Guinean Professionals from Boké Complete Three-Month Social Training
From February to May, twenty-one Guinean professionals from Guinea’s Boké region participated in an intensive training course at the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) in Yaoundé, Cameroon aimed at building their skills to constructively work with stakeholders in their home country on sustainable development solutions.
This was one of the first times that professionals from mining companies, civil society organizations, government, and community actors from Boké have trained together for an extended period with a common goal of building a more harmonious and sustainable future for the region, which is a major bauxite mining area.
By providing diverse private, public, and community stakeholders from Boké with the same tools and training in participatory processes, the course sought to level the playing field and equally prepare a wide variety of actors to collaborate constructively on sustainable development challenges.
The course was funded by the Alcoa Foundation and organized by the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE), a training centre established by Earthworm Foundation that teaches early and mid-career professionals in Africa to cultivate constructive stakeholder relationships where natural resource or agricultural development takes place.
The course provided useful practical technical knowledge and skills and established lasting connections between peers from sectors that might rarely work together, let alone collaborate daily for months. CSE recognizes that the conditions for successful sustainable development in the Boké region include trustful working relationships between professionals from diverse parts of society.
The course involved a series of classroom sessions at the Centre taught by international experts in social management as well as field sessions in communities and natural resource operations in Cameroon where methods and approaches learned in the classroom were put into practice. These included practical tools, like participatory stakeholder mapping and problem tree analyses, that the students can apply in their professional lives in Boké.
Following a ceremony marking the end of the classroom session May 7th, the students returned to Conakry where they are participating in a 10-day field trip exploring the practices and needs of communities and companies in the Boké region before they each begin five-month professional field projects with local host companies and institutions. They are back on familiar ground, but with fresh perspectives and with greater potential not only as individual professionals but as a cadre of emerging social experts with mutually shared principles and purpose and strong relationships with one another.