The Sahel Alliance

The Sahel region is full of potentials which makes this area a land of opportunity: human capital, natural resources, renewable energy potential… Unfortunately, several factors hinder its development: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger face many challenges, including chronic insecurity, a lack of economic prospects, and poor access to education, employment and essential services such as water and electricity. Climate change is weakening the region even more. An appropriate reaction, one that would be rapidly effective in the field, was necessary to deal with this instable and fragile situation; a response taking security challenges into account, a response capable of ensuring the region’s lasting and sustainable development.

Development partners and large international organizations provided the response to this double-edged challenge of security and development. In July 2017, several development partners launched the Sahel Alliance, an international cooperation platform to provide more and better support for development initiatives in the Sahel. Since its launch, the African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, the European Investment Bank, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, United Nations, the United States, and the West African Development Bank have joined the initiative as full members.

Nine countries or organisations have joined the Sahel Alliance as observer members: Japan, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, the International Finance Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Ireland and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. They participate in decision-making meetings of the Sahel Alliance as well as in the work and activities of sectoral and thematic groups, including in the field in the G5 countries. However, they do not integrate their development projects into the portfolio designated and monitored by the Alliance.



In order to provide an appropriate response to the challenges facing the Sahelian countries, the Sahel Alliance members decided to guide their work according to four key principles: targeting its fields of action; accountability between partners with regard to shared goals; new, innovative and more flexible modes of action; and a specific commitment to vulnerable and fragile zones.

The first principle is that projects are targeted in five priority fields: “education and youth employment”, “agriculture, rural development, food security”, “energy and climate”, “governance”, “decentralization and basic services”. Another cornerstone: the relationships between partners and Sahel States are founded on an approach of mutual accountability, meaning that the goals to be achieved are defined, measured and shared by all partners. Next, to accelerate both their implementation and their effectiveness, the projects will adopt new modes of action, through innovative and more flexible financing methods and a diversification of the stakeholders implementing them (NGOs, local authorities, and the private sector). And, finally, the most vulnerable and fragile zones will be subject to particular attention.

These principles aim to increase the coordination between partners and accelerate the implementation of assistance and projects, while addressing the needs expressed by the beneficiary countries. The Sahel Alliance intends to help the Sahelian countries restore the foundations of stable societies to create a sustainable development and peace in the Sahel.

In 2022, the Sahel Alliance is supporting more than 1,300 projects for a total amount of €28.77 billion.


Fields of action

In order to provide an effective and structured response to the challenges face by the Sahel countries, the members of the Sahel Alliance have chosen to concentrate their efforts on five priority sectors, which correspond with the development priorities established by the Sahel countries. The projects of the Sahel Alliance are focused on one or more of these priorities and aim to have a rapid impact on the populations.

  • Agriculture, rural development and food security
    Agriculture, rural development and food security

    In the Sahel region, two out of three inhabitants live off agriculture and breeding livestock. However, yields are low and over a third of crops are lost every year, so food insecurity is high and this situation is worsened by climate change. One of the Sahel Alliance’s priorities is the development of sustainable agriculture that is climate-resistant and able to reduce poverty and malnutrition.

  • Decentralization and basic services
    Decentralization and basic services

    Access to drinking water, primary health care or social protection is still limited in the Sahel region, especially outside large cities. The region is also marked by a high rate of infant mortality. Bringing administrations closer to their citizens means decentralization, thanks to the transfer of budgetary management to local authority level. The Sahel Alliance is committed to reinforcing the needs of local authorities in terms of providing basic services.

  • Education and youth employment
    Education and youth employment

    The birthrate remains high in the G5 Sahel countries, while life expectancy is increasing. Creating economic opportunities for the population and, first and foremost, for young people, is a priority for the Sahel Alliance. This calls for more generalized access to teaching and job opportunities by 2022.

  • Energy and climate
    Energy and climate

    There is an electrification rate of around 20% in all the G5 Sahel countries; this is four times lower than the global average and two times less than the average of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Public action and innovation can help to reduce this gap. Since the region enjoys plentiful sunshine, the Sahel Alliance intends to increase the number of people with access to reliable, affordable and renewable electricity by 2022.

  • Governance

    The G5 Sahel member countries face a lack of institutional, territorial and financial governance. Citizens are demanding more justice and wish to participate more in the democratic life of their country. A combination of administrative hold-ups, corruption and poor resource redistribution means that citizens have little confidence in their government. Reinforcing the social contract in the G5 Sahel member countries by 2022 is a goal for the Sahel Alliance.


  • France — Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

    France — Agence Française de Développement (AFD)

    AFD is France’s inclusive public development bank. It commits financing and technical assistance to projects that genuinely improve everyday life, both in developing and emerging countries and in the French overseas territories. Its action is fully in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through its network of 85 agencies, AFD operates in 109 countries, where it is currently financing, supervising and supporting over 3,600 development projects

  • Germany — Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

    Germany — Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

    Tasked with German development policy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development negotiates with almost 80 countries in terms of bilateral cooperation and works with international organizations to develop multilateral cooperation. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations constitutes the international framework for Germany’s development policy. The BMZ is particularly focused on creating better opportunities in refugees’ countries of origin and is committed to working towards global food security, sustainable economic development and global climate action.

  • European Union

    European Union

    The member States of the European Union have decided to gradually pool their expertise, their resources and their destiny. Together, they have constructed an area of stability, democracy and sustainable development while preserving their cultural diversity, tolerance and individual liberties. The European Union believes in sharing its accomplishments and values with the countries and people beyond its borders.

  • World Bank

    World Bank

    With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. The World Bank Group’s mission consists of two ambitious, but achievable, goals: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity.

  • African Development Bank

    African Development Bank

    The African Development Bank Group comprises three legally independent entities that share a common goal: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. It has 80 shareholders, including 54 African and 26 non-African States. In 2015, President Akinwumi Adesina defined five strategic priorities for the Group: Light up and power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialise Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. This financial institution fights against poverty and promotes sustainable economic growth. At the end of 2017, the Group had approved a cumulative total of US$145.55 billion for the benefit of 5,528 investments in projects.

  • United Nations

    United Nations

    The United Nations, through the Office of the Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel. The Office of the Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel is responsible for coordinating collective efforts, including funding, to implement the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and its support plan. The aim is to intensify the UN development response in the Sahel, also by engaging and supporting the efforts of regional partners and organizations in the region, including the Sahel Alliance.

    Home – UNISS (


  • Italy — Italian Development Cooperation (CIS)
  • Spain — Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)

    Spain — Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)

    Since 1988, the AECID has been the managing body for Spanish international development cooperation, with the goal of fighting poverty and promoting sustainable human development. Together with its partners, the Agency works in over 30 countries through its network, made up of technical cooperation offices, cultural centers and training centers. The Agency works under the aegis of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and its instruments include technical, economic and financial cooperation, humanitarian aid and education for sustainable development and social awareness.

  • United Kingdom — Department for International Development (DFID)

    United Kingdom — Department for International Development (DFID)

    The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. Its action aims to tackle the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Its work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.

  • Luxembourg — Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

    Luxembourg — Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

    The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs coordinates the Luxembourg government’s external action and endeavors to promote a coherent approach towards diplomacy, defense, development and immigration while supporting Luxembourg’s interests abroad. Development cooperation is an integral part of Luxembourg’s foreign policy and is firmly committed to eradicating poverty, especially in the least developed countries.

  • Denmark


  • Netherlands


  • European Investment Bank

    European Investment Bank

    The European Investment Bank is the lending arm of the European Union. We are the biggest multilateral financial institution in the world and one of the largest providers of climate finance.

    The EIB Group has two parts: the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. The EIF specialises in finance for small businesses and mid-caps. We lend to the public and private sectors. We support small companies through local banks and lend money to innovative start-ups. Mid-cap companies can receive direct support for research and development investments.

  • Norway


    The strategy for Norway’s efforts in the Sahel region (2018–2020) has provided a framework for strengthening Norwegian efforts during this period.

    The strategy defines three primary objectives for Norwegian efforts in the Sahel region:
    1. to promote conflict prevention and conflict resolution;
    2. to promote political stabilisation and enhance security;
    3. to build resilience and lay the foundation for inclusive economic, social and political development, with a view to improving living conditions and reducing the need for humanitarian aid. et politique inclusif, en vue d’améliorer les conditions de vie et de réduire la nécessité de l’aide humanitaire. (more info)

  • Belgium


    Observer member


  • USA


  • Canada


  • Japan


    Observer member

  • Switzerland


    Observer member

  • Finland


    Observer member

  • International Finance Corporation

    International Finance Corporation

    Observer member

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Observer member

  • Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

    Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

    Observer member

  • Republic of Ireland

    Republic of Ireland

    Observer member

    Africa – Department of Foreign Affairs (

  • Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

    Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

    Observer member

  • Sweden


    Sweden is heavily engaged in the Sahel. In the area of development cooperation, Sweden’s thematic priorities include human rights and gender equality, democracy and good governance, environmental sustainability and climate change, conflict prevention. (More information)

Sahelian partners

  • Mauritania


    Located in Western Africa, Mauritania spreads over a surface area of one million km² and has an estimated population of 4.3 million inhabitants. It is the fourth-least populous country in Africa, with a density of 3.9 people per square kilometer. Between 2008 – 2019, it has been governed by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Mohamed Cheikh Mohamed Ahmed Cheikh el-Ghazouani was elected new president the 22 of June 2019. The capital of Mauritania is Nouakchott.
    Between 2003 and 2015, the country’s growth averaged 5.5%, benefiting from the historic increase in international commodity prices. Flourishing income taken from the extractive sector has been the main motor of this dynamic economic growth. On average, the extractive sector has represented 25% of GDP and 82% of exports.
    The Sahel Alliance’s work in Mauritania is focused in the Hodh region and in the field of energy and climate.

    Source : France Diplomatie, Banque mondiale

  • Mali


    Mali is a landlocked Sahelian country with a surface area of 1.2 million km² and a population of 18 million inhabitants in 2016. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was reelected President of the Republic in the 2018 elections. Annual economic growth has been above 5% since 2014. The Malian economy relies mainly on the mining and agricultural sectors. The capital of Mali is Bamako.
    The Sahelian regions in the north represent two–thirds of the territory and a tenth of the population is established mainly along the River Niger. The majority of the population lives in rural areas.
    The Sahel Alliance’s work in Mali is focused in the Konna region and in the fields of education and youth employment, and energy.

    Source: France Diplomatie

  • Burkina Faso

    Burkina Faso

    Burkina Faso is a Sahelian country with a surface area of 273,187 km² and an estimated population of around 20 million inhabitants. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré was elected in December 2015. After two slow years in 2014 and 2015, Burkinabe growth picked up in 2016 (up 5.4%) and the outlook remains positive for 2017. The country’s economy is heavily dominated by agriculture, which employs almost 80% of the working population. Cotton is the most important cash crop, even if gold has become the country’s main source of income over the past few years. The capital of Burkina Faso is Ouagadougou.
    The Sahel Alliance’s work in Burkina Faso is focused in the fields of energy, access to water, and domestic security.

    Source : French Treasury department (Direction Générale du Trésor français), France Diplomatie

  • Niger


    Niger is a landlocked and semi-desert country with a surface area of 1.3 million km² and a population of 21.5 million inhabitants in 2017. President Mahamadou Issoufou has been running the country since March 2011 and was reelected in February 2016. Economic growth in Niger was at around 5% in 2017. Its economy relies on agriculture and mining resources, particularly oil and uranium, with the latter representing two-thirds of exports. The capital of Niger is Niamey.
    The Sahel Alliance’s work in Niger is focused in the regions of North Tillabéri and Tahoua (west).

    Source: French Treasury department (Direction Générale du Trésor français), France Diplomatie, World Bank

  • Chad


    Located in the heart of Central Africa, Chad spreads over a surface area of 1.3 million km² with an estimated population of 14.5 million inhabitants. Since 1990, it has been governed by Idriss Deby Itno, who was reelected President of the Republic for the fifth time in April 2016. The capital of Chad is N’Djamena.
    The Chadian economy is largely dependent on oil production, which enabled the country to experience a period of rapid growth until 2014 (with an average economic growth rate of 13.7%). The Chadian economy relies mainly on agriculture (cotton, cereals, gum arabic, breeding, etc.), services (banks, shops, telecommunications, etc.) and the industrial sector (cement works, refineries, breweries, etc.).
    The Sahel Alliance’s work in Chad is focused around the Lake Chad basin and in the energy field.

    Source : French Treasury department (Direction Générale du Trésor français)

  • The Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel

    The Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel

    The G5 Sahel was created on 16 February 2014 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and its primary goal is to guarantee conditions of development and security in its member countries’ region, through its Priority Investment Program (PIP) for the development pillar and through the Cross-Border Joint Force, created in September 2017, for the security pillar. The President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, was nominated as President of the G5 Sahel in February 2019 for a one-year mandate. In the framework of development activities, the Sahel Alliance works closely with the Permanent Secretariat of the G5 Sahel, to bring its portfolio of projects and the PIP together.

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