Niger on Thursday launched a literacy and trades apprenticeship programme to fight poverty aimed at giving a second chance to school children and improving the standard of living of illiterate women workers.
According to the Minister for Literacy and the Promotion of National Languages, Ms. Mariama Ali, the programme is expected to help beneficiaries improve their living conditions through the acquisition of vocational skills to increase their productivity.
Costing approximately five billion F CFA, the programme will initially involve the regions of Maradi and Tillabéry in western and central Niger respectively where 3,000 children aged 9-15 who are not enrolled in school or who left school early will be taken care of through second chance schools and community development training centres.
In addition, 4,000 young people and adults will have their technical skills strengthened and 4,000 illiterate women workers aged 24-49 years will be trained in income generating activities.
At least 50 per cent of young adults and women in business who will be trained will have access to micro-finance.
The successful implementation of the pilot phase will allow for the extension and expansion of the programme throughout the country, according to officials of the Literacy Ministry.
'The implementation of this programme will also allow us to deepen the reflection to better clarify the strategic choices of non-formal education and literacy in accordance with the Renaissance Programme of the President of the Republic,' Ms. Mariama said.