Minister Jean Marie Traoré Aims to Enhance Ouagadougou-Malabo Relations

MALABO — Jean Marie Traoré, the Burkinabè Minister in charge of cooperation, has embarked on a working visit to Equatorial Guinea, aiming to fortify bilateral ties between Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea.

According to Burkina Information Agency, Minister Traoré arrived in Malabo on Tuesday to engage in discussions that focus on strengthening cooperation between the two nations. His agenda includes meetings with his Equatorial Guinean counterpart as well as with members of the Burkinabè community residing in Equatorial Guinea.

During his stay, Minister Traoré is also scheduled to meet with President Téodoro Obiang N’guema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, highlighting the importance of the visit in fostering diplomatic and cooperative relations.

Comprehensive Study on Reproductive Health Unveiled in Kaya

KAYA — A significant study on reproductive health among young people in Kaya, Burkina Faso, was unveiled by the Pengdwendé Association for the Development of Youth in Burkina Faso (APEPJ-BF), focusing on key aspects such as menstruation management, abortion consequences, and STI prevention.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the research targeted 498 individuals aged 11 to 30, employing both individual surveys and focus group discussions. Conducted from May 10 to 27, 2024, the study gathered insights from seven sectors and various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites in Kaya. It addressed critical issues like contraception, family planning, and the management of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.

The findings reveal a concerning gap in awareness; 33% of participants admitted to having little knowledge about sexuality. Moreover, a significant majority, 82%, acknowledged their right to access reproductive health information, underlining the need for continued education on these topics. The study highlighted the absence of knowledge about local resources, with 123 out of 200 respondents unaware of any community centers where they could learn about or discuss sexual health issues.

Further challenges include the lack of awareness about listening centers, with 69% of respondents unaware of their existence. Despite these obstacles, the survey’s execution was deemed successful, with a 100% completion rate. This initiative was part of a broader project funded by Save The Children aimed at reducing early pregnancies and improving access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Timothée Sawadogo, coordinator at APEPJ-BF, expressed satisfaction with the study’s outcomes but emphasized the ongoing challenges in reproductive health education among the youth. He advocated for the renewal of the project to ensure the continuation of efforts to enhance the sexual and reproductive health of young individuals.

The survey period, coinciding with end-of-year academic activities, posed additional difficulties in engaging students and IDP youths. Recommendations from respondents included increasing awareness efforts in educational settings, IDP sites, and homes, and expanding the availability of youth listening centers.

Burkina Faso Minister Urges High School Graduates to Rely on Official Sources for University Orientation

OUAGADOUGOU – The Ministry of Higher Education in Burkina Faso has reiterated its role as the primary source of guidance for new baccalaureate graduates planning their university education.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the ministry’s technical services are crucial in providing accurate information and advice for students’ academic paths.

During the opening of the post-baccalaureate National Information and Orientation Week (SIO) on July 9, 2024, Minister Thiombiano emphasized the ministry’s commitment to overseeing the dissemination of information and guidance. The General Directorate of University Orientation Advice and Scholarships (DGCOB), responsible for the event, aims to ensure students receive precise guidance and scholarship opportunities. The minister urged students to utilize resources like the DGCOB and the integrated Campus Faso platform within the General Directorate of Higher Education (DGESup) for tailored guidance.

Furthermore, the National Fund for Education (FONER) and the National Center for University Works (CENOU) provide support with financial aid conditions, university catering, and accommodation. Minister Thiombiano also encouraged students to visit the exhibition stands of various educational institutions at the Ouagadougou International Exhibition to broaden their understanding of available educational options.

The 9th edition of the SIO, a major event anticipated to attract around 12,000 visitors daily, showcases 86 higher education establishments. This initiative aims to facilitate a smooth transition for students entering higher education by providing a comprehensive array of information and resources.

Bogandé Hosts Brotherhood Day to Foster Unity Among Diverse Communities

Bogandé – In Bogandé, the capital of the province of Gnagna, residents celebrated ‘Brotherhood Day’ on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, aiming to strengthen social ties between host populations and internally displaced persons. The event was part of the VALPAPE project’s efforts to promote peace and social cohesion in Eastern Burkina Faso, focusing on sharing values of solidarity, inclusion, and mutual respect.

According to Burkina Information Agency, supervisor of the ATT/VALPAPE phase 3 project, the day was successful in meeting its goals, with various community leaders delivering messages in local languages advocating for peace and cooperation. The event featured cultural presentations and discussions on reducing ethnic stigmatization and resolving conflicts. Performances by the Gnagna Comédie group used humor and drama to emphasize the importance of solidarity and tolerance.

The day also showcased traditional clothing and cuisine from multiple ethnic groups, including the Fulani, Mossi, Gulmantché, Yaana, and Zoassé, enhancing understanding and appreciation among the communities. Oumarou Tindano, the 2nd vice-president of the Special Communal Delegation of Bogandé, and Marcel Yameogo, the provincial director of humanitarian action, also spoke, urging continued efforts towards peace and cohesion.

Oshikoto Education Directorate Calls for Repurposing of Closed Schools for Community Development

Oshikoto Region – The Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture in the Oshikoto Region is advocating for the use of closed school facilities for community development projects, targeting regional councillors and other local leaders to take initiative.

According to Namibia Press Agency, in a recent interview with Nampa, the region has seven schools that have been shuttered due to dwindling enrollment numbers, with each hosting fewer than 100 students between 2012 and 2021. Kalimbo expressed the directorate’s desire to see these facilities repurposed. “We request regional councillors to utilize the buildings at the schools that were closed down for any developmental projects,” he stated.

Kalimbo emphasized the importance of these unused buildings not going to waste and mentioned that the directorate is encouraging regional councillors to use the facilities, ensuring no teaching and learning space remains idle. He also outlined the necessity for proper procedures to be followed when repurposing these buildings. “We also want to encourage our councillors to follow the right procedures when they want to use these buildings,” he added.

Moreover, the directorate is opening doors for the business community and non-governmental organizations interested in renting the infrastructure. “We invite everyone that can utilize the school infrastructure to come to our office so that we can give them permission to do so,” Kalimbo encouraged.