Germany takes over the presidency of the Sahel Alliance
Development Minister Schulze sees an epicenter of terrorism in the Sahel. The politician wants to fight against this by building a water supply. But there is more to the plan.
Germany takes over the presidency of the most important international association of supporters for the African Sahel region. Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) traveled to the General Assembly of the Sahel Alliance in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott.
“I’m taking over the presidency of the Sahel Alliance to show that Germany and its partners are there for the region and are committed to the region,” said Schulze. “My priorities for the Sahel Alliance are jobs, agriculture and social security in the region. And preventing state-free spaces.”
Schulze wants projects for education and employment
The 18-member Sahel Alliance was formed in 2017 by Germany, France and the European Union to support the countries of the G5 alliance of Sahel countries – Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad – threatened by great poverty and terrorism . To date, Allianz has spent more than 28 billion euros in the region. With 2.73 billion euros in 181 projects, Germany is the fourth largest donor behind the World Bank, France and the EU.
“The Sahel is one of the poorest regions in the world with one of the youngest populations. At the same time, the Sahel has become the new epicenter of Islamist terrorism and Russian influence is increasing,” explained Schulze.
The presidency should focus on projects for education and employment, the expansion of social security and support for the municipal development of water supply, clinics, schools and markets. “In this way, the population notices who is seriously concerned and who isn’t. Because terrorist groups don’t lay water pipes,” says Schulze.
Sahel countries threatened by terror
The Sahel zone stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. The French-speaking Sahel countries joined forces in 2014, also to counter the threat posed by Islamists. Armed groups, some of whom have sworn allegiance to the terrorist militia IS and al-Qaeda, have been overrunning the region for more than a decade. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are particularly affected.
More than 2.8 million people have been displaced, more than 2 million of them in Burkina Faso. Mali left the G5 a year ago after a military coup and quarrels with western democracies and recently called for the end of the UN peacekeeping mission, in which the German armed forces are also involved.