An ECOWAS delegation and officials of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) and UNESCO have ended a three-day meeting in Dakar, Senegal for the
review of the regional Support to ECOWAS for Peace and Development Project
(PADEP), funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The 15 million US-dollar PADEP Project launched in 2006 and being coordinated
by the ECOWAS Peace Fund (EPF), covers refugee support, resettlement and
rehabilitation programmes in four ECOWAS countries, with the UNHCR as the
It also involves the development of a Manual of reference on the Culture of
Peace, Citizenship and Human Rights, in partnership with UNESCO as well as the
ECOWAS Volunteers Programme being implemented with the support of the UN
At the meeting in Dakar on 3rd April 2013 with UNHCR officials, the EPF
Manager Mr. Dieudonne Nikiema, explained that at the request of the ECOWAS
Commission the AfDB has extended the PADEP implementation period by six months
until 30th June 2013.
This is to enable the partners to complete the outstanding project activities
and work out an exit strategy.
The extension is also to allow for the preparation of an impact assessment,
and through effective visibility, ensure ownership and sustainability of the
PADEP project, designed to promote peace, stability and regional integration.
To this end, Mr. Nikiema said that a Television documentary would also be
produced to highlight the PADEP project achievements.
The UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative (Protection) commended the quality of
partnership with ECOWAS and the achievements of the PADEP project, which has
supported thousands of refugees in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Guinea
He said that the lessons learnt from the partnership project would not only
engender ownership and sustainability, but would also lead to better outcomes
from future collaboration. Also present at the meeting, was the UNHCR
Assistant Representative (Programme) Mr. Jean-Claude de Rego.
At a separate meeting with UNESCO officials, Mr. Nikiema underscored the need
to publicise the seven-module Culture of Peace Reference Manual by
incorporating it into the curricula of primary and secondary schools in the
Mr. Yao Ydo, Head of section, Education for Peace, Sustainable Development,
HIV/AIDS and Contemporary Issues at UNESCO Africa Regional Bureau (BREDA),
explained that the Manual would also be publicised through UNESCO’s non-formal
education platforms targeting youths and adults outside the conventional
Community Radio and popular artists would also be used to ensure a wider
outreach, he added.
Expressing the same sentiment, the UNESCO/BREDA Communication and Knowledge
Management Specialist, Mrs. Anne Muller underlined the importance of social
media, including Facebook, Mobile phone applications and a dedicated website
for the propagation of the Manual, especially targeting young people.
The ECOWAS delegation to the Dakar meetings included Mr. Paul Ejime of the
Communication Directorate as well as Mr. Wilfred Ewaleifoh, who represented
the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), which is collaborating with ECOWAS on
the PADEP documentary production.