Burkina Faso/Ouahigouya: IOM launches women's empowerment and resilience project to promote peace in the Sahel and northern regions of Burkina Faso.
On Tuesday November 28, 2023, IOM (International Organization for Migration) launched its five sub-projects of the major project on "Strengthening women's empowerment and resilience to promote peace in the Sahel and Northern regions", financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. In front of regional and provincial authorities, partners and potential beneficiaries of the project, IOM's top executives presented the major project and its ramifications. The authorities and beneficiaries expressed their satisfaction with the support offered by IOM.
The conference room of the Northern Region Chamber of Commerce in Ouahigouya was the venue for the presentation and launch ceremony of the project on women's empowerment and resilience for the promotion of peace. This gigantic project is subdivided into five sub-projects around topical themes linked to the worrying security situation in the North and Sahel regions.
The first sub-project concerns IGA (income-generating) activities. Among other things, it will create economic opportunities to help beneficiaries cope with the precarious situation they face. In the long term, 500 people will benefit from this project, including 300 in the Ouahigouya commune, 100 in Gourcy and another 100 in Yako.
The second project concerns short-term vocational and skills training. It aims to support 150 women, including 50 per commune, with a quota of 40% IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) women.
Training in solar energy, weaving, etc. will be at the heart of the program.
The third sub-project concerns fish farming. It aims to equip beneficiaries with operational skills in fish production and marketing. It will involve 100 women, including 40 from the Ouahigouya commune, 30 from Gourcy and 30 from Yako.
The penultimate sub-project will focus on capacity-building for decentralized services and local structures, and will involve 300 beneficiaries for the communes concerned, including 100 per commune. The final sub-project will raise awareness among the various players involved in the mother project. It will serve 3,000 beneficiaries, half of them in the Ouahigouya commune and 750 per commune for Gourcy and Yako.
Ousmane Niang, IOM Burkina Faso program coordinator, points out that "the aim of this project is to build the resilience of populations affected by the crisis in one way or another. To this end, we have identified priority needs and, above all, finalized sub-projects for women in order to strengthen their empowerment and socio-economic resilience".
In this respect, he adds, "we should point out that planning meetings were held with the various local players. This enabled us to finalize the process, and today's meeting validates all the needs identified by the various stakeholders, and now enables us to move on to the concrete phase of implementing the various sub-projects. The main objective of this project is to strengthen the empowerment of women, who are primarily affected by this situation of internal displacement. It will also involve soliciting their participation in peace-building efforts and actions, as their contribution in this area is highly decisive. In this way, their empowerment could enable them to ensure and assume their indispensable role in the quest for peace and social cohesion", he continues.
He adds: "This project is in its pilot phase in the North and Sahel regions. We are in an experimental phase. The resilience and empowerment initiatives will eventually enable women to participate fully in social cohesion efforts. This will enable us to reduce the vulnerability of women, who are the hardest hit by the dire security situation. The impact of this project will enable us to capitalize on this experience and try to put it to good use throughout the country. Our expectations at the end of this day are to validate the activities planned within the framework of the various sub-projects, and to strengthen synergy with the various players in order to facilitate the implementation of this project and achieve the expected results", he concludes.
Bibata Ouédraogo /Nikièma, provincial coordinator of the Yatenga women's group, comments: "We have just witnessed the launch of the IOM project, which will be of great benefit to women. When a woman is financially independent, she takes good care of her family, her children and those around her. In this case, she contributes to the development of her community. IGAs enable women to produce in order to become self-sufficient. We know, for example, that fish farming is a profitable activity, and the fish is regularly consumed by the local population. Such activities are bound to succeed. However, we call on the future beneficiaries to pay particular attention to the activities they will have to carry out as part of this project, so that the results they want to achieve are the best possible. Only then will we be able to encourage donors to extend the project beyond its pilot phase.