Editorial: On the Frontline of Education and Security – The Sahel

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The 1st anniversary of the inauguration of the President of the Republic, Head of State, HE Mr. Mohamed Bazoum, coincides very favorably with the 1st day of the blessed month of Ramadan this year. This happy coincidence certainly portends a brighter future for our country. Indeed, it is very useful to recall here, in order to better appreciate, the commitments made by President Bazoum when he was a candidate for our country’s highest office. We recall that he solemnly pledged to strengthen six (6) areas of governance, security, politics, law and justice, economics, government and communities. One year on from these commitments, what conclusions can we draw, particularly in areas as important as security and education? The security aspect first, no doubt given the multiplication of security risks linked to jihadist terrorism, which is widespread in many parts of the country. First, it must be recognized that the sub-regional environment, with events in Burkina Faso and Mali, had a negative impact on security in the border triangle. However, President Bazoum dedicated his five-year term to rehabilitating the Nigerien school, which had been in great difficulties in recent years, but also and above all to restoring peace and security to troubled areas in the countries affected by terrorist attacks, particularly Baroua and Zaroum Darey. Unfortunately, the withdrawal of Western forces from Mali has forced our country to review and reconsider its military strategy. Determined to defend the integrity of the national territory, President Bazoum has emphasized his policy of strengthening the construction of the defense and security forces, increasing recruitment and acquiring more efficient equipment and better adapted to this asymmetric war. His recent trip to Turkey is in that light. And very soon our army will have a new arsenal consisting of drones, armored vehicles and attack aircraft. Today we can note with satisfaction the measures taken to return the displaced to their lands and the return of state services (schools, health centers) to these areas. In the area of ​​education, President Bazoum received teachers’ union representatives immediately after taking office to discuss the difficulties facing Nigerian schools and the solutions to be found. On site, we saw President Mohamed Bazoum visit several educational institutions in different regions of the country. Most recently, he opened the Normal School for Teachers in Niamey, where he reaffirmed his commitment to restoring Niger’s education system to its former glory by placing the school issue at the heart of his policies. Likewise, he went to Abdou Moumouni Dioffo University in Niamey in late March for the inauguration of a new 1,000-seat amphitheater and the groundbreaking of a number of other amphitheaters and new student residences. He also announced the recruitment of 171 senior faculty and researchers to expand the academic body. In addition, high schools with boarding schools for girls are opening up in all regions in order to combat school drop-out among young girls in Niger. In a year of dominating power, security and education issues have changed significantly thanks to President Bazoum’s determination and commitment.

By Rabiba Aboubacar Bouzou (onep)

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