From 11 to 15 October 2021, Mr Adrien HAYE, the Coordinator of the Sahel Alliance, visited Niger on a joint mission with the High Representative of the Sahel Coalition, the European Union Special Representative for the Sahel and the Secretariat of the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S). This joint mission, the first of its kind, illustrates the willingness of the various international actors involved in the Sahel to provide a coordinated response to the challenges of the region. The mission’s agenda included meetings with the country’s high authorities, participation in the national committee monitoring the Sahel Coalition’s roadmap, as well as working meetings with members and partners of the Sahel Alliance in Niger.
As a reminder, in 2020 Niger became the first beneficiary country, in terms of volume, of projects financed by Alliance members in the G5 Sahel countries. The portfolio of projects labelled Alliance Sahel in this country consists of 181 projects under implementation and 31 projects under appraisal for a total amount of 5.8 billion Euros. The three main beneficiary sectors are decentralisation and basic services (29%), agriculture, rural development and food security (21%) and energy (14%), followed by governance and education/ youth employment.
Audiences with the G5 Sahel Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
The audiences with the authorities provided an opportunity to discuss this portfolio and beyond that the activities undertaken by the Sahel Alliance and its members in Niger, within the framework of the partnership and priorities set between the G5 Sahel and the Alliance and the joint commitments made under the Sahel Coalition.
The meeting between Mr. Adrien Haye and Mr. Nouridine Kane Dia, AfDB Director and Spokesperson of the Sahel Alliance in Niger, and Dr. Rabiou Abdou, Minister of Planning and G5 Minister in Niger, was particularly fruitful. Minister Abdou emphasised the need for more support for education and youth and for increased attention to vulnerable areas, such as Diffa and the south of Maradi. “If we do not invest massively in these territories today, they could quickly fall into crisis situations. The Minister of Planning also welcomed the Sahel Alliance’s proposal to select Niger as a pilot country for the Alliance-G5 Sahel Dialogue and Mutual Accountability Framework, an initiative that will be funded by the UK. Education and youth employment would be a particularly relevant sector for this dialogue.
The Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, HEM. Hassoumi Massoudou, stressed the importance of development projects and programmes in the implementation of the Sahel Coalition’s roadmap and the operationalisation of the civil and political upsurge.
Monitoring Committee of the Sahel Coalition’s Roadmap
Mr. Haye participated alongside Mr. Kane Dia in the 2nd meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Roadmap in N’Djamena, organised by the High Authority for Peacebuilding in Niger (HACP).
The meeting was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Niger, HE Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, and the High Representative of the Sahel Coalition, Dr. Djimé Adoum, in the presence of several members of the Government of Niger, the European Union Special Representative for the Sahel, HE Emanuela del Re, the Representative of the P3S Secretariat, and many heads of diplomatic missions. In his remarks, Mr. Haye underscored the importance of involving the Sahel Alliance, through its spokesperson in Niger, in the work of the Committee as a key actor with the SEG5 of Pillar 4 of the Coalition’s Roadmap. He stressed the articulation and complementarity between stabilisation and development actions, the Integrated Territorial Approach (ITA) that is being implemented by the members of the Alliance in the areas of Tillabéri and Tahoua and the rapid impact projects of the Emergency Development Program (EDP) of the G5 Sahel, which in many ways contribute strongly to the operationalisation of the civilian and political upsurge. The members of the Sahel Alliance are financing the EDP to the tune of €266 million. In Niger, 9 EDP projects are being implemented for a total of 123 million Euros.
Focus on the field dynamics
A working meeting of the members of the Sahel Alliance represented in Niger was held on Wednesday 13 October, in the presence of Dr. Djimé Adoum. Discussions focused in particular on ongoing projects and the implementation of the ITA in the priority areas of Tahoua and Tillabéry. For each of these territories, one or more members have volunteered to take on the role of lead coordinator (North-East Tillabéry Corridor: AFD / EU; West Tillabéry Corridor: UNDP; Tahou: AfDB / World Bank).
Since March 2021, a census of contextual data and mapping of activities funded by Alliance members in these areas have been conducted within the framework of a database common to all priority areas for the implementation of ITA in the G5 countries. This database, designed as a decision-making and planning tool, aims to increase the coherence of the activities implemented and to facilitate a better spatial and temporal coordination of the actions of the stakeholders in the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. It shows which areas and sectors are insufficiently, excessively or uncoordinatedly supported, the evolution of the conditions of intervention (particularly in terms of safety and accessibility) and the possible need to reorientate funded activities.
This meeting was complemented by bilateral meetings with Alliance members in Niger. Ms Dominique Anouilh, Head of Field Coordination at the Sahel Alliance, and Mr Sani Ousseini, Liaison Expert of the Sahel Alliance in Niamey, were also able to hold a very fruitful working meeting with the National Coordination Committee of G5 Sahel actions in Niger, chaired by its focal point, Mr Mamane Saidou, Advisor to the Minister of Planning. This session provided an opportunity to exchange views on the progress of the Sahel Alliance in Niger and on the upcoming deadlines of the NCC (contribution to the elaboration of the new G5 Sahel Development and Security Strategy).
The Coordinator of the Sahel Alliance is due to visit Mauritania and Burkina Faso.