Cross-Border Diaries - West African Local Realities


By describing local cross-border realities in West Africa, this magazine contributes to promoting inter-governmental co-operation processes. The Cross-Border Diaries aimed to stimulate dialogue between local actors and institutional representatives to foster regional integration processes building on concrete co-operation projects. Various local partners of the West Africa Borders and Integration Network (WABI) contributed through their testimonies to this magazine. 


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January 2009

This issue focuses on the Karakoro basin, situated in the pre-Sahelian zone between Mali and Mauritania. Local border populations and their respective governors are demonstrating a strong commitment to border development. Farming, sedentary and transhumant livestock breeding are the main activities of the populations on both riversides. The Karakoro basin takes part in one of the four pilot initiatives conducted within the ECOWAS Cross-border Co-operation Initiatives Programme (CIP). This issue presents the Karakoro basin settlement programme, co-ordinated by the Research and Project Implementation Group for Rural Development (GRDR), natural resources, cross-border issues as well as interviews with local, national and international representatives.

> Issue No. 8, March 2008  (4 Mb)

March 2008

Once is not always. Following the habitual wandering of our chroniclers along the African borders, this issue makes one stop in the States of Northern Nigeria and Southern Niger. Thanks to the combined efforts of populations, policies and donors, the ECOWAS Cross-border Initiatives Programme is gaining ground. This special issue financed by the European Delegation of the European Commission based in Niamey focuses on the implementation of three coordination platforms for improved movement of capital, populations and commercial trade. This area, with its great dynamic of flows, is described through its human, economic and security dimensions.

> edition n°7, September 2007  (2,5 Mb)

September 2007

The Diaries have decided to explore other boundaries and regions: those which have received a great deal of media coverage like the United States-Mexican border, others that have been planned out as in China, or which have been transformed into economic corridors in the great Mekong, those in regions exiting from crisis such as Kosovo, or where now exist regional highways like the “Maputo corridor” linking up South Africa with Mozambique. Common areas of interest in West African border co-operation: economic concerns highlighting complementarities, administrative impediments, cultural identity, inter-ethnic links to preserve even under pressure. From this it can be concluded that there is cohesiveness among all border peoples.

> edition n°6, June 2007  (2,2 Mb)

June 2007

This edition of the Border Diaries is a composite, travelling all along the already-explored borders… It examines the progress accomplished in the ECOWAS pilot operations in the zones of Niger-Nigeria, Mali-Burkina Faso, and focuses more on Senegambie Meridionale. It also reports on other areas: Dosso and Gaya embroiled in a passionate debate on the future of a dry port; a meeting in Tillabéri with the aim of curbing the violence linked to border transhumance. Out of the field, the Diaries closely follow the development of the new African Union’s Border Programme which is inspired by West African experiences and the SWAC’s work in the region.

> special edition, n°5, February 2007  (2,5 Mb)

February 2007

This special edition of the cross-border diaries focuses on food security in West Africa. It includes a special report on food security and cross-border trade in the Kano-Katsina-Maradi (K²M) corridor, an analysis of the 2005 food crisis in Niger, a presentation of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) and various interviews with food security experts. Two local cross-border initiatives are presented: The cross-border network of Senegambian community radio stations and the creation of a network of Senegambian beekeeping professionals.

> edition n°4, October 2006 October 2006

International migration is a politically sensitive issue in the North as well as in the South. This edition of the cross-border diaries proposes a special report on migration including an overview of international migration from the global to the African level and several testimonies and interviews from the field-level perspective: artificial paradise of Gao and Agadez; security and borders in Casamance; a travel diary, etc. It also includes a report on cross-border media, presenting several community radio stations and networks in West African cross-border areas.



> edition n°3, February 2006  (2,8Mb)

February 2006

A special report on the cereal markets in Niger and Nigeria illustrates the remarkable network of border markets that exist for the trading of cereal, cattle, onions and manufactured projects in this border area. The bulletin also analyses initial outcomes of two pilot operations, “Sikasso-Korhogo-Bobo Dioulasso” and the “Sénégambie méridionale” zones, implemented within the framework of the ECOWAS Cross-border Initiatives Programme (CIP). Several interviews, conducted with local representatives (mayors of Bobo Dioulasso, Sikasso and Treichville) and the Director of Mali's National Borders Directorate, a founding member of the WABI network, address security and cross-border co-operation challenges.


> edition n°2, September 2005  (2,1 Mb)

September 2005

The W Regional Park, a cross-border biosphere reserve located in the border area between Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, is only one example of cross-border realities highlighted in this edition of the cross-border diaries on border issues. Other examples focus on local cross-border pilot operations between “Sikasso-Korhogo-Bobo-Dioulasso” (Burkina Faso - Mali) and the border area between the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal within the framework of the ECOWAS Cross-Border Initiatives Programme (CIP). The CIP’s aim is to identify and support West African cross-border initiatives and encourage the development of frameworks promoting cross-border initiatives on intra-community borders. In this regard, the cross-border diaries team has carried out surveys on the ground and met with local actors.

> edition n°0, October 2004  (2,4Mb)

October 2004

Hollywood, Bollywood, Kanollywood : Nigerian home videos are taking over the West African video market, a rather incongruous example of regional integration. Following the Indian studios, Hong Kong and all the other examples to localise Hollywood productions, hausa home videos have swept the regional video market with endogenous images. A special dossier is dedicated to this astonishing phenomenon of video-mania without borders. This edition also includes cross-border surveys of the Maradi-Katsina-Kano (Niger-Nigeria) and  Gaya-Malanville (Benin-Niger) axes and a mission report of the Senegambia region.