25.07.2016 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

International Mandela Day: Empowering Youth to tackle Violent Extremism


UNESCO Dakar office contributes to the celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day on 16th July 2016. The event was held at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD) with a documentary film screening on Nelson Mandela followed by a panel discussion titled ‘’Promoting Peace and Preventing Radicalism and Extremism’’.

Nelson Mandela International Day in Senegal: honouring the legacy of Nelson Mandela and empowering youth

Every year on 18th July, the world celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day. A day recognized by the United Nations in 2009, to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy of peace and human rights. The UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others, as a way to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Senegal, in partnership with UNESCO and the students’ movement “the Madibarist” organized a 3-day event to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day. The celebrations started on Friday 15th of July with a blood donation at Cheikh Anta Diop University followed by an art exhibition in honour of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO participated in a documentary film screening on Nelson Mandela and a panel discussion titled “Promoting Peace and Preventing Radicalism and Violent Extremism” on Saturday, 16th July. The celebrations ended on Monday, 18th July with an official ceremony and 67 minutes of community service in Gorée Island.

Global Citizenship Education as a key to prevent violent extremism

The panel discussion held at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (UCAD), which saw the participation of His Excellency, Mr Abel Mxolisi Shilubane, South African Ambassador to Senegal, Mr El Hadj Malick Soumare from Teranga Capital, Mr. Cheikh Ibra Faye, National Coordinator of the Movement of Young Madibarists, Ms Akemi Yonemura and Mr Saip Sy from UNESCO Dakar Office, was chaired by Professor Oumar Ndongo from UCAD. During the panel, UNESCO presented the programme on Global Citizenship Education as a way to prevent violent extremism and to empower young people to tackle global challenges.

The UNESCO team also stressed UNESCO’s aim and work to support countries seeking to deliver Global Citizenship Education and to build young people’s engagement to prevent violent extremism, as highlighted in the United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

Empowering Youth to Follow Nelson Mandela’s Legacy

Nelson Mandela International Day was also an opportunity to call on youth to follow Nelson Mandela’s legacy and lead transformative change to help create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. Panellists reminded the audience Nelson Mandela’s words: “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

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