15th Francophonie Summit: Women and Young People – Supporting the Vectors for Innovation

For more than a year, experts and members of Senegalese civil society have been rallying together to plan the topics for the 15th Francophonie Summit programme (http://www.francophoniedakar2014.sn), which will focus on the themes from the previous Summit in Kinshasa – “Francophonie’s women and young people: vectors for peace and actors for development”.

The aim: to offer concrete initiatives that respond to the social, economic and political challenges faced by young people and women, who together represent of 70% of the population of Francophonie Member States. 

The different meetings organized during the year by the Scientific Committee, chaired by El HadjHamidouKassé, Special advisor to the President of the Republic, enabled the formalization of strategic recommendations that will be available for the Head of States and Governments. They start from the necessity to better inform and train women and young people in accordance with local needs but also, and especially, through supporting their entrepreneurial initiatives at a local, national, and international level. 

They also call for concerted action by stakeholders in the Francophonie (States and governments, institutions, funding agencies, local authorities, businesses etc.). Among the strategic and operational recommendations:

•  The constitutionalisation of socio-economic and cultural rights of women and young people (access to good quality land and to capital, markets and factors of production)

• The creation of a Francophonie Forum for scientific, technical, cultural and agricultural innovation to strengthen female entrepreneurship

• The establishment of innovative support and finance mechanisms with, for example, a Francophonie Bank for entrepreneurial projects of women and young people

• The improvement of scientific and cultural mobility within the French-speaking community by facilitating visa obtention for limited stays

• The support of knowledge-sharing within the Francophone space, by extending international volunteering programmes, setting up a Francophone academy and a camp d’excellence

•  The creation of a group that brings together ministers for Health from Francophone countries on issues affecting health

•   The reinforcement of prevention by promoting physical activity and sport in education systems through support of the Francophone Games

•   The use of digital technology, which not only offers unprecedented opportunities for training and learning, but is also an area in which many new initiatives are being developed

•    Establishing operational mechanisms to support women and youth and women employment

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