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WAGES Regional Forum 2018

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The WAGES project aims to break the vicious circle in which local communities, especially women and youth, are excluded from the benefits of mining investments. Through WAGES, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) are working in three regions of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Guinea affected by the extractive industries. The project aims to empower local communities and specifically integrate women and youth, enabling them to participate fully in local governance, economic opportunities and sustainable development in these areas. The project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, works with local and national governments, select mining companies, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and civil society organizations to achieve these goals.

 

On the 4th and 5th of December 2018, the 3rd WAGES Regional Forum was held in Conakry and brought together more than 80 participants from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea and Canada. Its main theme was "Strengthening local development and the economic power of women and young people in the extractive areas". Three complementary themes were selected to facilitate the debates between the project stakeholders and to enlighten the main theme: gender equality and inclusion of young people; participatory and inclusive local development and entrepreneurship and employability of women and youth in extractive zones.

Three themes were closely looked at during this forum in order to allow all the stakeholders to share, discuss and formulate together recommendations to make considerable progress. It was about:

Gender equality and inclusion of young people

According to the forum's stakeholders, important work on the social norms imposed on women and young people is necessary and the complicity of men is to be sought to enable them to move forward. Both young people and women need to diversify their activities and their needs for entrepreneurship trainings are generally similar. Finally, promoting the integration of young people into vocational schools would allow them to have better job opportunities.

Participatory and inclusive local development

According to the stakeholders of the forum, it will be wise to coordinate the different initiatives that exist to answer the needs of young people and women, because these are social as well as economic needs and often match. Stimulating the participation of women and young people in local governance is necessary because their political representation remains very limited, hence the constant necessity to sensitize communities on the important to listen to them and take their needs into account. To respond to these challenges, the forum’s stakeholders expressed their desire to put in place mechanisms to ensure transparency and traceability in the use of mining development funds (MDF), in partnership with all key stakeholders (national and local governments), mining companies, civil society, youth and women organizations as well as traditional authorities. To this end, stakeholders emphasized the need for community capacity building, for them to be able to better manage and absorb these funds.

Women and youth entrepreneurship and employability in the extractive zone.

The forum Stakeholders highlighted the need for trainings, internships and support for the development and formalization of local businesses and associations and identified the main challenges to overcome, in order to develop women and youth entrepreneurship in the extractive zone.

Five priority actions have been identified to support women and youth entrepreneurship:

  • Improved awareness and communication on business development services;
  • Literacy of project women and young leaders;
  • Creation of nurseries to support business creation and development;
  • Set up guarantee funds that young people and women can access;
  • Capacity building including formalization of companies.

Resources

  • Ouverture Regional Forum WAGES 2018

  • Session 3 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation support

  • Session 4 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation support

  • Session 5 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation support

  • Session 6 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation support

  • Session 7 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation de support

  • Session 8 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation de support

  • Session 9 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation de support

  • Session 10 Regional Forum WAGES 2018 documentation de support

  • Cloture Regional Forum WAGES 2018

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