The training of trainers of the AfricTivistes Civic Engagement Tour-West Africa programme started on 4 January 2021 in Nouakchott. The session will use the toolkit developed in the pilot phase to implement the curriculum in order to strengthen civic engagement, social transformation and youth leadership. After the Mauritania leg, the first phase of AfricTivistes Civic Engagement Tour West Africa will be deployed in The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.

The facilitators sent by AfricTivistes will, during four days, train young leaders from different walks of life, particularly those active in social media, associations, organisations or movements. They will be equipped with knowledge that will enable them to be relays to a wider audience so that they can instil the notions and values of civic leadership and teach others how to use digital tools to raise awareness and influence the masses on citizenship issues.

"We use digital technology to foster a new generation of citizens engaged in societal and civic issues in order to mobilise more actors and increase the impact of their actions", says Seydina Ndiaye, ACET Programme Officer.

Further elaborating, the president of AfricTivistes, Mr. Cheikh Fall, said that the funding for this project has been received for some time but the project could not be deployed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He added he was pleased that the project started with Mauritania.

"The aim of this tour of civic engagement workshops for committed young men and women is to empower participants to promote and strengthen civic engagement, participation and also to help youth build more responsible and sustainable communities. Once equipped, they will share what they have learned with other young people in their country. Of course, AfricTivistes will support that portion of the roll out", says Mr Fall. After Mauritania, the AfricTivistes team of trainers will travel to The Gambia in February 2021 and Guinea-Bissau in March 2021.

It could also be recalled that AfricTivistes Civic Engagement Tour (#ACET West Africa) is a programme of capacity building workshops, funded by the Dutch Embassy in Senegal, for young people living in West Africa, particularly those interested in issues of civic engagement, civic leadership and social transformation. It targets any individual, aged between 18 and 35 years old, demonstrating a motivation to use digital technology to strengthen citizen participation in building society and promoting active citizenship.

The youth trained are encouraged to share their actions on civic engagement with a group of actors from their community. They will thus develop a network of proactive partners and sustain their actions within their own community.

AfricTivistes and its various partners and collaborators in West Africa will support project leaders to better frame their actions and commitments.

At the end of the sessions, each youth will receive a set of tools necessary for the implementation of citizenship promotion, social transformation, local narrative on social media and strategic planning of citizen action in the short and long term. The hashtag (#SunuCitoyennete) will be available to follow all project activities and share the different initiatives of the successful participants.

The pilot phase of the ACET programme took place in Senegal in the regions of Dakar, Saint Louis, Ziguinchor and Fatick. It resulted in the training of nearly 200 young people who are currently either working closely with their communities or carrying out activities with a high social impact.