The Road to Peace in West Africa Project is a pioneering initiative of FORAM Initiatives NGO. On the one hand, it aims to apply in a regional context the lessons learned from the panel on “The Case for volunteering: How volunteering can change the world” co-chaired by the Executive Director of FORAM Initiatives and a group of experts during of the One Young World (OYW) Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2015, and on the other hand, to use the power of SDGs branded soccer ballsassociated with the world’s most played and watched sport to mobilize and educate children, adolescents, young women and men so that they can contribute to the advent of peaceful communities through their sports, artistic and cultural talents.
The 2020-2021 period will see a concentration of presidential elections in West Africa. Half a dozen countries will be affected by these elections, including Togo, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin and Niger. In Africa and much more in the French-speaking area, electoral deadlines, especially presidential ones, are periods of uncertainty. Since the parenthesis of the war in Liberia, Sierra Leone and recently in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa has since known a period of stability relative to Central Africa.
West Africa must no longer fall back into the dark periods that will worsen the situation in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. When post-election conflicts arise, more schools will be closed, newborns and children will not survive, girls and young women will be at risk of rape, and people in affected areas will miss basic needs such as food, clean drinking water and health care.
Main activity is the West African Global Goals Cup for Peace, an annual football tournament packaged with extracurricular activities spotlighting sdgs, essential values of sport, children’s rights & education of children in conflict areas, gender equality, sexual & reproductive health, sustainable production & consumption, climate change, youth employment, regional integration & peace.
Each ECOWAS country will run a national SDGs Cup for Peace tournament along with the different side events. Togo will be the first country to start the project ending January 2020. Côte d'Ivoire will then host the first edition of WAGGOCUP, to which winning team from each country is convened, on August 2020, two months before the residential elections. On March 2020, a special International Woman Day will be celebrated in Abidjan to set the momentum for the project.
In order to substantially contribute to silencing guns for the advent of peaceful communities where children's rights to quality education in safe societies, gender equality, well-being of girls and opportunities for professional integration for youth through self-employment are safeguarded, FORAM Initiatives NGO establishes a partnership with a sister organization in each one of the ECOWAS countries for the implementation of the project onnational level.