West African Studies


An OECD book series analysing West African development issues from a regional perspective.


West African Futures: Settlement, Market and Food Security

May 2013 | > Synthesis

Settlement dynamics have reshaped West Africa’s social and economic geography over the past 60 years. The spatial changes, urbanisation and a high degree of economic concentration especially, favour the development of market-oriented agriculture. With the population of West Africa set to double by 2050, agricultural production systems will continue to experience far-reaching changes. To support this transformation, policies need to take better account of producers’ location, profiles and constraints in order to develop effective food security strategies. In order to do so, they need uniform and reliable data – not available at present –particularly for key variables such as population, agricultural production and trade.


Conflict over Ressources and Terrorism: Two Facets of Insecurity 

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.


Global Security Risks and West Africa: Development Challenges

January 2012 | > find out more

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.


West Africa Perspectives : Resources for Development 

November 2009 | > free preview> buy

This publication conducts a cross-cutting analysis of the main development challenges in the region and offers suggestions on how to meet them. It provides an overview of West Africa’s abundant resources, examining not only economic and natural resources but also human, social and cultural capital. Finally, it presents the perspectives of six West African personalities involved in the development of their region. 

Regional Atlas on West Africa

July 2009 | > chapters | > free preview> buy

This Atlas is both the driver and result of strategic thinking on regional integration in West Africa. Using maps, statistics and analyses, it describes the population, settlement patterns, territories, economies and  vulnerabilities. The Regional Atlas sets out the progress made and the adaptation dynamics to an ever-evolving global context. It identifies the medium- and long-term trends and develops prospective strategic thinking. 

Regional Challenges of West African Migration

African and European Perspectives

April 2009 | > free preview | > buy

This publication presents contributions by international experts on various aspects of West African migration. It provides a contrasting perspective to current debates which essentially focus on security issues. This rather non-institutional approach promotes a constant dialogue based on analyses of the actual situation: the authors encourage "win-win" mobility for all parties involved (Europe, North Africa and West Africa), whether it be a host, transit or departure country. 

West African Mobility and Migration Policies of OECD Countries

October 2008 | > free preview> buy

This publication reviews migration policies in the main OECD countries receiving West African migrants and analyses the recent discussions within Europe. This report lists common approaches undertaken in Europe, Africa and West Africa and aims to shed light on decision makers’ strategic thinking. It provides the greater public with an objective understanding of this recent dynamic. 



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