SWEDD Project: Regional steering committee launches 7th session in Burkina Faso

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The 7th ordinary session of the Regional Steering Committee (RSC) for the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) project commenced on February 26, 2024, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Ahead of the scheduled meeting of the regional steering committee on Thursday, February 29, 2024, the project’s country coordinators are setting the stage.

The 12 SWEDD countries, constituting the governing body, are tasked with electing their President and Vice President for a one-year term and, notably, addressing pressing issues.

The agenda item for this meeting in Burkina Faso will center on the challenge of retaining girls in school.

In her statement, Nafissatou Diop, Regional Director of the SWEDD project, emphasized:

“Our focus today is on the critical issue of girls’ retention in school and minimizing dropout rates. A recent study highlighted certain limitations, and we urge the steering committee to formulate robust recommendations to the ministries of national education and families in our member countries.”

While the SWEDD steering committee grapples with crafting effective strategies, Burkina Faso stands out for its successful implementation of initiatives from the project’s initial phase. These efforts have bolstered the academic proficiency of over 430,000 young girls.

According to Jean Robert Kargougou, Minister of Health of Burkina Faso:

“Under Component 1, which pertains to girls’ education, significant strides have been made, including the acquisition of over 60,000 school kits for the Ministry of National Education and targeted support for nearly 40,000 vulnerable girls through scholarships, housing assistance, and school meal subsidies.”

The primary objective of this gathering is to evaluate SWEDD’s progress in 2023, glean insights, exchange best practices, and validate the annual work plans for 2024. It offers a platform to address the hurdles encountered during project implementation.

A report by Joël Kouam, Africanews correspondent in Ouagadougou.

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