West Africa is making impressive progress in economic growth, democratization, and regional cooperation. While the recent rise in violence and conflict as well as drug trafficking, piracy, extremism, and other emerging threats have sparked concerns over its future development, efforts to prevent conflicts have also improved, contributing to overall stability.
In a new report, “The Challenge of Stability and Security in West Africa,” the World Bank examines the diverse drivers of fragility—from issues related to land ownership, to a growing youth population with expectations for inclusion, to accelerated development of the extractives industry—and suggests development interventions that can contribute to peace and stability. Countries in West Africa such as Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia offer lessons in building resilience, highlighting the important role of development policy to address these challenges.
On Tuesday, September 15, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative and the World Bank co-hosted a discussion about these dynamic trends in West Africa. After a brief presentation by the report’s author Alexandre Marc, chief specialist of the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Group, Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon moderated a discussion among Marc, Amadou Sy, director and senior fellow of the Africa Growth Initiative, and Raymond Gilpin, dean of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, exploring the nature and reality of these threats as well as potential for development solutions to address them.
Development policies to foster stability in West Africa
ModeratorMichael E. O’Hanlon Director of Research - Foreign Policy, Director - Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative, Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy