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In this blog post published by IRIN, editor Obi Anyadike draws attention to the many challenges faced by African cities. three key findings: 1) African cities are crowded, “but not economically dense.” 2) African cities are disconnected. 3) African cities are costly, both for residents and businesses. The rapid urban growth is outpacing policy reforms. It is time for urgent reforms in African cities. Read on
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Laurent Bossard, director of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat, talks about the region's key challenges and the issue of youth employment. The interview was conducted on the sidelines of the Sahel and West Africa Week 2017 in Cotonou, Benin. Read on
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Conflict, drought and food price inflation are the main causes of food insecurity in Nigeria. The Boko Haram conflict has displaced massive numbers of people and has put more pressure on food resources in the northeastern part of the country, where violence is leading to a decline in agricultural production and is depriving farmers of stable incomes. Nutrition interventions need to be extended across the country, and involve related issues, such as maternal nutrition. Read on
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Laurent Bossard, Director of the SWAC Secretariat, and the economist Jean-Marie Cour were invited to the programme “Eco d’ici Eco d’ailleurs” on RFI, a French public radio channel, where they discussed the issue of rural migration in Africa. They lamented the often-false perception of this phenomenon, which shows how difficult it is for observers and development actors to change the paradigm when it comes to how the continent’s transformations are analysed. Read on
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The ambush that killed four American soldiers in Niger on 4 October has stirred up a public debate in the US. The controversy over the nature of the US intervention in Niger has been fuelled by the US military’s lack of transparency about this operation. With the need to step up the fight against Boko Haram, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the region, the United States may increase its presence and abandon the low-profile strategy that it has preferred until recently. Read on
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In an interview given to the Swiss Co-operation and published in the June 2017 edition of Africa Brief, Laurent Bossard, director of the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD), highlighted some key challenges of cross-border co-operation. He pointed out that half the population of West Africa lives within 100-km of a border, where nothing stops “except the policies." Read on
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“Throwing big bags of money at a country embroiled in a civil war is not the solution to a migration issue,” says Sophie in 't Veld in a blog post published on the website of The Guardian. Individual EU countries cannot cope with migration flows by themselves, but Europe can as a whole. She says that Europe needs a realistic plan to tackle illegal migration. Read on
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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed in principle to Morocco’s membership request at its 51st summit in Monrovia, Liberia on 4 June. An article published in the African Business magazine by the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC‑OECD) analyses the role of Morocco in West Africa and the implications of its future ECOWAS membership. Read on
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In its contribution to the OECD Yearbook, the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat recalls that Nigeria’s food crisis requires structural responses to restore trust and build an inclusive, resilient society throughout the country. The Nigerian crisis reflects the importance of inclusion. What started as a localised Nigerian crisis quickly grew into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Beyond the immediate humanitarian emergency, the Nigerian crisis requires three long-term response strategies. Read on
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SWAC Secretariat Director Laurent Bossard participated in the weekly radio podcast “Affaires étrangères” (Foreign Affairs) presented by Christine Ockrent on France Culture. In his contribution, Laurent Bossard recalled that Africa is a continent in progress, notably in the field of food security. Read on

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