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Speeches Shim

Last updated: October 01, 2020

CÔTE D'IVOIRE'S YOUTH SCORE GOALS FOR PEACE

In Côte d'Ivoire, soccer is a national obsession—as well as a way to educate youth about avoiding conflict and how to take part in peaceful elections.

Promoting women’s involvement in the democratic process

The escalation of violence after the disputed 2010 presidential elections led to the worst humanitarian crisis in Côte d'Ivoire's history. Violence devastated families across the country, with an estimated 3,000 deaths, numerous arrests and hundreds of thousands forced to flee as internally displaced persons or refugees.

Building Strong Teams and Communities, On and Off the Field

The Peace Through Sports project, led by the American University of Nigeria with support from USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, has been hosting a six-month sports tournament to recognize and build youth self-esteem, resilience and tolerance. Youth participants, diverse in geographic origin, attend local secondary schools or were identified as vulnerable to violent extremism. Over 1,500 local youth from the northeastern state of Adamawa have been competing on 104 soccer, basketball and volleyball teams.

Public murals promote peaceful elections in Cote d'Ivoire

Looking back, it is clear that a lack of understanding of the electoral process and the regulations governing the elections by the youth in these neighborhoods contributed greatly to the violence. This lack of knowledge on their civic rights and responsibilities made them vulnerable to manipulation to perpetrate acts of violence. With the next presidential elections on Oct. 25, 2015, many feared that the situation could repeat itself if nothing was done.

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