High Level Policy Dialogue on Conflict and Development in the Sahel Region
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 to Thursday, September 14, 2017
Niamey, Niger

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) together with the government of Niger as the host, are organizing a High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) for countries severely affected by the security crisis in the Sahel.  The High Level Policy Dialogue will be held in Niamey, Niger from 13-14 September 2017.  


It is within the framework of the longstanding strategic partnership between the African Union (AU) and (ECA), and in response to the AU’s request for in-depth research and analyses of the root causes of conflicts in the Sahel Region and assessment of the costs and consequences of these conflicts on development, that the study was undertaken. Aside from contributing to the discourse on the nexus between conflict and development, it was envisioned that the study would also assist in the articulation of clear strategies and policy recommendations to contribute to ongoing regional, continental and global efforts to entrench long-term peace and stability on the continent, which is critical for sustainable economic growth and socio-economic transformation.


The Sahel research focuses on frontline States in relation to two conflict corridors, namely Northern Mali and Northeast Nigeria (Lake Chad Basin), where large-scale armed conflicts and violence are rife. Some generic features and characteristics define these two corridors.  ECA identified two central themes for the research, namely, an assessment of the root causes of the conflicts in the Sahel region, and the impacts of the conflicts on the economic development of the Sahel region. In assessing the root causes, the Commission emphasized the need to analyses the economic and non-economic causes and the domestic, regional and international destabilizing factors. A distinction should also to be made between the structural issues and the trigger (proximate) factors. It was expected that by analyzing the impacts and consequences of the conflicts on development, the study would identify the mechanisms and ways in which conflicts have affected economic growth, and where possible, quantify the human and material cost of the conflicts and examine the consequences on social and economic development patterns.


The purpose of the dialogue will be to discuss the findings, and proposed comprehensive strategies and policy responses to conflict in support of economic development, of the report on Conflict and Development in the Sahel Region.  The High Level Policy Dialogue aims to enable key stakeholders and member states to fully appreciate the findings of the Sahel study. More specifically, the objectives of the dialogue are as follows:

  • Provide insight on the root causes of conflict and its impact on development as well as human and economic cost;
  • Engender greater appreciation of the nexus between conflict and development, particularly the constraints that conflicts impose on the Sahel region., particularly in the frontline states;
  • Facilitate the exchange of views and country experiences (successes, challenges and lessons) in the design and implementation of policies on the impact and cost of conflict on development within and outside of Africa;
  • Engagement with subject matter experts in the fields of conflict and development, peace and security, permanent secretaries and foreign affairs ministries;
  • Inform the tailoring of advisory services based on the outcome of the discussions; and
  • Serve as a platform for rebuilding a Pan-African network at the most senior technical level on conflict and development


The HLPD will be interactive in nature and allow for a robust discussion on the findings of the study and the experiences of the stakeholders. The participants at this High Level Policy Dialogue will be representatives from the frontline member states, UN Office for the West Africa and the Sahel, G5 Sahel Secretariat, the AU Special envoy, members of the Peace and Security Council of the Africa Union, Regional Economic Communities, as well as select numbers of experts, academia, think tanks, research institutions, UN agencies and development partners.


For more information, please contact:

Jalal Abdel-Latif

Head, Governance and Human Security Cluster

Capacity development Division, UNECA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: +251-11-543 3367

Email : abdel-latif@un.org


Ochozias Ggaguidi,

Chef de la section des Initiatives sous régionales,

Bureau Sous régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest, CEA

Niamey, Niger

Email: ochozias@un.org  

Tel : +227 2072 7316 ; Mob : +227 9219 5762