» UNESCO Promotes the Initiative of the Citizen Movement BanlieueUP
09.06.2017 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

UNESCO Promotes the Initiative of the Citizen Movement BanlieueUP


UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar joins on 1 June 2017 the meeting between the BanlieueUP association and the Royal College of Defence Studies (based in London) to congratulate on Senegalese youth group’s commendable efforts to support young people’s socio-economic integration and to fight ignorance and violent extremism.

As part of their study programme, twenty students of the Royal College of Defence Studies, who are high-level civil servants and military officers from 15 countries around the world, visited the city of Guédiawaye to learn from Senegalese youth initiatives and explore strategic options on the topic of “Urbanisation: realities, challenges and solutions”.

The representatives of the Embassy of the United Kingdom, the Director of the Guédiawaye Centre Départemental d'Education Populaire et Sportive (CDEPS), the Secretary General of the City of Guédiawaye, the Director of Service Civique National of the Ministry of Youth, Employment and Citizenship of Senegal along with the Director a.i. of UNESCO Dakar Office were among the invited guests at this meeting.

The promotors and beneficiaries of the citizen movement “BanlieueUp” in Guediawaye made presentations on their projects and achievements for strengthening the resilience and socio-economic integration of the disadvantaged youth population, including in the areas of the provision of clean water, youth leadership, innovation, employment, entrepreneurship, urban security and formation of responsible citizenship. “Through the training courses and activities organized by BanlieueUp, I learned how to communicate effectively with my peers, to grow as responsible citizen, to help my family, to contribute to sustainable development of the country and importantly to lead my fellows to a positive path”, said a participant. After the presentations, the Q&A session between the Royal College of Defence Studies and BanlieueUp allowed to deepen and elucidate the role of youth for peaceful, just and sustainable development in Senegal and in the rest of Africa.

Following the remarks of the invited guests, Gwang-Chol Chang, Director a.i. of UNESCO Dakar, reiterated the mandate of UNESCO to contribute to peace and sustainable development through education, sciences, culture and communication and information and highlighted the current focus of the Organization to build peace and prevent violent extremism through education while supporting skills development and socio-economic empowerment of the youth, especially young women. “The initiative and dedication of Mr El Hadji Abou Gueye, the founder of BanlieueUp, should be commended. He is an example for us all, we need more people like him for Africa and the world for a more peaceful and prosperous planet and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”, Chang said.

El Hadji Abou Gueye thanked UNESCO for always supporting his citizen movement BanlieueUp in its endeavour for youth empowerment and prevention of violent extremism. “The world is interconnected and interdependent. So we need to work together. Please keep this in mind: Africa is not a problem, it is a solution for a better world. We need your support, but with or without it, we will in any case work for our better future in Africa”, he confided to the students of the Royal College of Defence Studies.

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