Youth Affairs Minister Signs MoU with UN Agencies

In order to boost the Education sector in Cameroon, which is at the center of objectives for the Cameroon government, Monouna Foutsou signed an agreement with 5 UN agencies.

Within the framework of supporting young people and their education, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, Mounouna Foutsou, received on June 23, 2021 the heads of all five UN agencies.

These are: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO ), the United Nations of International Children's emergency Fund (UNICEF) and UN-women.

Indeed, the central point of the exchanges was on the “Education Plus” project. This “Education Plus” project is a United Nations project, co-directed by UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNICEF, Unfypa and UNWomen.

Mounouna Foutsou appreciated the cooperation actions undertaken by these agencies, including the Cameroonian government. He cited actions which always promote the development of Cameroon and the improvement of the conditions of life of its citizens.

Savina Ammassari, UNAIDS Country Director for Cameroon, presented the “Education Plus” project, with the main objective of reducing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women.

According to her presentations, keeping girls in school until the end of secondary school or prolonged schooling is an important means of protection against HIV, which will further strengthen the autonomy of adolescents and young women to fully play their role in society.

It follows that the above-mentioned project is an awareness-raising initiative, mobilization and advocacy aimed at encouraging actors to engage in the mobilization of financial resources and partners, in order to strengthen policies and programs in favor of adolescent girls and young women.

Some statistics were recalled by the resident representative of UNFPA Cameroon: 41% of girls have a complete knowledge of HIV, 20% among girls aged 15-24 against less than 1% among young boys of the same age group. 19% of girls in the same age group have already had a child, the use of contraception is not widespread among young girls.

The “Education Plus” project “aims at keeping girls in school until the end of secondary school in order to significantly reduce the number of HIV infections and put an end to AIDS by the horizon 2030” said Savina Ammassari.

“We have realized that there are a lot of infections that are recorded in the groups of girls and young women aged 15 to 24 in Cameroon. They are nine times more infected with HIV than boys and young men of the same age”.she added.

Improvement on the education curricula, will also mean particular emphasis be laid on non-formal education, considering persons living with disability and vulnerable people.

Therefore the synergy of these UN Agencies is needed for funding and the search for funding in order to facilitate the implementation of the various projects targeting Youth.

Mounouna Foutsou stressed that these are in reality structures attached to MINJEC, in which public or even private actors can act. Adding that multifunctional centers can allow the development of non-formal education as a way of supporting this project “Education Plus”.

MINJEC suggested that there was need to integrate the Youth connekt initiative into the project in order to facilitate communication with young people.

According to the Secretary General of MINJEC, Zachée Robert Théophile Benga, the working logic be more oriented towards global action plans.

By Ndefru Melanie

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