Security and Development


security-development cover‌ 

Although conflicts have become less frequent in the Sahel and West Africa region, various threats to security still remain, including increased drug, arms and human trafficking. Local land conflicts, terrorist acts and civil wars also risk undermining stability in the region. The underlying dynamics can no longer be confined to the West African region. The changing nature of crises and instability as well as correlations between various forms of violence, confirm the need to link “security and development” when addressing these challenges.



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For several years, the interdependence between “security and development” has been addressed in many international and regional initiatives and strategies. As highlighted in the 3076th Foreign Affairs European Council meeting on the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, “improving the security situation is integral to economic growth and the reduction of poverty in the region.”  

Within the framework of the 2011-2012 Programme of Work, the SWAC Secretariat has facilitated policy dialogue with experts and representatives from regional and international organisations within a Colloquium. It also published two books within the OECD West African Studies series.

“Security and development are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. No sustainable development is possible in a country threatened by internal insecurity, crisis and conflicts. At the same time, there cannot be sustainable peace without development. Moreover, insecurity, crisis and conflicts can impede the efficient use of aid”.

EU Commission


security-development cover‌ 

OECD West African Studies, April 2013

This study first analyses an old and recurring form of instability in the region: conflict over resources. A series of case studies will examine the causes of these conflicts with reference to the associated regional challenges and response tools. Secondly, the study addresses terrorism, a relatively new dimension of insecurity. It outlines the development of AQMI and Boko Haram and then focuses on a comparative analysis of legal mechanisms to fight against terrorism. The argument holds that the congruence of these insecurities and the current violent crises present an unprecedented risk of destabilisation for West Africa and the international community. > find out more

cov-global security risks‌  

Global Security Risks and West Africa: Development Challenges 

OECD West African Studies, January 2012

This SWAC publication explores current global security issues, their development in West Africa and their potential impact on regional stability. It takes a close look at issues such as terrorism and trafficking, climate change, and the links between “security and development”. Some of these issues are still the object of heated debate. This book draws attention to the risk of oversimplified analyses and biased perceptions of security risks. It also highlights the need for co-ordinated policies and dialogue between West Africa, North Africa and OECD countries.


Northern Mali

Statement by S.E. Mr. Boubacar Sidiki Touré, Ambassador of Mali to France, 12 June 2012

The only solution lies in the development of these areas. it is worth recalling the policy of positive discrimination resulting from various agreements that were signed from 1991 and implemented in favour of the touaregs. 

A new Trans-Saharan co-operation is needed

Viewpoint by Laurent Bossard, September 2011

“In the short-term, it must of course be a priority to “re-conquer” and stabilize the Sahel area so that businesses and people can feel secure. In the long run, however, it is much more difficult and more expensive to militarily control an unsettled area than to develop a vibrant economic area.” 

Key references


Thematic documents

Anti-terrorism laws by country

  • Loi n°060-2009/An du 12 décembre 2009 relative à la répression d'actes de terrorisme au Burkina Faso
  • Loi n°061-2009/An du 17 décembre 2009 relative à la lutte contres le financement du terrorisme – Burkina Faso
  • Ordonnance n°2009-367 du 12 novembre 2009 relative à la lutte contre le financement du terrorisme dans les états membres de l'Union monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA) – Côte d’Ivoire
  • Anti-Terrorism Act, 2002 (as amended by the Anti-Terrorism Amendment Act, 2008) – The Gambia Money Laundering Act, 2003 – The Gambia
  • Anti-Money Laundering Bill, 2007 – Ghana
  • Loi n°08-025/ Du 23 juillet 2008 portant répression du terrorisme au Mali

Useful links