In view of the evolution of the political and security situation, France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced on November 16, 2022 the cessation of Official Development Assistance from France to Mali. AFD thus suspended all of its activities in this country in November 2022.
More information on the Ministry's website
The Greater Sahel is a region of contrasts in terms of its development challenges. Central Sahel, consisting of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, is facing a deteriorating security context. There are also strong constraints on the development of the region. The Greater Sahel has a high population growth and low human development indicators (HDI). Four Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad) are ranked in the bottom ten in terms of HDI.
These multiple challenges should not overshadow the positive trends observed in recent years. Indeed, the security crisis does not affect the entire region. Senegal, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and Gambia are not in the same situation. Moreover, the region has experienced sustained economic growth over the last five years, particularly in Senegal (+6.4%).
AFD Group has two priorities in the region:
Innovative partnership work to respond to and prevent crises
AFD Group's work is in line with the priorities of the G5 Sahel (formed by Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Chad and Mauritania) and the Sahel Alliance. Launched in 2017 under the impetus of France, Germany and the European Union, the Sahel Alliance is a group of 17 bilateral and multilateral development partners working in the Sahel. It aims to provide concrete responses to the challenges faced by the populations of the G5 Sahel through better coordination of its members' interventions.
The concept of an integrated territorial approach, promoted by AFD, aims to meet the urgent needs of populations and address the root causes of the crisis in fragile areas. The aim is to provide a coordinated response adapted to the specificities and constraints of each territory.
Finally, procedures and project design have developed to allow for rapid implementation in vulnerable areas and emergency contexts. The Minka Peace and Resilience Fund, dedicated to peacebuilding, offers flexibility in the choice of stakeholders and allows for swift intervention directly with populations.
Supporting the positive trends observed in the region
The Greater Sahel had the highest growth rate of any region in Africa between 2017 and 2019. It also has a wealth and diversity of natural resources. The young population also contributes to the resilience of the region.
To support these positive trends, AFD Group contributes to the development of Sahel territories by focusing on transport infrastructure, social development and climate change resilience. Support for the private sector and for entrepreneurship among women and young people is also a priority.
We are part of the French team implementing the French strategy in the Greater Sahel. As this region should not be considered exclusively as a crisis zone, we are working to support the resilience and dynamism of the Sahel in the pursuit of peace and sustainable development.
AFD Group interventions are based on new approaches;
- The integrated territorial approach to put people and spaces at the heart of development efforts, based on local dynamics and specific territorial assets
- A thematic rather than sectoral approach to decompartmentalize interventions and better respond to multi-sectoral needs
- A stakeholder rather than an institutional approach aimed at strengthening society as a whole.