ECA leads UN efforts for a stable and prosperous Sahel region

sahel 5The UN set to address the root cause of complex crisis in Africa’s Sahel region. (Image source: SOS Sahel UK - putting Africa's dryland people first/Flickr)The UN is revamping its action plan to address the root causes of the complex crisis in Africa’s Sahel region, in particular outlining a development vision for the region through a prospective socio-economic study by its agencies led by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

The study, which focuses on 10 countries and has the backing of UN secretary-generall Antonio Guterres, began in April this year.

The initiative is being carried out as complex national and cross-border security threats in the region escalate and governance crises worsen as well as structural climatic stress.

All these have a serious impact on human security and sustainable development in the Sahel.

The study aims to identify the fundamentals and set conditions needed for the region’s development.

The Sahel, though plagued by a host of problems, is endowed with abundant natural resources like oil, gold and uranium, which if managed equitably and in a sustainable manner, can transform the lives of the millions of people in the region. At least 24 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the Sahel this year hence the ambitious UN initiative.

The study, which will be carried out through a participatory and inclusive approach, will provide relevant analysis and strategic choices to Sahel governments, major regional stakeholders and the UN system, in a bid to speed-up socio-economic development, and facilitate the achievement of national, regional and international development programmes.

This prospective study, which also falls within the framework of reshaping the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS), the African Union’s 2063 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will enable the ten concerned countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, the Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger and Senegal to come up with a sustainable response to the region’s challenges.

Experts have since completed drafting the Sahel retrospective and strategic diagnostic report, a survey on the aspirations of the populations of the Sahel and the structural analysis of the region’s system.

The next steps focus on defining and quantifying scenarios, as well as defining the region’s vision and strategic orientations, leading to a comprehensive prospective study of the Sahel vision by November 2018.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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