PARSE/GIZ Steering Committee, echoes of the 6th Ordinary Session held in Maroua

The Minister of Youth affairs and Civic Education (Minjec) has chaired the 6th ordinary session in Maroua, Far North region of Cameroon on October 4, 2022 in the Conference Room of Miza Hotel.

The 6th Ordinary Session, is that of the Committee of Management of the Support Project for the Socio-economic Resilience of Vulnerable Youth in the Northern Regions of Cameroon (PARSE), implemented in partnership with the Non-Governmental Organization for German Cooperation, GIZ.

Youth Affairs Minister, Mounouna Fotsou had by his side the Secretary General at the Governor office Diyem Jam of the Far North region, representing the Governor.

Context, objectives, expectations and challenges of this sixth ordinary session.

Cameroon, a hinge state between West Africa and Central Africa, is a relatively stable country in a region marked by numerous armed conflicts. It shares its borders with six different countries, among which the Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria suffer from armed conflicts which also affect the border areas with Cameroon.

The infiltration of Boko Haram into the Far North region from Nigeria poses a particular threat. This region suffered several suicide attacks, (forced) recruitment of young women and men and kidnappings of local and Western victims. 

The activities of Boko Haram extended, in a less intense way, in the regions of North and Adamawa (mainly kidnappings and recruitments). External conflict factors reinforce internal and structural conflicts, as well as accentuate poverty and the lack of prospects in the northern regions.

". . Young people are particularly affected by this context marked by difficult access to vocational training, employment or income-generating activities and the necessary financial means, as well as insufficient social integration".

Thus, the Cameroonian government is aware of the level of development needed in the Far North region. He has recognized the importance of these security and political challenges and has developed several initiatives for the benefit of the populations in general and young people in particular, with the help of its partners, in particular the German Cooperation . 

In this context, the "Support Project for Disadvantaged Youth in the Far North of Cameroon (PAJED)" was implemented by GIZ on a pilot basis in 2015 on behalf of the European Union. 

At its end, the young beneficiaries showed great interest in the economic and social integration measures. Governmental and non-governmental authorities, increasingly aware of the dangers of a growing disintegration of young people, support the objectives and approaches of the project.

Launched on October 1, 2016 with external funding (GIZ/EU) of 10 million euros, PARSE aims to contribute to stability and peaceful coexistence in the three regions of northern Cameroon. 

Specifically, it aims to improve the socio-economic resilience of vulnerable young people in the three northern regions of Cameroon (Axis 1) and to strengthen peaceful cohabitation there (Axis 2). 

In addition to the sectoral partner administrations, its implementation involves, until the end of 2018, national and international partner NGOs, responsible for training beneficiaries, acquiring installation kits and supporting installation.

In accordance with the provisions of the project document and the execution contracts signed on January 17, 2018 and December 14, 2020 respectively for phases 1 and 2, PARSE is implemented by GIZ in the 17 previously chosen intervention municipalities, under the supervision of MINJEC. 

A steering committee was created in the process to optimize said implementation. A few months before the end of the second phase, it is clear that the results on the ground make it one of the most effective projects, as the young people trained and/or installed continue to produce wealth under the supervision of the implementation partners.

In addition, during this final session, participants focused on the other major activities such as final evaluation: the planning of phase III and the challenge of sustaining the achievements of the project.

This sixth ordinary session of the Steering Committee therefore aims to optimize the implementation of the project. This is specifically to visit the achievements of the project; Appreciate the results achieved; Define the terms and conditions for the sustainability of the project's achievements.

The 6th 2022 session of COPIL-PARSE brought together around its president, the statutory members of the committee; the representative of the Governor of the Far North region; the MINJEC Regional Delegates of the area of ​​intervention; the MINJEC Departmental Delegate of Diamaré; the PARSE Project Manager; the PARSE National Coordinator, etc.

In his speech, the PARSE Project Manager, Andreas KAHLER was delighted with the holding of this session, which contributes to the evaluation of the implementation of PARSE, which has reached its phase III. 

It was however revealed that over 382 young people including young girls and boys will be involved in Phase II, as it will be funded.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Youth and Civic Education, the representatives of the partner- public administrations present expressed their satisfaction with the report presented. 

For regional delegates, particularly that of the North region, digitalization through e-commerce would be a solution to give visibility to the activities of young people financed under the PARSE.

Youth Affairs Minister, President of the Steering Committee of the Support Project for the Socio-economic Resilience of Youth in the Regions of Northern Cameroon (PARSE), expressed satisfaction for the implementation of phase II despite the current contingencies and encouraged the team to make the third phase a great success.

Communication Unit, MINJEC 

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