7th OPERATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE: BUILDING ON THE REGION’S POTENTIAL AND STRENGTHENING COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIPS IN THE FACE OF THE CURRENT PERILS IN THE SAHEL
The 7th meeting of the Operational Steering Committee (OSC) of the Sahel Alliance was held on Monday 13 December 2021 in Brussels at the invitation of the Director for Africa of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Christoph Rauh, the current chairman of the OSC. This meeting was attended by nearly 100 representatives from all Alliance members and several partners. The session was marked by the presence of the current Chairman of the G5 Sahel Council of Ministers, Minister Issa Doubragne, the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel, Mr Eric Tiaré, the High Representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel, Mr Maman Sidikou, the European Union Special Representative for the Sahel, Ms Emanuela Del Re, and the High Representative of the Sahel Coalition, Mr Djimé Adoum. Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was the guest of honour.
This meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of the decisions taken during the OSC on 2 June 2021 and came on the heels of the workshops of the Sahel Alliance permanent coordination groups held on 23 and 24 November 2021 in Brussels. The discussions and presentations focused on the latest developments and recent events; the Great Green Wall initiative and its implications for the G5 countries; the conclusions and recommendations of the workshops of the Sahel Alliance permanent coordination groups; the Alliance’s operationalisation and functioning.
In his opening remarks, Christoph Rauh addressed the complex situation and expressed the urgent need for action. “The G5 countries are under pressure. This situation pushes us, as the Sahel-Alliance, to expand the impact of our efforts on the ground. We all need to coordinate our cooperation at different levels and in different areas of work to achieve tangible results for the people. At our institutions’ headquarters, we need to advocate for more flexibility in our approaches and cooperation mechanisms in the field and to adapt our strategies to local circumstances”.
The 7th OSC was enriched by the interventions of Sahelian High Representatives, whose contributions enhanced the proceedings. Dr Issa Doubragne, in his capacity as Chairman of the G5 Sahel Council of Ministers, stressed that “Since 2017, we have strengthened our political dialogue with the Sahel Alliance, and we now truly consider ourselves as partners. The holding of this 7th operational steering committee of the Alliance bears witness to the strength of this dialogue. Development is at the heart of the G5 Sahel’s Chadian roadmap as well as the Sahel Coalition’s roadmap. I plead once again for the need to strengthen the capacities of the sectoral ministries of the G5 Sahel States and their full involvement, via the economic operators, in all partnership processes, programmes and development projects. »
The Operational Steering Committee came to the following decisions upon completion of its work :
- Recall the importance of anchoring Sahel Alliance’s work in the G5 Sahel’s development strategies. In this regard, the Sahel Alliance members reiterated their commitment to supporting the G5/ES’s future new Development & Security strategy
- Welcome the commitment of the Sahel Alliance members in the Great Green Wall initiative and propose the further identification of synergies
- Adopt the recommendations of the Sahel Alliance coordination groups, the common template for sectoral and thematic concept notes and the harmonised terms of reference for the functioning of the groups
- Call on members to promote and locally use the Alliance as an operational coordination mechanism, with the potential to be a real lever for strengthening the effectiveness of the partnership and funded projects
- Invite members to contribute to strengthening the collective identity (joint communication efforts)
- Recommend that in 2022, an accurate record of additional funding provided to the EDP be prepared and an evaluation study on the implementation of the EDP be carried out
- Welcome the initial progress of the G5 Sahel Facility and the announcement of France’s contribution. The OSC calls on those members who wish to do so to become involved in this instrument.
Source : Alliance Sahel