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West African Papers

The West African Papers series explores African socio-economic, political and security dynamics from a regional and multidisciplinary perspective. It seeks to stimulate discussion and gather information to better anticipate the changes that will shape future policies. The series is designed for a wide audience of specialists, development practitioners, decision makers and the informed public. Papers are available in English and/or French, and summaries are available in both languages. Initiated by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) to highlight and promote West African issues, the work presented is prepared by its Secretariat, Members and partners, other OECD departments, related international organisations, associated experts and researchers.

English French

Long term trends across security and development in the Sahel

Following the 2013 French military intervention in Mali, significant attention has been paid to issues of security and development in the Sahel. The stability of Sahelian countries and the capacity of their governments to manage social change and resulting tensions have major security implications for migration flows, economic development, and health concerns both for local people and for the broader international community. The rise of violent religious extremism in the region and the varied efforts to curtail its spread have raised international alarm and prompted important resources to be invested by both domestic governments and foreign partners. This paper offers a broad overview of the current situation in the Sahel paying attention to the intersecting and overlapping issues of security and development. The paper then interrogates three central themes—poverty, migration, and conflict—adopting a historical perspective to examine long-term trends in the region. In doing so, it aims to contribute to contemporary policy discussions by offering evidence of how these dynamics have either changed or persisted across this centrally important region during the last several decades.

English

Keywords: development, Sahel, violent extremism, migration
JEL: D74: Microeconomics / Analysis of Collective Decision-Making / Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions; F51: International Economics / International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy / International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions; N47: Economic History / Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation / Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: Africa; Oceania
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