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  • Tripoli, Libya
CEN-SAD Ministers Vow to Empower Youth to Counter Extremism

CEN-SAD Ministers Vow to Empower Youth to Counter Extremism

Youth and Sports Ministers from the Sahel-Saharan States wrapped up their three-day meeting in Tripoli on Tuesday, vowing to invest in young people’s skills and opportunities to prevent them being lured by extremist groups prevalent in the region.

The 4th session of the Council of Youth and Sports Ministers of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) brought together representatives from 21 member countries under the chairmanship of Libya’s Youth Minister Fatahallah Alzunni.

In a final communique, ministers said tackling the “demographic dividend” of Africa’s booming youth population was a priority to achieve sustainable development and stability across the arid Sahel-Saharan belt.

“Member states bear the responsibility to enhance youth capacities to counter extremist ideologies propagated by terrorist organizations,” the communique stated.

Delegations endorsed an action plan focused on education, job creation, entrepreneurship, peace and security, and climate change — areas seen as critical to engaging and empowering young people.

CEN-SAD’s 28 member states, stretching from Mauritania to Somalia, are home to tens of millions of young people who have been disproportionately impacted by conflict, displacement, poverty and climate shocks in recent years.

The communique called for promoting a “culture of peace, tolerance and coexistence” to harness the potential of young men and women as drivers of positive change.

Ministers also stressed the need for regional coordination to tackle cross-border challenges facing youth including unemployment, migration, violent extremism and drug trafficking.