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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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In this article published by a Burkinabe online platform, Newton Ahmend Barry, president of the country’s independent National Electoral Commission, analyses the double attack that took place on 2 March in Ouagadougou. “We are wrong to believe that France or the G5 Sahel will solve our problems. No people in the world has ever been rescued by another people,” Barry wrote. Read on
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Food is particularly expensive for households in sub-Saharan Africa – relative to their incomes. Prices are 30-40% higher than in the rest of the world with comparable per capita GDP levels. In West Africa, markets provide at least two-thirds of household food supplies and households spend an average of 55% of their budgets on food. “Transforming the food economy is key to lowering prices,” explains Thomas Allen from the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) in an article published on the OECD Development Matters blog. Read on
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“Health systems in Africa are rapidly developing and the fourth Industrial Revolution in healthcare could take hold,” writes Patrice Matchaba from Novartis in a blog post on the World Economic Forum’s website. African countries have an opportunity to develop a strong preventive approach by conducting, for example, massive high-tech driven campaigns against parasitic diseases, malaria chemoprophylaxis and prophylactic antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection. Read on
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In this blog post published by IRIN, editor Obi Anyadike draws attention to the many challenges faced by African cities. three key findings: 1) African cities are crowded, “but not economically dense.” 2) African cities are disconnected. 3) African cities are costly, both for residents and businesses. The rapid urban growth is outpacing policy reforms. It is time for urgent reforms in African cities. Read on
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Laurent Bossard, director of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat, talks about the region's key challenges and the issue of youth employment. The interview was conducted on the sidelines of the Sahel and West Africa Week 2017 in Cotonou, Benin. Read on
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Conflict, drought and food price inflation are the main causes of food insecurity in Nigeria. The Boko Haram conflict has displaced massive numbers of people and has put more pressure on food resources in the northeastern part of the country, where violence is leading to a decline in agricultural production and is depriving farmers of stable incomes. Nutrition interventions need to be extended across the country, and involve related issues, such as maternal nutrition. Read on
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Laurent Bossard, Director of the SWAC Secretariat, and the economist Jean-Marie Cour were invited to the programme “Eco d’ici Eco d’ailleurs” on RFI, a French public radio channel, where they discussed the issue of rural migration in Africa. They lamented the often-false perception of this phenomenon, which shows how difficult it is for observers and development actors to change the paradigm when it comes to how the continent’s transformations are analysed. Read on
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The ambush that killed four American soldiers in Niger on 4 October has stirred up a public debate in the US. The controversy over the nature of the US intervention in Niger has been fuelled by the US military’s lack of transparency about this operation. With the need to step up the fight against Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the region, the United States may increase its presence and abandon the low-profile strategy that it has preferred until recently. Read on

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