|On 12 June, some fifty security and development experts, including a large delegation from Mali, gathered at this SWAC Colloquium at the OECD Headquarters, to discuss West Africa’s major security challenges. Discussion was opened by H.E. Mr. Boubacar Sidiki Touré, Ambassador of Mali to France, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga, former Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. Concrete examples such as Chad offered an interesting basis for discussion on the regional dimension of the security development nexus. Dedicated to policy coherence, the debate also contributed to promoting dialogue between OECD member countries and Africa from a “security and development” perspective.
West Africa is facing new and more complex acts of violence that combine identity claims, religious extremism and arms, drug and human trafficking. These dynamics continue to develop while the region deals with structural weaknesses such as the competition for mineral and agro-pastoral resources, environmental degradation, unfinished demarcation of borders, the fragility of some democratic processes, and socio-economic challenges.
The development of these instabilities, and their interdependence, reinforces the need for co-ordinated proposals within the framework of the security-development nexus in which political and operational dimensions are sometimes difficult to reconcile. Cross-border co-operation is an example of a possible response to this challenge.
The transnational dimension of past insecurities, the global dimension of some trafficking and terrorism, and the regional economic integration as part of the ongoing process of globalisation, call for regional responses and a more active participation of West African institutions and representatives in global debates. > background document
- To improve the understanding of West African securitydevelopment challenges in the context of recent tensions;
- To promote dialogue between West African and OECD member countries on the links between “security and development”.