and the Diffa region of Niger.
She said, “The EU Project is all about stabilization and participation of the youths. It is a way to make sure that youths be one active agent in stabilization of the region.
“Youths are often excluded from power and it is time they are included. We want the youths to be independent agent, use the capacity building, the internet they are working on to help themselves and also train generation coming after.”
A representative of Borno youths, Mr. Abdulrazak Abubakar, said the project had been impactful and had changed the mind-set of the youths in not becoming agents of destruction.
Abubakar said that there was need to re-strategize efforts toward attainment of regional stabilization in the Lake Chad Basin.
He also said that the youths were engaged in issues that had to do with the collection of data ranging from educational infrastructures and health infrastructures in the communities.
“This would help them in approaching the government on concerted efforts in providing such infrastructures to the communities,” he said.
Abubakar said the representatives from the three countries had shared experiences and strategies the different countries had adopted to advocate for peace building, gender equality and participate in governance.
Also, a representative from Niger,
Boulama Bintou, commended the efforts of Plan International, saying that the training in data collection had helped to improve the situation of the country.
A youth representative from Cameroon, Arsa Ngatsme, said that they were ready to implement the experiences to fast-track development in the country and by extension the Lake Chad region.
The Country Director Plan International Nigeria, Mr. Charles Usie Emmamuzou, said that the protracted crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region remains one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world affecting the North East of Nigeria, Far North Region of Cameroon, the Lake Chad region of Chad and the Diffa region of Niger.
He said that the crisis had unfolded in a region beset by chronic fragility where poverty, underdevelopment, gender inequality, unemployment and lack of prospects for young people fuel extremism.
He said, “The action is anchored on a rights-based approach with emphasis on building the capacity and knowledge base of right-holders, especially the youth (with strong emphasis on the female youth), empowering them to claim their rights as well as to create awareness amongst the duty bearers on the importance of valuing the role of young people in people building, community development and post conflict reconstructions, rehabilitation, and rebuilding process in the region.”