23rd CIMED Colloquium: Western Africa in the 21st century

Paris, France, 16 June 2015

On 16 June 2015, Khady Koita, Senior Policy Adviser of NPWJ Gender & Human Rights Program, spoke at the 23rd annual colloquium of the Medical Information Committee (CIMED), a working group created by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The colloquium focused on medical challenges in West Africa and also covered other relevant issues, including the socio-economic context, geographical disparities, the agricultural crisis and migration flows.
The speakers in the first panel outlined social and political challenges, including poor infrastructure, insufficient investment, wide-spread corruption and the terrorist threat (such as that presented by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria) which constitute obstacles to development. They also discussed positive developments, such as the recent Nigerian elections, welcomed as “peaceful” by the international community, as well as the evolution of social media and increasing public freedoms.
Following the introductory panel, Ms. Koita opened the afternoon session (dedicated to medical challenges, including yellow fever, poliomyelitis, meningitis and Ebola) with a presentation and question and answer period on sexuality and female genital mutilation, a human rights’ violation that continues to be committed throughout much of the region.

For more information, contact Khady Koïta on kkhoita@npwj.org, Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the Gender and Human Rights Program, on ajablonko@npwj.org, phone: +32 494 533 915 or Nicola Giovannini, email: ngiovannini@npwj.org, phone: +32 2 548 39 15.