Monday, November 27, 2017

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 9 - Dr. Gilles Klein

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 9
The Zoumki and Yaovi’s children
Dr. Gilles Klein, 27 November 2017

A real rejuvenation! For two weeks, we have been interested in the fate of youth. The young Chadian Zoumki and the young Togolese Yaovi have improved theirs to the strength of the wrist and the spirit. They took an initiative supported and rewarded by a francophone intergovernmental sports organization. Microfinance has allowed them to make a decisive first step on the path of sustainable development, which, from Africa, we have identified the process and selected six lessons last week. In 2030, Zoumki and Yaovi will be approaching forty years old. No doubt they will be parents.


When assessing the SDGs, which Africa will their children live in? Will the continent succeed in implementing the lesson learned from the Bangui garden? No sustainable peace without sustainable development! There is an urgency because Zoumki and Yaovi’s children will not be alone in expecting or claiming, sometimes with force, the benefits of sustainable development. In Africa or elsewhere, their connection to the world through all kinds of networks will make them more impatient to study, find a job, get married and start a family. But before finding this balance that is often obvious in the global North, they will face all the torments. These torments which my African friends have experienced closely in their families. Imirane's daughter, who was unsuccessfully searching for the most appropriate books or documents for her health and social training. The torments sometimes turn to drama. The daughter of Pierre who died for want of a visa in time, needing an emergency medical evacuation abroad. More generally, the youth of the global South feels "trapped”[1].


For some, it's the trap of despair. That of Mohamed Bouazizi, a young fruit and vegetable seller in Sidi Bouzid who was immolated by fire on January 4, 2011, after his goods were confiscated by the authorities. This is the trap of the frustration of Gode Mosle, a 22-year-old Syrian who arrived in Sweden, who shudders when he talks about his journey and the memory of the port of Zouara in western Libya where he embarked in October 2014 on a dilapidated trawler. This is the trap of the disempowerment shown by the Burkinabe rapper Smockey who, at the time of the 2014 rebellion in Ouagadougou, claims the need to hold a role of citizen watch and sentinel so that young people can find their place in the management business of the city and the nation.


It is also the trap of violence and extremism. Their families have suffered. The trap closed on Anis, this young Tunisian, a rejected asylum seeker, killing twelve people in Berlin on December 19, 2016. The trap of Riaz, the young Afghan refugee, lacking a sense of direction, who attacks with an axe the passengers on a train in Germany, July 18, 2016. But after all, these young people have chosen to rush into the trap of jihadist violence. A formidable trap set by this medieval reactionary utopianism[2] which is only the approximate interpretation of writings or words pronounced fourteen centuries ago by a merchant who became a prophet.


From this extremism, our young people and our families have suffered. The very day these lines are written, we salute the memory of those adults and young Parisians who were shot by extremism, at the Stade de France, Bataclan, Carillon and Petit Cambodge, in these places of sport, culture, conviviality, and meeting of Parisian youth. They had not chosen. It is especially on them that the trap has closed, as on so many others assassinated in Europe from 2015 to 2017, in Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin, Nice, Stockholm, Oslo, Manchester, London or Barcelona. All the same, this despair, this frustration, this demand for integration, this risk of violence and extremism, we had also experienced a few years earlier on the road to an airport.


Kinshasa - Sunday, June 12, 2011. Early in the morning, in front of the Grand Hotel, in the district of Gombe, we wait for the vehicles that will lead us to N'Djili airport. Official cars that will never arrive. The messenger has probably forgotten. That day, it will be public taxis and therefore no escort, no bikers to open the road. Over the course of the African missions, after having judged this procedure demonstrative and useless, we had quickly got used to these emissaries who open a passage in the circulation and clear a way in the crowd. We go up the avenue of liberation, then the triumphal boulevard on which we double or cross a few tens, then hundreds of young joggers with motley colors. Every 15-25 years of Kinshasa, and surrounding communities, Lingwala, Makala, Maluku and Masina, seem to have given the word. They form a kind of volunteer parade for transnational sports goods companies. Nike rivals Adidas, Qiaodan with 361 degrees. On the avenues of Kinshasa, the West rivals China.


The parade became a crowd that swelled over the hectometers. On the tens of kilometers of Lumumba Boulevard, it was thousands of young people who occupied the four lanes to and from the airport. The taxi driver explained that Sunday morning mass training was an occasion for conviviality or fitness for some, a political mobilization or the preparation of a rebellion for others. We were up to the communal house of Masina. The cars slowed down, struggled to sneak in and were forced to stop. Do not open the windows! the driver said firmly.


The youngsters began drumming on the roof, the hood and the trunk of the car, calling out the passengers: White! White! White! The situation became very tense. One of the members of the mission, an African-American colleague, and former GI, braving the recommendations of our driver, though it was good to open his window, perhaps to indicate the color of his skin or declare his solidarity. He was caught by the arm, then the shoulder. The reboot in force of the taxi stretched this hero a moment but pulled us off. That day I took two lessons. On the one hand, American cowboys often ignore the context for having forgotten to be interested in and transgress without conscience the risk limit. On the other hand, the mass and the power released by these thousands of young people, between joggers and rebels, made me think: tomorrow! When will this African youth wake up!


That day in Kinshasa, we had taken the full force of the demographic issues of Africa and its possible consequences. By 2050 the continent's population will increase by 111 percent to 2.5 billion inhabitants[3]. The study "All the countries of the world"[4] of the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) notes a population explosion and announces its strengthening, Africa then rising to 4.4 billion inhabitants. Gilles Pison, author of the study indicates that this growth will be all the more felt given that the population of the planet will not progress so fast, from 7.3 to 9.8 billion in 2050 and stagnate to 11 billion in 2100. In a way, poor agricultural areas will populate faster than the favored industrialized areas of the planet.


This inequality of progress will be seen in Africa itself. The population of the two most industrialized areas will grow less than that of less developed areas. Southern Africa and Northern Africa will grow by + 22% and + 77%, respectively, with West Africa growing by + 125% and East Africa by + 117%. This will result in noticeable changes in the ranking of national populations. By 2050, Nigeria will remain at the top of the African rankings, increasing from 182 to 397 million. The DRC will become second rising from 73 to 194 million. The number effect felt in Kinshasa was not just an illusion. Then comes Ethiopia (165 million), Egypt (162 million) and Tanzania (129 million).


During our stay in Niger, in 2008 and 2009, Sylvie, Chief of Staff of the General Secretariat, noted the weakness of material and human resources in the field of prevention, gynecology, obstetrics and neonatology: the terrible report of the ravages of uterine cancer caused by the papilloma virus, the total destitution of screening and prevention; the distress of women suffering difficult deliveries in the emergency room, a trip families sometimes take too late in makeshift vehicles; the material deprivation of the hospital which leads the families to have to buy the operative fields to be able to practice a caesarean section by the only obstetrician surgeon in the country. Since 2011, with President Mahamadou Issoufou, the situation has improved. But again in 2015, Diop Rachida Addoulaye tells[5] : "In Niger when a baby dies, we often see this as inevitable ... In the early days, in the emergency department, I saw several babies die daily. Some mothers came from distant villages, and could not get to the hospital in time to save their children. "


In the INED study, Niger is precisely the country with the highest population growth rate (+ 260%) and an average of 7.6 children per woman. How to cope with such fertility? To ensure the health of the mother and reduce child mortality, which were respectively the fifth and fourth MDGs. It will be necessary to aid, much more than we have done so far, the girls of Imirane in their training to be doctors, midwives, nurses and nurse's aides.


In 2015, shortly after the Addis Ababa conference, shortly before the publication of the 2030 program, the Jeune Afrique journalist Alain Faujas commented on INED's study: "This demographic growth can be a blessing for Africa if the arms and brains that multiply there find a job to make the continent's wealth grow. It could be a curse if the continent's economies remained based on their subsurface rent and the informal sector. As the UN finalizes its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community would do well to prioritize funding for "robust, inclusive and sustainable" African development according to its current mantra, to accommodate this immense youth »[6].


A huge youth! This is both the memory left by the Kinshasa experience and the knowledge derived from demographic studies. The needs will be immense. The report of the annual forum of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation held on April 8, 2017, in Marrakech emphasized that the future of the continent "depends above all on its ability to provide an adequate response to the expectations of a youth that has become a major majority"[7]. Youth demographics show the magnitude of the problem. By 2100, almost half of the under-25s of the planet will be African. From 15% in 2000, 34% in 2050, the proportion jumps to 47% in 2100. Unemployment for 15-24-year-olds is estimated as endemic: 50% in South Africa and Namibia, 48% in Libya, 37% in Tunisia. On the other hand, less than 10% in Burkina Faso, Niger, Rwanda, Burundi or Benin.


Therefore, do not be surprised if many of these young people try to emigrate: nearly 40% in sub-Saharan Africa, 37% in North Africa. Most of the postulants are from higher education with 50% of them in Ghana. In this blog, we have already discussed the imperative need to create jobs and to design adapted training courses that are able to keep this youth in the country[8]. Stay in the country to start drawing the loop of sustainable development learned in the garden of Bangui. This loop will avoid the infernal cycle of poverty that we have constantly encountered in Africa and that we report in this blog:unification of youth, endemic youth unemployment, family poverty, temptation to emigrate, crossing the land, closer to the coast, crossing the seas, staying in transit camps, and in the best case obtaining an eternal precarious status in the hoped-for global North.


Each to their own! The sustainable development loop and the hellish cycle of poverty keep on chasing me. On October 14, 2017, I was watching a talk show on a French channel. The guest was Jacques Attali, economist, essayist and former special adviser to President François Mitterand. Jacques Attali fascinates as much as he irritates some. Be that as it may, it's a smuggler of ideas, a sort of Hermes of knowledge that is able to give you access to the essence of a question and a vision of the future. His books, his lectures, his words have always helped me a lot to think and act. With regard to these two inseparable processes, he declared: "Thinking without acting does not make sense to me. Acting without thinking makes you the puppet of another” [9].

In this television program, during which he presented his latest work on the sea, here is how he summarized the scenario of the future of this African youth: "... the Mediterranean which was destined to be nothing, since it was a small lake in the middle of nowhere, is again in an extraordinarily important situation, because it is at the meeting point of the most privileged and richest continent of the planet, Europe, seven hundred (700) million inhabitants, with a lot of misery and poverty, but the most privileged, and below or beside, in the South one billion inhabitants who will become two billion in thirty (30) years and who are there and who if we do not make sure that they grow will not stay there, but will move, first to the coasts. Indeed, the Mediterranean is taking on a new meaning, that a sense of movement that will be massive ... what we see is just the beginning, the beginning of what will happen if we cannot create the conditions of a development of Africa. The Mediterranean will be the place, the challenge of the mirror of human questions and the sea will play a role ... this will be played mainly in the Mediterranean»[10].Sustainable development to avoid migration crises! Sport, like any other sector, must better meet the expectations of young people, from Africa or elsewhere.

Next: asap

[1]Wilton Park (2017), Connecting youth and government for a more stable world: co-creation and the evolving social contract, Wednesday 7 – Friday 9 June 2017 | WP1544
[2]Gilbert Achcar (2015), La religion peut-elle servir le progrès social ?, Le Monde diplomatique, juin 2015, p. 3.

[3] Jeune Afrique, Demain, un humain sur quatre sera africain : pour le meilleur ou pour le pire ? Publié le 15 septembre 2015 à 16h58 — par Alain Faujas.
[4] Gilles Pison, 2015, Tous les pays du monde (2015), Populations & Sociétés, numéro 525, septembre 2015,
[5] France 24, Les observateurs, Naître prématuré au Niger, un combat pour la survie,
[6]Alain Faujas (2015), Demain un humain sur quatre sera africain, Jeune Afrique, numéro 2853, Voir aussi Demain, un humain sur quatre sera africain : pour le meilleur ou pour le pire ? Publié le 15 septembre 2015 à 16h58 —

[7] Jeune Afrique, Démographie : quel avenir pour les moins de 25 ans sur le continent ? Publié le 15 avril 2017 à 11h53,

[8]Klein, G. (2017), Le sport et les cercueils flottants de la Méditerranée : quels emplois pour les diplômés chômeurs africains ? 25 janvier, 2017 and the floating coffins of the Mediterranean: what jobs for the unemployed graduates of Africa
[9]Le Parisien (2015), Jacques Attali, l'homme aux mille vies, 25 octobre 2015, 7h00
[10]Jacques Attali - On n'est pas couché 14 octobre 2017 #ONPC,



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 8 - Dr. Gilles Klein

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 8
The garden of Bangui
Dr. Gilles Klein, 21 November 2017

Last Monday, we followed the commitment of two young people, a girl and a boy, who were born, live and want to stay in Africa by developing their professional activities. By their initiatives, the crushing of cereals in Chad for one and the manufacture of jerseys in Togo for the other, they show that they are much more than young people trying to improve, with strength and conviction, their conditions of daily life. I called them young SDG entrepreneurs - Sustainable Development Goals - and SDP entrepreneurs - Sport for development and peace -.


Supported by appropriate microfinance, they become true ambassadors for sustainable development, the achievement of universal goals and the 2030 United Nations program transforming the world. My travels in Africa have persuaded me that this transformation will have to start at the local level and microenterprise. This is why, in my view, Zoumki and Yaovi are authentic accelerators of development on African soil. This land needs this kind of initiative to cross the road of the informal economy and develop the micro-economic fabric of still underdeveloped countries. But their road will be long. I discovered the path that opens to them, under an arbor, at the edge of a garden in Bangui, thanks to one of those brokers of ideas who, in a short time, offers you a clear vision of a decisive question. In this case, it was the sustainable development of Africa, more generally of the less developed countries. The very one that is the stake of the universal objectives of the United Nations and the 2030 program. From the garden of Bangui I have in mind a kind of two way mirror, like that of one of the Harry Potter heroes. In Africa, there will be no economic development without peacekeeping. Conversely, there will be no lasting peace without sustainable development. Today, a long way from international meetings, it is on a visit of this garden and the sharing of the lessons that I learned that I invite you to.


Like many of my travels in Africa I obviously hold memories of a fascinating nature. On the sidelines of professional missions, I felt a great emotion flying over Kilimanjaro. The emotion is quickly tinged with concern, seeing over the years the disappearance of the snow cap that covers this summit called "sparkling mountain" by Maasai shepherds. I was able to approach within a few meters the last giraffes of West Africa, in the province of Kouré, in Niger. I had to wait patiently for one of the rare elephants of Burkina Faso, in the park W, trapped in the meanders of the Niger River. I spent a lot of time observing the power of the Congo River at the Stanley pool, between Kinshasa and Brazzaville, the vivacity of canoe pilots on the Ubangi rapids, the colonies of cattle herons on the sand banks of the Chari river. I shuddered while listening to our Burundian friends recount the story of Gustave, a crocodile nearly eight meters long, predator of lacustrine artisanal fishermen. I dreaded the sharp teeth of hippos on Lake Tanganyika.


Yet the most memorable memory of African nature comes from a Garden of Eden, a kind of earthly paradise. With a colleague, we were waiting to be received by a President of the Republic to propose a public-private partnership for the electrification of the capital and the development of agriculture. It was planned to devote part of the investment to the reconstruction of the national sports institute, in very bad shape, like that of Conakry. The project seemed beneficial to both parties. However, Africa teaches you day after day, that there is a long way to go. The more you are impatient, sometimes agitated for some, the more this continent leads you inexorably to the thickness of time and the necessary humility, two dispositions forged by its visitors. Patient we have been. We waited a week, without ever being received. As we came to understand later, this President probably had emergencies other than electricity, agriculture and sport to deal with. To wait for the hypothetical hearing, we were received by a close adviser of this high dignitary whose house was lined with a vegetable garden. Finally, the wait had consequences as pleasant as instructive.


It was a garden with this African land, whose colors range from pale ochres to the most intense reds. A garden that forgot the aridity of the Sahel to reveal the luxuriance of Central Africa. A vegetable garden in the Central African Republic, in Bangui, where everything flourished throughout the year due to generous sunshine and constant humidity. Just for the pleasure of it, let's stay for a moment in this domesticated nature of Central Africa. The garden of our host was the pantry of the family and its guests, to which the cook came to stock up. For him, the vegetable garden was a kind of permanent Sunday market at home. For the guests, each meal was a feast for both taste and health. I remember these tastes of vegetables - eggplant, banana, sweet potato, yam - but also fruits - banana, mango, pineapple, papaya, guava -. Some lunches were embellished with sporophorous mushrooms, of which the Bantu sell the daily harvest, along the roads or in the markets, while the Pygmies consume it in full.


So we were in Bangui, in mid-September 2012. Politically, it was a month after the creation of the Seleka, a coalition of political parties and rebel forces to the President of the Central African Republic and we expected he would grant us a hearing. Made up of Chadian, Libyan and Sudanese mercenaries, the coalition was of Muslim faith in a country whose population is 80% Christian. The situation was explosive, the skirmishes and conflicts between the two parties were no less. Concern continued to rise in the capital between September 2012 and Friday, March 22, 2013, when the rebels forced the last lock of the African forces north of Bangui. Determined to bring an end to the current President, the rebels of the Seleka, in a few weeks, had dissolved on the capital forcing him to flee his country. We realized afterwards that the President had other things to worry about than the electrification of the capital, the manufacture of biofertilizers and sport for youth. For an African president, sustainable peace is the first condition for sustainable development, the well-being of the people and ultimately youth sport.

At the end of that summer of 2012, I did not just enjoy vegetable production. I was going to learn in what way and how the sustainability of development is the obvious condition for the sustainability of peace. At the edge of this garden, my host taught me the conditions for lasting peace and sustainable development in Africa. His lessons were far from anecdotal as his experience was, and remains, as respectable as it is valiant. An experience as an economist specialized in rural development, a director at the African Development Bank, and a Prime minister, gave his remarks a particular consistency. Today I cannot evoke or think about my action for the African youth of the twenty-first century without referring to these lessons transmitted at the edge of the garden of Bangui. In short, sustainable peace and development are the conditions for Africa's future and the serenity of Zoumki and Yaovi, their children and grandchildren. From conversations in Bangui, I was retaining six lessons.


The first lesson is obvious: peace first! If the Sahel is the land of all dangers, Sub-Saharan Africa often remains a powder keg. For the children of Africa, there will be no conflict between the factions and the other factions of the conflict. But for my interlocutor, the resolution of religious questions is a condition of lasting peace. It would be a kind of lure that satisfies analysts whose argument lacks rigor and depth. It is an artifice that conceals the lack of sustainable development and the persistent poverty of the people.


The second joins the UN project: priority to development provided it is sustainable! In the Bangui talks, the major issue was not peacekeeping, thanks to these military or police actions undertaken by the United Nations and its Department of Peacekeeping Operations in response to a regional crisis. It is more the guarantee of the sustainability of peace that was at the center of Bangui's conversations. In the Central African Republic or in other countries of sub-Saharan Africa, peace can only be sustained if sustainable development is triggered. In a way, there is no lasting peace without sustainable development, without education and training, without jobs for youth, without health and well-being for African children. The observation was worth all the more for sports education or the development of sports activities. For the messenger of Bangui, there is no sustainable development without an integral approach that addresses all dimensions of the individual. Sport is not excluded because it is part of the culture and has the function of stabilizing populations.


The third lesson is the second of the universal goals: sustainable development means eradicating hunger. In developing countries, the process of ensuring the sustainability of development is well known: agricultural development, rural development, energy supply, development of communication channels and therefore job creation in all these sectors. These five projects are the pillars of sustainable development, but also the conditions for the stabilization of populations, therefore the cornerstones of a lasting peace. By agricultural development, our interlocutor did not think over mechanization by the delivery of tractors from Asia or the USA. More simply, it is about opening microfinance services that provide a set of financial products to people excluded from the traditional or formal financial system. I thought of these ladies, bent in the gardens behind the Cathedral of Bangui, busy growing or harvesting mangos, shea nuts, gum arabic, bananas, shallots, potatoes or tomatoes. A small nest egg would encourage their grouping and incorporation into a horticultural society.


But then, why does development not accelerate? Here's the fourth lesson: reliance on financial institutions does not promote sustainable development. Again and again, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, most African states are not in a position to launch such a process. They remain dependent on the global economy, the influence of the global North on the global South. They are subject to the support of the major international financial institutions set up after the Bretton Woods agreements that outlined the international financial system in 1944. In a nutshell, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assists the operations of the states, for example, in public service financing, the World Bank (WB) finances major infrastructure projects, such as the construction of a dam. The Bretton Woods organizations control states and seek to avoid debt outside their control.


Therefore, governments in the Global South are urged to follow the rules imposed by the global North. Conditional and demanding assistance which can lead to a halt in recruitment of civil servants or the dismissal of some of them, for reasons of economies. The restrictions required can lead to serious social unrest. In Africa, the white years are characterized by an absence of teachers at school for a large part of a school year. They are due to the non-payment of public teachers leading to an invalidation of school and university courses. At the edge of this garden, I realized that the help of the North was double-edged.


This control of the North over the South leads to the fifth lesson of sustainable development: from Africa, the model of the twentieth century is no longer suitable. For our interlocutor in Bangui, there is a loophole in the system of financial institutions in the North. "They shoot themselves in the foot," he remarked. Indeed, while seeking to reduce the debt, they continue to indebt the country by concessional loans. These are low-rate loans, but loans nonetheless. Are these loans just an opportunity to maintain dependency? Many African economists think strongly about it. In this logic, the development of the economic fabric that leads to the creation of jobs, remains a minor point, even forgotten by these large financial organizations. For my guest, the independence of Africa must go through the development of this micro-economic fabric, helping the ladies of the cathedral, the young people of CONFEJES and all the others.


Which model should be retained? The answer lies in the sixth lesson of sustainable development: priority to the micro-economy! Seen from the South, sustainable development will necessarily involve the mobilization of funds likely to encourage the financing of economic projects, ranging from micro-projects to macro-projects: agricultural development, electrification, town sanitation, land use planning, construction of administrative or sports infrastructure, development of communication routes. These projects will lead to the creation of SMEs and SMIs and will provide support for professional projects of women's groups, the launch of microfinance campaigns for young people, as well as the promotion of sports initiatives.

As if the gardener of the house of Bangui became a horticulturist, enlarged the garden, hired young people to grow his horticultural business. As if Zoumki became a business manager at the head of several millet mills. As if Yaovi, became a producer of sports equipment in partnership with large transnational firms. At meals in Bangui, I forged the conviction that it is high time to create the conditions for sustainable development in Africa. The sports industry must play its part. Microfinance is an essential tool for manufacturing SDG and SDP entrepreneurs. All must do it! Because in the twenty-first century, sustainable development will be the obvious condition for the resolution of migration crises that take the Zoumki and Yaovi’s children on wandering paths.

Next: Monday 27 November 2017 – The Zoumki and Yaovi’s children



Monday, November 13, 2017

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 7 - Dr. Gilles Klein

Achieving SDGs through sport – Episode 7
A real rejuvenation! Zoumki and Yaovi
Dr. Gilles Klein, 13 November 2017

Fund sustainable development through sport. What fly has stung this one! In Europe, rarely in athletic stadiums, more often in the open spaces, athletes come across these insects that slow down or halt their efforts by stinging them, causing violent pain: bee, wasp, horsefly or hornet. In other places, the tiger mosquito, the Reduviidae or the tsetse fly are much more dangerous. Stung, it must be, at a time when others enjoy a well-deserved retirement, to devote more than ten years of his life to travel across Africa. For what kind of pilgrimage? That of trying to raise funds for youth sport by negotiating public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the fields of, among others, renewable energy or agriculture.


But how not to be stung after a visit to a national sports institute or an African school, often so poorly endowed for sports education in material, financial and human resources. In 2008, I remember Dr. Togba Pivi, director of the National Sports Institute of Conakry, receiving us in his dusty and poorly maintained office. In the old glass cabinet which served as a library to the staff, were two works: a Larousse dictionary and his thesis, defended in Cuba, as part of a bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Togba was an heir to the policy of President Sékou Touré. Guinea then voted "no" in the referendum on the draft constitution proposed by France for the establishment of a Franco-African community. On August 25, 1958, Sekou Toure summed up his policy with a phrase, symbolizing national sovereignty, remained in posterity: "There is no dignity without freedom: we prefer freedom in poverty to wealth in slavery ". Guinea then turned to the friendly countries of the Soviet bloc. Freedom in poverty was the impression left by the visit to the National Sports Institute. When you left the director's office, you could not, you did not sit idle.


I have not returned to Guinea for seven years. No doubt the situation has changed since the election of President Alpha Condé. Its communication shows that he is working to strengthen and diversify cooperation, as well as revive development objectives in all areas. As in the past, cooperation continues between Guinea and its former partners - Cuba, Russia, Ukraine - where the Guinean sports staff were trained in the 1970s. The whole team of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Heritage history was renewed by decree presented on January 6 on television by President Alpha Condé. But according to the information I receive from Conakry or N'Zérékoré, the state budget nor development aid, whether from the West or the East, still does not manage to pay for the staff properly, equip the national sports institute and stock the shelves in the director's library. That's why, stung, more than ever we have to diversify funding sources for youth sport, more generally Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), PPPs, Environmental Social Governance (ESG) policies. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), crowdfunding and microfinance.


Whilst previous episodes recalled the new context, including economic and financial, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I would like today to pose a first white pebble on the path of financing youth sport, starting with microfinance, mainly for African youth. First, because youth is the vanguard of the masses who are the first to be concerned by the SDGs. Fifteen-year-olds today will be adults when the SDGs are evaluated in 2030. Last chance! As Ban-Ki moon liked to remind, there will be no plan B for these young people and their children, or for the planet. Second, because African youth is in an absolute emergency. Tomorrow one in four humans will be African. In Dakar, Bangui, Kinshasa or Bamako, unemployment among 15-24-year-olds cannot remain endemic, putting at risk a rise in migration cohorts. After Addis Ababa, which embodies the Africa of diplomacy and multilateralism, I invite you to continue this detour through Africa, that of youth and its daily challenges: to train and find a job, not to try to emigrate at the risk of losing your life. For that, the financing of the sport of the youth will need a real rejuvenation!


This rejuvenation will occupy us for part of the Autumn because the stakes are important and ask questions which are significant to me. How to cope with rampant African demography, when it stagnates in the West? What future for people under 25 in Africa? How to implement programs for the youth of the United Nations and the African Union? How to support young people in the villages, in their neighborhood so that they are not tempted to get closer to the northern coast of the continent and cross the Mediterranean? How to get young people off the streets and out of the hands of the warlords? How to create the right training and employment in the country? How to help them start with microfinance? Can we turn African youth into SDG entrepreneurs? And of course, our corollary question: how can sport help to answer all these questions? Can young people, especially African ones, be transformed into SDP entrepreneurs? Often, the answer is within our reach. We crossed it in Burundi or Togo. It would be enough to support it.


Burundi - Bujumbura. 23 March 2009. The President of the Republic of Burundi introduces the work of the 32nd ministerial session of the Conference of Sports Ministers of La Francophonie (CONFEJES). The meeting is taking place at the Kiriri University Campus, on the edge of Bujumbura-Rural, a province bordering the Burundian capital that has suffered greatly from the civil war for fifteen (15) years. The Minister of Youth and Sports of Niger, Abdoul Rahamane Seydou, who two years ago was one of the three signatories of the creation in Rabat of our intergovernmental organization, World Sports Alliance, takes stock of the action of Francophone ministers. Among other things, he congratulates the organization’s executives on the increased participation of women and girls in the proposed programs.


During this ceremony, the organization presents the Nicole Ndongo Awards for the Youth Inclusion Fund (YIF) Excellence Competition. They are awarded to the best company-youth of the year 2008 to four young entrepreneurs from Chad, Benin, Cameroon, and Burundi who have distinguished themselves by initiatives generating socio-economic progress in their village or community. The young Chadian, Zoumki Wazoumi, receives an incentive of 1.5 million CFA francs (about US $ 2,500) for the success of a millet mill project funded by CONFEJES.


On March 24th, the projects of the young entrepreneurs are exhibited in the lobby of the Hotel Meridien Source du Nil. We stop at the cereal products stand of Zoumki Wazoumi, who designed and implemented the cereal mill project. Sylvie, the Secretary General's Chief of Staff, talks to the girl, asks her about her initiative and benefits for the village or neighborhood, job creation, education and training for girls and women. women in Chad. Over the course of the interview, the Zoumki’s millet mill is no longer only this modest mechanized grinding wheel in metal enameled yellow. On its own, it is indeed becoming a melting pot for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): sustainable development, community development, the advancement of women, education, training, the fight against unemployment, the long-term survival of employment, fight against hunger and poverty. With great energy and conviction, Zoumki embodies what Helen Clark, UNDP Director, said. In short, a good dose of initiative supported by a little money is preferable to the uselessness of grand declarations and the frequent sterility of large buildings.


From our exchange with Zoumki and his statements to the press[1], we retain his lucidity on the empirical process to get African youth out of their difficulties and put them on the path of development. The girl described this process in seven points. i) Firstly, the initiative assumes an informed reading and a lucid analysis of the context: "in Chad, millet flour is the basis of food". The millet mill "significantly alleviates the task allocated to girls ...". ii) Secondly, the initiative needs financial support, if only minimal, in the form of a donation, in order to start. In December 2006, CONFEJES supports the initiative with the financing of 2.3 million CFA francs (USD 4,071.00). iii) Often, the gift is just a starting point that has to be supplemented by personal savings, additional loans in the form of micro-credits or donations from angel investors. Thus, the sum allocated by the Francophone organization is supplemented by Zoumki: "I needed a little more money to set up and start the project and it was necessary to use my own resources and other creditors to bring together a necessary amount of 7 million CFA francs "[2].


Soon, iv) the individual initiative becomes a community one, likely to generate income and employment. During the year 2006, thanks to the millet mill located in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena, the company of Zoumki garners receipts of 3,000 CFA francs per day, or 90.000 CFA francs per month. On this basis, she recruits staff - manager, miller, and guardian. v) There is no success without an obvious ability to adapt, which the young entrepreneur has shown. Indeed, for the company of Zoumki, the year 2007 is less good. It, therefore, relocates the mill to Léré, in southern Chad where, unlike N'Djamena, there is less competition in millet crushing. Offshoring makes it possible to reach the surrounding clientele and significantly increase the daily income. Four people can then be employed and paid.


(vi) If the initiative has economic benefits, it also has positive consequences for education and training. Thanks to the Zoumki company, girls, usually used to undertake manual crushing, can devote more time to studying and increase their academic efficiency. Zoumki herself manages to finance her university law studies. (vii) Finally, in a village, a community, a district, the initiative can become a means of fighting against unemployment: "I set myself other objectives such as the purchase of several mills, the creation of training centers for professional masonry, carpentry, and mechanics to contribute to the reduction of unemployment which is a scourge for Chadian youth, "she announced, referring to its development projects. The donations of the CONJEJES also target typical sports projects.


Lome - Togo. Yaovi Kunalé Agbelon is a young footballer who has not developed sufficient sports skills to access the high-level sport that makes him dream so much. In 2000, he participated in a workshop organized by the Youth Directorate of Togo and CONFEJES. The sewing machine inherited from his mother and support for youth entrepreneurship will transform a failed footballer into a fashion designer who succeeds: "If my feet did not succeed in playing football, I told myself that they had to be used to pedal the sewing machines[3]. CONFEJES favors this change by allocating a nest-egg that opens up unexpected prospects. Yaovi becomes what I call an entrepreneurial SDP, that is, an entrepreneur who, while shaping his future, works for the achievement of the SDGs through sport. The success of the SDP entrepreneur is not important. Yaovi gives the key. For him, undertaking means being different: "we were too numerous to make balloons, I wanted to distinguish myself by making jerseys"[4].


Initiative and distinction will lead Yaovi on the road to success. Since then, he has launched his own brand of jerseys, sold in Togo but also in Mali. These two qualities have also led him on the path of sustainable development. In addition to his sewing workshop, he became a trainer. It is in turn to train young people in the design and manufacture of sports equipment, mainly in football and athletics - nets, balls, and jerseys. Thus, by transmitting its know-how, it is now part of an approach that I will describe as promoting and accelerating the SDGs through sport. Several French-speaking countries, including Mauritania, Burundi, Lebanon, Haiti, and Djibouti, have used their skills as entrepreneurs and trainers to encourage new vocations.


Zoumki and Yaovi were "reckless to the end"[5]. They became the winners of the "International Competition of Excellence of the Best Young Company of the Year" launched in 2006 by CONFEJES. Through this competition, the Francophone organization seeks to provide greater visibility to the entrepreneurial action of young people in the Global South. The competition is held every two years on the sidelines of the Conference of Francophone Ministers of Youth and Sports and rewards some of the young people of the global South who have been funded by donations.


In Léré, Chad, in Lomé, Togo, Zoumki's and Yaovi's approaches - analysis of the contexts, initiatives, training and financing, economic and social benefits - were made possible by the procedure designed and implemented in the French-speaking world by the CONFEJES. The organization shares its own analysis which relays and nourishes that of the two young people: "In a context where the unemployment rate is steadily increasing, support for the professional and economic integration of young people through the creation of microenterprises, particularly in fragile states and/or in the post-crisis phase, has become a priority axis to restore a glimmer of hope to this segment of the population ".


On March 27, 2008, in Nouakchott - Mauritania, as part of the meeting of the CONFEJES bureau, our organization signed a collaboration agreement with the Francophone organization. We were considering strengthening the financial support for microenterprise creation for youth. For reasons that I will come back to, we will not be able to provide this aid. Whatever happens, almost ten years later, after having exchanged with many African leaders - politicians, economists, entrepreneurs, bankers - I remain convinced that the strategy of CONFEJES must be strengthened while complementing it.


The device of the Francophone organization is based on three pillars: the training of young entrepreneurs, the financing, and support of microenterprises. It is accompanied by two mechanisms: mutual savings and credit and national and international networks of young entrepreneurs. In this area, as in others, we must constantly avoid reinventing the wheel. At the very most, we need to help the mechanism develop in the era of the SDGs, taking into account the geopolitical context that I summarize as well.


Seen from the global North, the austerity and public debt reduction policies lead to a reduction in official development assistance and a reduction in financial allocations to sport and youth programs, particularly in the Francophone part. Seen from the global South, sustainable development involves microfinance, which can develop projects ranging from individual initiatives to medium-sized enterprise. With the technological revolutions underway, young Africans constitute a highly mature and highly motivated human capital that is teeming with ideas, creating opportunities for development of the continent. It would take a little gas in their engine. The creation of a microfinance fund specific to the SDP sector would, therefore, be one of the first initiatives necessary for those wishing to contribute to the financing of youth sport.

Next: Monday 20 November 2017 – The garden of Bangui.

[1]Panapress (2009) Une jeune tchadienne fait sensation à Bujumbura,
[2]Panapress (2009), Ibid.
[3]Voir le documentaire Téméraires jusqu’au bout d’Erick Kaglan (Beyond Production),
[4]Téméraires jusqu’au bout, Ibid
[5]Voir le documentaire Téméraires jusqu’au bout d’Erick Kaglan (Beyond Production),