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Mauritanian consultations to strengthen collective action in the Sahel

Nouakchott, 23 February 2023 – A delegation from the Sahel Alliance visited the Mauritanian authorities in the aftermath of the extraordinary summit of G5 Sahel heads of state held in N’Djamena on 20 February. The main objective was to listen to the Government on Mauritania’s priorities in the framework of its new G5 Sahel presidency. The mission also met with the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel, in order to strengthen the partnership between the Alliance and the G5.

The Sahel Alliance delegation was composed of:

  • Carmen MAGARINOS CASAL (Director for Cooperation with Africa and Asia, AECID) representing the Spanish presidency of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly
  • Ousmane DIAGANA (Vice-President of the World Bank for West and Central Africa), in his capacity as President of the Operational Steering Committee
  • Emmanuel DEBROISE, Head of the Coordination Unit.

The delegation was received by the President of the Republic, as well as by the Minister of Economic Affairs and Promotion of Productive Sectors and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Mauritanians Abroad.

The delegation reiterated the support of the Sahel Alliance to the development trajectory of Mauritania, as well as to the regional organisation G5 Sahel with which the Alliance wishes to continue the dialogue and collaboration in the development sector. The Chairs of the General Assembly and the Operational Steering Committee of the Alliance are indeed convinced that in the current very difficult context for the populations of several Sahelian regions, regional integration and solidarity remain essential to respond to security and development challenges.

Audience of the Sahel Alliance delegation with H.E. President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El-Ghazouni

During these high-level meetings, the Mauritanian authorities thanked the Sahel Alliance for its support and agreed that the next Sahel Alliance General Assembly would be held in Nouakchott next June.

In view of the evolving context in the region, they invited partners to mobilise and work, at the operational level, to obtain concrete, tangible results in terms of development to restore optimism and offer more prospects for the future to the people of the Sahel.

In this respect, the relevance of the Integrated Territorial Approach was emphasised, as was the desire to strengthen the proximity and impact of development projects for the people of the Sahel. The Mauritanian authorities also expressed their wish to strengthen collaboration between the G5 Sahel and the Alliance, and to place development at the heart of collective action.

Working meeting with the Minister of Economic Affairs and Promotion of Productive Sectors

The mission also met with the Délégation générale à la solidarité nationale et à la lutte contre l’exclusion (Taazour), which is responsible for developing and promoting socio-economic inclusion and the living conditions of poor and vulnerable households. Supported by several members of the Sahel Alliance (World Bank, German Cooperation, French Development Agency, Danish International Development Agency, British Cooperation), its programmes of social transfers, access to basic services, adaptive social protection, and food security, demonstrate, through their impacts, the impacts of a better coordinated response to Mauritanian priorities.

Meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Alliance Sahel delegation

Reinvigorating cooperation with the G5 Sahel

The Sahel Alliance delegation was received by Eric Tiaré, Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel and his team. Discussions focused on the new programmatic framework of the G5 Sahel (revised development and security strategy and its declination in a priority investment programmes), the renewal of the partnership agreement between the G5 and the Alliance, and a better alignment of the efforts of the two structures in favour of the region’s development.

Meeting with the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel

Finally, this mission was an opportunity to exchange with the members of the Sahel Alliance present in Mauritania. They shared their vision of the Alliance with the governance bodies and presented a progress report on the implementation of the Integrated Territorial Approach in Hodh ech Chargui, financed by several members of the Sahel Alliance.

During its various visits, the Sahel Alliance delegation reaffirmed the need to act on the root causes of instability in the Sahel, to pursue efforts in the most fragile areas, to support stabilisation policies guaranteeing the protection of civilians, while amplifying actions in prevention areas in order to limit the spread of conflicts and crises.

The Sahel Alliance in Mauritania

The members of the Sahel Alliance are mobilising to provide a collective and concerted response to the development priorities of the Mauritanian authorities. As of 31 December 2021, the project portfolio of the members of the Sahel Alliance present in Mauritania is made up of 122 ongoing projects for a committed amount of 1.4 billion. The two main sectors of intervention are decentralisation and basic services (51%), agriculture, rural development and food security (20%) and represent 71% of the amounts appraised and committed in Mauritania.

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