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This report published by the French newspaper La Libération reviews the relationship between the Fulani and Dogon ethnic groups, who lived in traditionally complementary ways. Drawing on local interviews, the article explains the traditional roles each group played, describes the changes that occurred following the jihadist occupation and analyses the root causes of tension, which has caused escalating intercommunal violence. Read on
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In his UN Security Council briefing on 17 December 2019, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS, highlights that regional organisations remain “our first counterparts for conflict resolution in the region.” Discussions at the ECOWAS and G5 Sahel summits highlighted the “undeterred regional solidarity, and the commitment to bring this violence to an end. The Security Council’s support to the region cannot falter at this juncture,” he declared. Read on
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Civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS) remain some of the weakest points in African national statistical systems. According to UNICEF, 41% of sub-Saharan African children under five years of age have never been registered. “The demand for registration services remains weak because many people do not have adequate awareness about the importance of civil registration for them and their families,” explains Camilla Rocca in a blog post published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Read on
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Alain Antil, a researcher from the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), provides an interesting analysis of the root causes of insecurity in Sahelian countries. While the areas affected by violence in the Sahel continue to expand, socio-economic and demographic trends further exacerbate existing fragilities, especially in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. “Far from being able to deliver basic services or even the most rudimentary infrastructure, the states no longer even fulfil their sovereign functions: security, justice... Other actors have taken over and exercise a sort of shared governance,” Antil explains. Read on
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Ibrahim Mayaki, AUDA-NEPAD chief executive officer and SWAC honorary president, shared his vision about key issues that will drive the debate about Africa’s development at the conference “Rethinking development in Africa,” held on 27 September 2019 at the Columbia University in New York. “Development means liberating potential and energies from the bottom up,” he tweeted to his 28.5K followers Read on
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In this interview, published by Le Point Afrique, outgoing European Commissioner Neven Mimica offers his vision for better co-operation between Africa and Europe. “Our two continents are facing new challenges which can only be tackled together. We are at a crossroads: Africa is a continent in full swing, with huge economic and human potential. It is a giant in the making, at the gates of Europe. Read on
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African leaders’ presence at the G7 summit received mixed reactions. Was it a renewed model for the G7 based on an equal partnership with Africa, or were African countries simply decorative pieces meant to help G7 leaders clear their consciences? In this interview with Bakary Sambe from the Timbuktu Institute-African Centre for Peace Studies, published by Le Point Afrique, he notes that a large amount of the pledged development aid for the Sahel has not yet materialised and decries the lack of coherence. Read on
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The food economy has particularly strong potential to accelerate job creation, and should therefore attract greater policy attention. In order to unleash this potential, the food sector needs appropriate strategies, investments and policies. “This involves endorsing three key principles: 1) Moving beyond agriculture and rural areas; 2) Taking spatial factors into account; and 3) Dealing with informality, aiming for inclusiveness,” explain Léopold Ghins and Koffi Zougbédé 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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The empowerment of girls and young women, promoted by a large number of development programmes and contraceptive awareness-raising campaigns, face many barriers that are rooted in local, societal and religious norms. “These deeply rooted resistances should not be underestimated”, explains Assiatou Diarra, a doctor and anthropologist from Niger in an article published by Le Monde diplomatique. Read on
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This op-ed by Archie Matheson, published on the African Arguments blog, suggests that the intra-African trade benefits of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will take time and might be much less significant than thought. “Therefore, it is imperative that the project does not detract energy and resources from initiatives that are having more immediate impacts on intra-African trade and economic growth,” the author concludes. Read on

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