According to the 2018 Failed States Index, 10 of the world’s most fragile states are in Africa and the Sahel region is a particular locus of concern. Countries such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger, are facing challenges associated with violent extremism, organized, and transnational criminal networks. During the past decade, terrorists groups such as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the Islamic State, and Boko Haram have killed thousands of people, displaced populations, and threatened stability and security.
Mali’s own efforts at national as well as Sahel-wide stabilization are instructive. In spite of the establishment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali—MINUSMA—and the efforts of the G-5 Sahel, along with international efforts to bring peace and security, fragility continues to undermine socio-economic development progress. Creating a viable future for the region will require interlinked solutions at the nexus of economics, security, state capacity, humanitarian efforts, and international interventions.
On September 28, the Africa Growth Initiative and the Global Economy and Development Program at Brookings hosted His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, president of Mali and co-founder of the G-5 Sahel. President Keita delivered opening remarks, after which he sat down for an interview with Brookings President John R. Allen.
Their conversation was followed by questions from the audience.