Border dynamics in West Africa

West Africa is subdivided by 32 000 kilometres of land borders. Given the heterogeneity of West African border areas and in order to better adapt to local development, cross‑border co‑operation policy should be based on the resources of each region. SWAC has supported border co-operation for many years. Its work currently focuses on promoting the role of cross-border urban economies in building regional integration, identifying the levers for developing cross-border poles of attraction and analysing resilience to climate change. More broadly, the Secretariat provides support for regional and international strategies in order to better anticipate two major changes impacting the region: urbanisation and climate change.

Mapping border cities and accessibility

This report, composed of four West African Papers (nos. 20, 21, 22, 23) is the result of a systematic analysis of the role West African border cities play in the process of regional integration. Based on a multidimensional mapping of 18 countries, the report analyses the local dynamics that have developed in urban areas, the impact distance has on national cohesion and the impact territorial divisions have at the international level. This mapping of borders cities aims to help answer the following: What are the spatial representations of urban border centres? How is cross-border trade organised? Is there a correlation between the characteristics of border cities and their accessibility measures? How do city morphologies and accessibility influence network structure and function? How does the organisation of border trade influence the morphologies of cities in terms of their relationships to borders and their functions? 




Read the four Papers: 

Regional Integration in Border Cities (No. 20)

Population and Morphology of Border Cities (No. 21)

Businesses and Health in Border Cities (No. 22)

Accessibility and Infrastructure in Border Cities (No. 23)

Resilience to climate change in border agglomerations

At the global scale, urban areas are responsible for over 70% of CO2 emissions and close to half of greenhouse gas emissions. The percentages are roughly the same in West Africa. So, what types of climate funding are suited to urban settings (post COP21 and 22)? Based on the results of the border cities and accessibility mapping, the work on resilience to climate change in border agglomerations will seek to assess the current state of cross-border law and identify shared legislative and financial levers that could improve the prospects for cross-border entities to strengthen resilience to climate change in border cities.