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Inspire Africa


Girls' education, a powerful lever for development in the Sahel

SWEDD student beneficiary   -  
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< This episode of Inspire Africa is produced in partnership with the Sahel Women's Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) >

On this episode of Inspire Africa, we continue our series on SWEDD project’s “#StrongerTogether” campaign with the theme - Girls' Education and Women's Leadership.

This time, first, in Cameroon, with women’s rights lawyer and and head of an association promoting women's rights, Aissa Doumara Ngatansou Marie.

Marie is the recipient of the very first "Simone Veil Prize for Gender Equality" and of several awards from the UN. But it was not always this rosy. At 16 she was married off by her parents - something that almost destroyed her.

For the empowerment of women and girls, she proposes to strengthen their protection and promotion in order to guarantee all rights, and actions against forced and early marriage.

Then in Mali, we explore the stories of vulnerable out-of-school girls who are escaping child marriage, thanks to the accelerated girls' schooling strategy implemented by the SWEDD-Mali project and in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

The teaching program of the Accelerated Schooling Strategy called Passerelle (SSA/P), is a condensed version of the programs of the first three (3) years of primary school (C.I., C.P.2, C.E.1) and aims at the end of an accelerated teaching of nine (9) months (2 months in the mother tongues and 7 months in French, the language of instruction) to integrate or reintegrate learners into the system at the level of the 4th or 3rd year of elementary school.

And in neighboring Guinea, a survey on school dropout, the impact of COVID-19 on the education of girls' and the contribution of the SWEDD project to remedy it are now giving many girls access to schools, an escape route from child marriage, and empowerment to be women leaders of tomorrow.

And later on the programme, host Jerry Fisayo-Bambi then speaks to Dr. Jane Ong'olo, Head of Social Protection, Vulnerable Groups and Drug Control Division at the African Union.

Dr. Ong'olo spoke of the AU's role and underscored the need for Education of the girl-child so as to deal with early pregancy and child marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other socio-economic problems often faced by out-of-school girls.

And 9 years before the 2030 deadline for thé Sustainable Development Goals for Girls schooling, Education and gender equality, (SDG4 and SDG5) what is the situation in the Sahel?

Margaret Norris Harrit and Kara Adamon from the World Bank gave their insight on this and more.