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The Sahel region and West Africa

The Sahel region is actually the Southern border of Europe and takes on strategic value for Italy in terms of security, management of migration flows and the fight against illegal trafficking, favoured by the fragile economic and institutional fabric.

In the Sahel region, characterised by socio-economic precariousness, environmental vulnerability, fragmentation and difficulties in the functioning of institutions in peripheral areas, there are further factors of instability, arising from climate change, population growth, the pandemic and jihadist extremism.

Jointly with the EU, Italy is increasingly committed to stabilising the region, promoting a balance between its contribution in terms of security, institution-building and strengthening, as well as development cooperation. Italy participates in the Alliance and the Coalition for the Sahel region and supports the G5 Sahel. It promotes the role of regional organisations such as ECOWAS and the African Union, and maintains a dialogue with non-European partners.

Italy’s action continues through the activities of MISIN (the bilateral military training and support mission in Niger) and through participation in the EU’s civilian and military missions (EUTM Mali, EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger), the United Nations Mission for the Stabilisation of Mali (MINUSMA) and the Task Force Takuba.

In West Africa there are clear interconnections between sustainability, peace, the fight against terrorism, crime and trafficking, development, progress, migrant and refugee flows and climate change.

Italy is committed to directing cooperation resources and private investment towards the priority sectors of training, education and the creation of a network of local enterprises.  The dialogue on human rights and governance is also essential. These are crucial issues for creating the necessary conditions for development, the importance of which is reaffirmed in the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.