ECOWAS Reference Manual on Culture of Peace, Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy and Regional Integration for Trainers. 

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was created by the Treaty of Lagos, Nigeria, on May 28, 1975, with the main objective of promoting economic cooperation and integration with a view to to achieve an economic and monetary union aimed at increasing the living standards of the citizens of the community, ensuring economic growth, nurturing relations between member states and contributing to the progress and development of the African continent.

Over the years, this initial objective has evolved in response to the emerging realities of a planet in full globalization and to the multilateral relations existing between the 15 countries of the Community, guided by the fundamental principles of equality and 'interdependence; inter-state cooperation; solidarity and collective autonomy. The other guiding principles are the harmonization of integration policies and programs; non-aggression between Member States; the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the region; peaceful conflict resolution; respect, promotion and protection of human rights; the promotion and consolidation of democracy and good governance as well as accountability and economic and social justice. Achieving this noble goal in a region with multi-ethnic and cultural diversities characterized by socio-economic and political dynamism is, without a doubt, a daunting task. However, the fact that ECOWAS is today recognized internationally as an economic group recording exemplary achievements in regional integration is to the credit of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, for the determination as well as the commitment. unwavering leadership of the region and all those who believe in the regional integration agenda.

In order to maintain the peace and political stability of this troubled region, the organization has employed a combination of preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping as well as peace enforcement where necessary, through various instruments. , including the 1999 Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace and Security, the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance (2001), the ECOWAS Framework for Conflict Prevention (2008) and the ECOWAS Protocol on Education and Training (2003). During the 37 years of ECOWAS's existence and in particular during the first two decades, these legal frameworks have been combined with relevant policies, decisions, strategies and various interventions aimed at ensuring that these human, inter-communal or intertribal conflicts , these civil wars and even these inter-state conflicts within the community have been effectively managed.

The Community Parliament, the Community Court of Justice and the ECOWAS Standby Force are some of the structures put in place by the Conference of Heads of State and Government to support legal frameworks and architecture of peace and security. While existing mechanisms for peacebuilding, conflict prevention, management, resolution and response remain viable options, the need to address emerging integration challenges and demands requires , frequent evaluations and refinements of approaches or the deployment of new strategies to obtain more effective results. This thought is at the heart of the emphasis placed on the role of education and the use of education as a tool for promoting the culture of peace within the West African region.

This is especially relevant, given the large youth population in the region and the need to instill a culture of peace in the youth (the leaders of tomorrow) by using the education system as a real platform.

It is in this context that the ECOWAS Reference Manual for the training of teacher trainers was designed with the technical and financial support of development partners, in particular UNESCO-BREDA based in Dakar and the African Bank. development (ADB).

The result of a vast consultative process initiated in 2006 across the entire West African region and drawing on the experiences of peacebuilding experts within and outside the region, as well as of UNESCO, this Manual represents an important asset for all peace-loving people in the ECOWAS region.

The Manual has seven modules dealing with the culture of peace and conflict management: human rights; good citizenship and citizenship; democracy and good governance; gender and development; public health, the environment and sustainable development; and regional integration. Each module is composed of sub-themes accompanied by introductions, reference documents, general objectives aimed at guiding the trainer and educational tables.
generic enough flexible to be adapted to the teaching resources available in the various ECOWAS countries. Likewise, it is suitable and adaptable to the training of teachers involved in the provision of both formal and informal education at different stages of teaching and learning.

The ultimate goal of the Manual is to form a critical mass of ECOWAS citizens endowed not only with the requisite skills in cognitive and psychomotor areas of education, but also with affective skills relating to positive values, attitudes and behaviors promoting peace, tolerance and peaceful coexistence of the citizens of the community.

Hereby, the ECOWAS Handbook on Culture of Peace, Human Rights, Citizenship, Democracy and Good Governance is presented to a wide range of teacher trainers for adoption by Member States. without such a program and for adaptation and enrichment by those where similar programs already exist.

Kadre Desire Ouéadraogo
President of the ECOWAS Commission 

Link : Download
source: UNESCO
Year of publication: 2013