West Africa: "Engaging the international community on the issues of demography, peace and security in the Sahel region"

(File photo).
press release

Bamako, February 20, 2020, On Thursday, February 20, the Regional Office of the United Nations Population Fund  (UNFPA) for West and Central Africa (WCARO) is organizing a session on “Demography, Peace and Security” as part of the 20th edition of the Bamako Forum "Africa on the horizon 2040: between memories and futures" which is held from February 20 to 22, 2020 in Bamako, Mali under the High Patronage of the President of  the Republic of Mali, His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

"This is an opportunity to take a look at Demography, Peace and Security. A crucial question on the trajectory that Africa will follow for the next decades. By 2040, we will be at the midpoint of Agenda 2063, a prosperous Africa, run by its children and caring for young people and girls.” said Mabingue Ngom, Regional Director of UNFPA WCARO.

This session dedicated to “Demography, Peace and Security” will see the presence of ministers, directors and representatives of research institutes and will allow further reflection on the relationship between demographic dynamics and the occurrence of armed conflicts in the Sahel and mobilize the international community around this serious issue.

Highlighting the challenges that are at the root of the problems in the Sahel: the unsatisfied social demand, driven by a very strong social demand, itself driven by child marriage, education and training deficit for women, and lack of access to family planning services.” added Mr. Ngom.

Indeed, the fragility and worsening of the security situation tend to jeopardize development prospects in the Sahel region; which requires a collective, strategic and lasting response from member states and the international community to tackle the root causes; because while youth unemployment, scarce resources, high levels of social inequality and poor governance are often blamed, the demographic factor is increasingly mentioned in the literature.

Significant efforts have already been made, but empirical data are imperative in order to better understand the main drivers of this insecurity and be able to respond to demographic challenges. Hence the interest of this satellite session which will also further promote the regional initiative, in particular the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) project whose overall objective is to accelerate the demographic transition, with the aim of reaching the demographic dividend. It will also be an opportunity to share the progress made in the implementation of the Fass Emergent initiative (FassE) which is an example of operationalization of the demographic dividend at local level, as well as the replication and expansion of these two initiatives in other countries of the sub-region such as Guinea Conakry. The satellite session targets governments, African Union member states, donor countries, the United Nations system, financial institutions, the G5 Sahel, MINUSMA, civil society: youth and women's organizations, religious and customary leaders, the private sector and the media.

About the Bamako Forum

The Bamako Forum is a high-level platform for reflection on the future of the continent. In two decades, it has managed to bring together many personalities and organizations from all walks of life. An original African initiative, it is an annual and international conference, outside of conventional and institutional frameworks, and combines freedom of speech, conviviality and a high-level debate. It is a space for reflection, sharing of experiences and points of view on the current major issues that affect the African continent. Focused on the challenges of African development, it is a venue and a time for exchanging ideas and dialogue where business leaders, politicians, public decision-makers, academics, researchers, experts meet students, representatives of civil society and the media, from the African continent and from the rest world.

Contacts:

Céline Adotevi, UNFPA WCARO | + 221 77 552 63 51 | adotevi@unfpa.org

Moussa Baba Coulibaly, UNFPA Mali | + 223 66 71 30 69 | momcoulibaly@unfpa.org

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