PAYNCOP Gabon Trained Youth and Women in Political Leadership in the City of Oyem


Special for CPNN by Jerry Bibang

Thanks to the support of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace, Gabon section (PAYNCOP Gabon) trained, over the past weekend, around thirty youth and female candidates from the commune of Oyem for political leadership.

The town hall hosted the training workshop which brought together nearly forty participants, from the political parties of the majority and the opposition as well as independent candidates.

Long before the training workshop, an intergenerational dialogue was organized between the local authorities and the participants. This dialogue allowed participants to exchange freely with local authorities in order to strengthen collaboration between the two parties, in an inclusive management approach that gives young people the opportunity to participate in public affairs.

“We cannot all be mayors, municipal or departmental councillors. However, it is possible to participate in the management of public affairs when there is genuine collaboration between the local authorities and the citizens united in associations. This is the meaning of this intergenerational dialogue,” explained Jerry Bibang, the Project Coordinator.

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“The representation of young people and women remains very low in political decision-making bodies, although they are the most numerous activists in the political parties of the majority and the opposition. This is why we want to accompany them during these various elections in order to improve this representativeness,” he added.

For the Secretary General of the prefecture, Cyprien Meboune M’Esso, “the project is in line with the country’s public policies, in particular the National Youth Policy (partnership contract for responsible youth) which recommends associating young people in the management of public affairs. It is also part of the political will of the highest authorities, a will materialized by several measures, in particular “the youth seven-year term” and “the women’s decade”.

The training, provided by the geopolitical expert and international consultant Francis Sima Mba, was intended to be very practical, essentially concerned elements relating to the electoral campaign, including political strategy, development of a political program, political marketing as well as public speaking tips.

“It was very instructive for us. We learned a lot about the actions to take before, during and after the vote. I also learned about managing a campaign team and even how to behave during the campaign,” said Junior Franck Nkou-Nkou, young candidate for the Forum pourla République Gabonaise (FRG) political party.

“The seminar was very fruitful for us because we learned how to run an effective campaign with limited resources,” added Mengue Arlette, young candidate for the Mon Destin en Main (MDM) party.

In addition to training, the project provides logistical support for young and female candidates who meet the defined criteria.