Culture & Society

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    In its contribution to the OECD Yearbook, the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat recalls that Nigeria’s food crisis requires structural responses to restore trust and build an inclusive, resilient society throughout the country. The Nigerian crisis reflects the importance of inclusion. What started as a localised Nigerian crisis quickly grew into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Beyond the immediate humanitarian emergency, the Nigerian crisis requires three long-term response strategies. Read on
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    Conakry has become the “World Book Capital” for a year. The Guinean capital is the first city in francophone Africa to obtain this status, which is awarded annually by UNESCO, and is the third African city to be named after Alexandria in 2002 and Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2014. Through the programme, Guinea will organise monthly cultural events aimed at highlighting the country’s authors and culture. Read on
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    The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo travelled to Benin and Senegal with two Belgian celebrities working with the United Nations on issues related to the rights of women and children. Their working visit was part of the “She Decides” initiative - led by Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands and Sweden - which focuses on improving the rights of young girls and women, especially on sexual and reproductive health. Read on
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    Of the millions of children who do not complete elementary school in West Africa each year, one third suffer from a disability. Their condition means they are confronted with many barriers to education. As part of its inclusive education programme, Handicap International seeks to remove the many barriers to the education of 170 000 children with disabilities in nine West African countries. Read on
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    Several decades of gender debates, special events and development goals dedicated to the empowerment of women, add up to only modest improvements on the ground. “What should count, though, is not the number of commitments we make, but the true progress we achieve on the ground […] If men were ready to help women, things would move much faster,” points out Julia Wanjiru from the Sahe land West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) in an article published on the OECD Insights blog. Read on
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    Since 1985, 8 March has been a public holiday in Burkina Faso. Thomas Sankara had the idea to keep women from going the market on that day, and demand that men do the shopping and cooking instead. This inversion of gender roles was intended to remind men about the realities of the daily grind of their wives, mothers and sisters, and to, above all, allow men to experience those things first-hand. The president of Burkina Faso also left his mark by making himself a tireless advocate for women prostitutes. Read on
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    It was seven days of movie fever! This was the feeling that gripped the African continent during the 25th Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), which ran from 25 February to 4 March. Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis won the Golden Stallion prize for his movie “Félicité”. Read on
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    As we mark International Women’s Day today with a large number of events organised across West Africa, it is a timely moment to look at progress made and remaining obstacles to achieving gender equality. The SWAC Secretariat has prepared a series of articles, documents, maps & facts. Did you know? Since 1984, 8th of March is a public holiday in Burkina Faso. Read on
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    The 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, published by Transparency International, draws a disturbing picture of the perceived level of corruption in West Africa. Admittedly, the region includes Cabo Verde, which is second on the list of best-rated African countries after Botswana. But in general, the situation is worrying. Read on
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    West African girls are married off too young: Seven West African countries rank among the top 20 countries in the world with the highest rate of child marriage: Niger (1), Chad (3), Mali (5), Guinea (6), Burkina Faso (8), Sierra Leone (13) and Nigeria (14). In Niger, three out of four girls marry before their 18th birthday, contributing to the highest fertility rate in the world of more than seven children per woman. Read on

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