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The momentum of West Africa’s two jihadi theatres has started to favour al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The group, which operates in the Mali/Sahel region, succeeded in consolidating its position, while Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic state, is less active in the Nigeria/Lake Chad region. This evolution suggests that, in the long term, the Islamic state will find it difficult to compete with al-Qaeda in the region. Read on
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In Mali, “the Algiers Process is painfully slow, and peace is not advancing,” noted Jean-Hervé Jezequel, Deputy Project Director for West Africa at the International Crisis Group, offering his analysis of the situation in an interview on the website Sahelien.com. “The setting up of the interim authorities is a significant step towards clarifying the division of responsibilities and power in the north of the country. Beyond local tensions, it is also interesting to note that young Malians have been appointed to important positions (sometimes because they are the only graduates). But this remains a fragile and insufficient step,” he said. Read on
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Food prices in West African countries are significantly higher than in other areas of the world with comparable levels of development. This situation seriously affects food security and the welfare of households. It is, according to Thomas Allen from the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat, “one more reason to unlock the trade potential of the region,” writing in the Rural 21 magazine. Read on
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Several decades of gender debates, special events and development goals dedicated to the empowerment of women, add up to only modest improvements on the ground. “What should count, though, is not the number of commitments we make, but the true progress we achieve on the ground […] If men were ready to help women, things would move much faster,” points out Julia Wanjiru from the Sahe land West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) in an article published on the OECD Insights blog. Read on
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In his most recent opinion piece, published by Le Monde Afrique, SWAC Secretariat Director Laurent Bossard reacts to the difficult situation of many girls and women in the Sahel. “What is the use of our cries of outrage?”, questions Laurent Bossard. Read on
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Since 1985, 8 March has been a public holiday in Burkina Faso. Thomas Sankara had the idea to keep women from going the market on that day, and demand that men do the shopping and cooking instead. This inversion of gender roles was intended to remind men about the realities of the daily grind of their wives, mothers and sisters, and to, above all, allow men to experience those things first-hand. The president of Burkina Faso also left his mark by making himself a tireless advocate for women prostitutes. Read on
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The three northern regions of Ghana are home to 60% of the poor people in the whole country. By 2030, southern Ghana might have successfully eradicated poverty, while 40% of its northern population will still remain poor. How can Ghana overcome these strong regional disparities? Read on
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The UN Security Council has established 30 March 2018 as the end the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which has been deployed in the country since 2003. Since its arrival, the mission has: accompanied the country’s political transition, supported the process of national reconciliation and, more recently, contributed to the fight against the Ebola epidemic. Read on
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Despite the economic slow-down, Africa has enormous unexploited development potential. The continent needs to adjust to the current situation and invest in its future, explained Roger Nord, Deputy Director of the IMF’s African Department, in an article published on the Ideas4Development blog. Read on
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Séga Diarrah, president of the “Bi-Ton” Collective, which brings together some 60 associations to promote democracy and employment in Mali, recognises that the 27th Africa-France Summit, which was held in Bamako on 13-14 January 2017, was a success for Mali. Relations between France and Africa are nevertheless questionable. According to Diarrah, France continues to benefit from Africa, especially through its large companies that are active on the continent, without addressing Africans’ real concerns about co-operation. Read on

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