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In his most recent article published on the Ideas4Development blog, Laurent Bossard, director of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat, takes a look at the paradox of Sahelian women. Despite the key socio-economic role they play in Sahelian communities, they remain marginalised and are sometimes deprived of their fundamental rights. Read on
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“Education is the only way to fight against early marriage,” declared President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso in his keynote address at the European Development Days (EDD2018), which were held on 5-6 June 2018 in Brussels. “Women and girls at the forefront of sustainable development: Protect, empower, invest” was the official topic of the 12th edition. Read on
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Bio Soulé, a Rural Hub programme officer, explores the obstacles that prevent the promise of cross-border trade from fully catalysing the region’s growth and development in this article for the Bridges Africa series. “If radical reforms are not carried out in these countries, the African market could become easy prey for multinationals and counterfeit traders, who have the capacity to flood it with products of all kinds,” exhorts Soulé. Read on
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On the occasion of Africa Day 2018, Jay Naidoo, a former minister in Nelson Mandela’s cabinet during South Africa’s first post-apartheid government, reflected on the state of the continent. “We are exhausted by the talk, talk and talk. Our lives are littered with the broken promises of leaders. Our current leaders are out of touch. We are the richest continent under the ground but we are the poorest in the world. It’s time for leadership and governance. It’s time the older generation moved out of the way,” he wrote. Read on
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“ECOWAS leadership changes may add much-needed political momentum in the region’s response to transnational organised crime,” indicates William Assanvo, co-ordinator for the Regional Organised Crime Observatory, in an article published by Enact Africa. While the region has successfully put in place legal co-operation frameworks within ECOWAS, regional co-operation is still lacking. Read on
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Why did Boko Haram emerge in the northeastern city of Maiduguri? How did the jihadist movement manage to control territories in northeastern Nigeria and beyond? And how does Boko Haram adjust its strategies to local and external events? This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand Boko Haram’s trajectory. Read on
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The most recent issue of the Swiss Foreign Affairs Magazine Politorbis is dedicated to the fight against famine, including an article on the Sahel and West Africa region, produced by the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD). It reviews the region’s progress in the fight against food insecurity over the past 30 years. By taking more co-ordinated and collective action, we can work more efficiently and have greater impact. Read on
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This is a must read for anybody who would like to understand the issues at stake in Mali’s next presidential election, which are set for 29 July 2018. Joseph Brunet-Jailly, an economist and Mali expert, analyses the state of play in Malian politics. The prospects are far from encouraging. Mali is in a catastrophic situation: the Algiers Peace Agreement has become void, the opposition is divided and the forthcoming presidential election will probably change nothing. Read on
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On 21 March, the SWAC Secretariat organised its first webinar drawing on key findings from the West African paper No. 10, “Wars and Conflicts in the Sahara-Sahel.” Some 70 policy-makers, experts and partners participated in the online debate. Read on
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Gender equality remains unfinished business worldwide, including in West Africa, and particularly in the Sahel. “Passing laws and devising national strategies are not enough”, highlights an article published by the OECD Development Centre and the SWAC Secretariat on the Development Matters blog. Read on

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