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Giving Ivorian Youths Something to Fight For

Côte d’Ivoire’s government is trying to prevent young people, who are often unemployed, from being seduced by jihadists, who try to recruit them in exchange for money and motorbikes. At the end of November, during a tour of the northern part of the country, Mamadou Touré, the minister for the promotion of youth, professional integration and civic service, announced that a training and professional integration programme would be created for young people. Originally allocated $3.4m, the budget for this programme has quadrupled and identified 19,812 young people from six northern regions (Bagoué, Bounkani, Folon, Kabadougou, Poro, Tchologo). The state is contributing the bulk of the funds and the rest is being financed through a debt-reduction and development contract, which was concluded with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Côte d’Ivoire’s other partners are also planning to launch projects in the northern part of the country during the first quarter of 2022. In early December, the Ivorian authorities, the United Nations Development Programme and the AFD held a meeting to coordinate actions in these regions.