Mr. Adrien Haye, Coordinator of the Sahel Alliance, visited Chad from 23 to 28 January 2022, at the invitation of Mr. Philippe Chedanne, Alliance Spokesperson and AFD Director in N’Djamena. He was accompanied by Ms Dominique Anouilh, UCA Field Coordinator and Mr Olivier Koullo Ndena, Liaison Expert. The mission provided an opportunity to meet the authorities assuming the G5 Sahel Presidency, representatives of Alliance members and field actors involved in social cohesion and inclusion projects.
Eight Sahel Alliance members are present in Chad and provide support to the population through more than 90 development projects, amounting to a total of €1.8 billion. The three main intervention sectors, in terms of volume of commitments, are: decentralisation and basic services (37%), agriculture, rural development and food security (22%) and governance (15%).
At the beginning of the mission, the delegation was received by the Minister in charge and current Chair of the G5 Sahel Council of Ministers, Dr Issa Doubragne, Minister of Economy, Planning, Development and International Cooperation (Minister in office until 25/02/2022). The meeting focused in particular on the priorities of the G5-Sahel Alliance partnership in Chad, the new National Development Plan currently being drawn up, the regional situation and the latest events in Burkina Faso. The delegation discussed with the Minister the implementation of the Sahel Alliance portfolio in Chad, which has increased by 12% in 2020, and the operationalisation of the Integrated Territorial Approach (ITA) in the priority zones of Kanem/Barh-el-Gazal and BET (Borkou, Ennedi and Tibesti). The projects of the G5 Sahel Emergency Development Programme (EDP), which benefits Chad, were also discussed: the regional project “Agro-pastoral mediation in the Sahel” (EU funding), the regional programme “Stabilisation of border areas” ( GER/EU) and the project “Development of pastoral hydraulic works, drinking water supply and sanitation in the Kanem region” (EU).
The mission held a working session with the G5 Sahel National Coordinator (NCC), his teams and the ministerial focal points. Discussions centred on the monitoring of the N’Djamena Roadmap / Pillar 4 – Development and the mobilisation by the NCC of expertise on strengthening the framework for dialogue and mutual accountability between the G5 and the various coordination platforms operating in the Sahel. The G5 Sahel’s new Development and Security Strategy and its forthcoming Priority Investment Programme, which is currently being developed, were also evoked.
Furthermore, the mission provided an opportunity to convene all Sahel Alliance members represented in Chad and to hold bilateral meetings with the vast majority of them (GER, WB, CAN, ESP, FR, PB, EU, UK, UN). Exchanges focused on the Sahel Alliance’s activities and upcoming deadlines in Chad and the concrete modalities for implementing the ITA in the priority areas of the Kanem/Bahr-el-Gazal and BET regions.
A working dinner was organised around Minister Doubragne and the main Sahel Alliance members present in N’Djamena, to discuss the transition process underway in Chad, its stakes, its expectations and its timetable. Factors that could strengthen the Alliance’s action in Chad were also examined.
Finally, the mission visited two flagship projects labelled Sahel Alliance:
Radio Ndarason Internationale (RNI) – Ndarason means “wherever you are” in the Kanuri language and broadcasts in the Lake Chad region. It is a local radio station, a vector of peace and social cohesion for the populations of the Lake Basin, broadcasting in different local languages (Kanembou, Kanouri, Boudouma) and in French. Supported by several members of the Sahel Alliance, it now reaches nearly 8 million listeners. Led by a young team of particularly dynamic journalists, many of them women, recruited in the region and often trained by the radio, Ndarason is an example of success in this part of the Sahel: it contributes to disseminating broad information and maintaining an open and participatory dialogue on the issues of concern to the particularly vulnerable populations of Lake Chad.
The Kabalaye orthopaedic and rehabilitation centre (Centre d`appareillage et de rééducation de Kabalaye – CARK), supported as part of the project to improve the quality of life and inclusion of children, young people with disabilities and vulnerable people in Chad (INCLUJIPH), implemented by Handicap International and funded by AFD. The project supports people with disabilities (more than 1,000 beneficiaries) with a view to improve their mobility and autonomy through enhanced functional rehabilitation services and assists them in their social and economic integration projects, offering them future prospects that they no longer had.
All in all, this mission helped boost the Alliance’s operationalisation dynamics in Chad in a national and regional context fraught with multiples challenges.