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6th Extraordinary summit of G5 Sahel Heads of State: the Sahel Alliance reaffirms its determination to work together for the development of the region

At the invitation of H.E. General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad and current Chairman of the G5 Sahel, the Heads of State of the G5 Sahel member countries met in extraordinary session on 20 February 2023 in N’Djamena. The aim? To examine the current functioning of the organisation and make urgent recommendations for its revitalisation. A delegation from the Sahel Alliance attended the summit to reaffirm its support for the G5 Sahel in the development field. Alliance members remain convinced that regional integration and solidarity remain essential to effectively address the challenges facing the region.

The summit was attended by:

  • H.E. Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • H.E. Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger
  • H.E. General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad
  • Colonel Major Kassoum Coulibaly, Minister of State for Defence and Veterans, representing the President of the Transition, Head of State of Burkina Faso

During the summit, the heads of state and delegation discussed the current situation of the G5 Sahel in a difficult socio-economic and security context. They noted with gravity the consequences of the political and institutional crisis following the withdrawal of the Republic of Mali. On the development front, the Heads of State and Delegation were informed of the proposal for a new Development and Security Strategy (DSS) for the G5 Sahel countries and the Priority Investment Programme (PIP) 2023-2025, which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers. They stressed the importance of enshrining the territorial approach defined in the G5 Sahel’s Integrated Priority Action Framework (IPF) and of working to ensure that all stakeholders are properly involved in the process.

The Sahel Alliance continues its cooperation with the G5 Sahel

The Sahel Alliance was represented by:

  • Antonio Sánchez-Benedito Gaspar, Spanish Ambassador for the Sahel (for the Spanish presidency of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly)
  • Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice-President for West and Central Africa (for the chairmanship of the Sahel Alliance Steering Committee)
  • Emmanuel Debroise, Head of the Coordination Unit of the Sahel Alliance

Ambassador Sanchez recalled in his speech that “the members of the Alliance remain committed to contributing to the development of the Sahel according to the priorities defined by the Heads of State at this extraordinary Summit.”

He also expressed the concerns of the members of the Sahel Alliance regarding the current context: “We remain concerned about the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation, including the numerous population displacements. (…) The members of the Alliance reaffirm the need to act on the root causes of instability, to accompany stabilisation policies guaranteeing the protection of civilians and their human rights by strengthening the presence of the State and the provision of basic services to the population, especially in the most fragile areas.”

Ousmane Diagana, in his speech, came back to the efforts undertaken by the Sahel Alliance for more relevance and impact of the support to development projects: “An independent review of the Sahel Alliance was launched at the beginning of my presidency and the recommendations are being implemented. They aim to support development actions in key areas and sectors where we can have a greater impact. The Sahel Alliance is also working to promote a framework for strengthened mutual dialogue and accountability in each country in order to maximise the impact of the projects supported by its members – notably through the integrated territorial approach. The orientations that will be set by the Heads of State at this special session therefore come at an opportune moment to reinvigorate collaboration with the G5 as the privileged platform for cooperation in the Sahel.”

Speakers from the Alliance stressed in their speeches that development in the Sahel countries is intrinsically linked to climate change and education. With temperatures predicted to rise 1.5 times the global average, Sahelian countries must prioritise climate action, including adaptation, to put the region on a path to sustainable and inclusive growth. Members of the Sahel Alliance recognised the imperative to invest more in the potential of youth.

At the end of the summit, the Heads of State and Delegation congratulated H.E. General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno for his efforts and the results achieved during his term of office at the head of the organisation. The Heads of State and Delegation decided that the Chairmanship-in-Office of the organisation will be held by His Excellency Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazaouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. The Heads of State and Delegation also decided to hold their next ordinary summit in Niamey, Republic of Niger.

Crédit photos: Présidence du Tchad

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