The Sahel Alliance
The Sahel countries—Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad—face many challenges, including chronic insecurity, rising extremism, 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, France, Germany and the European Union announced the launch of the Sahel Alliance. They were quickly joined by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. More recently, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Denmark and Netherlands have announced their membership.
In order to provide an appropriate, ambitious and effective response to the challenges facing the G5 Sahel member 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 six priority fields: “education and youth employment”, “agriculture, rural development, food security”, “energy and climate”, “governance”, “decentralization and basic services” and “internal security”. Another cornerstone: the relationships between partners and G5 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 and the G5 Sahel Secretariat. 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 January 2019, the Alliance announced the enactment of these goals through the implementation of over 600 projects by 2022, with global funding of €9 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 six priority sectors, which correspond with the development priorities established by the G5 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.