My name is Emanuel and I live in Abidjan. I am 33 years old. I was born in the south of Abidjan. I grew up in the west of the country, which is almost 600 kilometres from where I live now. I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers. When I was young, my father worked as an agricultural technician and my mother was a housewife.
I have a DEA (Master 2 level) in sociology and rural development. Currently I do not have a paid job but I take care of the young people in Côte d’Ivoire. I am the president of the National Youth Council. To be more precise, I am in charge of coordinating youth associations so that they work together and in a more efficient way. My fieldwork and my knowledge of the country gave me access to the Presidency of the Council.
I have always dreamed of being there for my community and to contribute to the development of my country. That's why I studied sociology. My mandate at the Youth Council ends in three years and I am very happy with what I am doing. The education and training I received have helped me to develop the skills needed for my job.
Through my work I am aware of the difficulties young people face. The latest figures show that there are many young girls in secondary school who are pregnant. Moreover, young people from the poorest households don’t benefit from awareness raising campaigns about sexual and reproductive education. That's why the Youth Council goes to schools to promote campaigns about responsible sexual behaviour through abstinence. Our role as youth leaders is to guide them, starting with the younger generation.
In Côte d’Ivoire, it is very important to have contacts and to know important people. There is a saying in the country that it is better to have contacts than to have a diploma. I don’t like this saying but it is very well known to all who live here. But I am optimistic about the future of the country. All my friends and relatives are very optimistic. When I find myself in difficult circumstances I turn first to my friends. Because Africa is a synonym of solidarity, I try to share this with the new generation. If we are in difficulty, solidarity will help us survive. The family and the community are the basis of solidarity.
Learn more about the work of the Youth Inclusion Project in Côte d'Ivoire