Dear members, Dear partners,
As President of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly, I am convinced that dialogue and coordination are key to addressing the ongoing, highly complex political and humanitarian challenges in the Sahel region. It is against this backdrop that Germany and the World Bank co-hosted a Sahel Alliance High-Level Meeting at the Annual Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Marrakesh in October 2023.
This exchange with Sahelian partners and members of the Alliance highlighted why we work together so closely: we want to deliver on our joint commitment as the Sahel Alliance and make a real impact for the people in the Sahel, providing them with safety, sustainable livelihoods and better prospects for the future.
All the participants who joined the Marrakesh meeting agreed that, given the regional volatility, it is important to stay engaged in spite of potential setbacks. As Sahel Alliance members, we know that we have to work hard and patiently to achieve long-term solutions. The meeting also reaffirmed the importance of providing support to local communities. Working at community level is at the core of our people-centred approach. Cooperating with local authorities can help us to detect and address the root causes of conflict and security challenges more effectively and at an earlier stage.
As the Head of the Sahel Alliance General Assembly, I want to enhance the existing engagement of our members within the three priority areas of the Alliance. These are:
1. Creating prospects for the people in the Sahel region through education, training and employment.
2. Strengthening their resilience through social protection and food security.
3. Delivering basic services such as water and healthcare.
At the same time, I want to ensure that the particular needs of women and girls are considered in all of these efforts. Because women and girls are important agents of change. And we cannot afford to leave them behind.
I want to encourage you to become part of the Sahel Alliance’s Joint Initiatives. These initiatives will both scale up ongoing efforts and establish new programmes in the Sahel Alliance’s three priority areas. This will help to improve the coordination of our interventions – and thus increase their impact.
As part of this, the Sahel Alliance is organising two events for its members and partners:
- A workshop on agricultural resilience and food systems (8 November, Dakar). This workshop will serve as a platform for exchanging insights, experiences and ideas in order to strengthen resilience-building in the Sahel.
- A seminar “Unpacking the causes and drivers of the crisis in the Sahel: what are the challenges for development partners” (12 December, Brussels). This seminar will reflect on the support that has been provided to date and ways it can be delivered better.
I invite you all to register for these upcoming events and get actively involved! I look forward to continuing the dialogue among Alliance members and our partners. Let’s work together to keep the Sahel region high on the political agenda – and to jointly promote peace, justice and security for the people of the Sahel.
Photo credit: Leon Kügeler/photothek.net