20 June 2018

From the demographic challenge to the environment, passing by the stakes of the fight against poverty, Jean-Marc Chataigner exposes his vision of the development of the Sahel and calls upon “the pursuit of an increased international solidarity” by “an approach joint, partnership, co-built with governments, communities, local associations, populations. Spotlight on his interview.

What challenges and prospects for an integrated approach for the return to lasting peace in the Sahel?

The major challenges of the region require the pursuit of increased international solidarity because the Sahelian countries do not yet have the capacity to face them alone. We need a joint, partnership approach, co-constructed with governments, communities, local associations, populations. There needs to be an integrated approach to the different components of action of the international community, national, regional and international efforts. Through the mission entrusted to me by the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, France promotes the idea of ​​a more articulated approach to the various political and diplomatic actions, in particular for the implementation of the peace agreement in Mali, security efforts, through the establishment of the joint force of the G5 Sahel and the relay which will ultimately have to be taken in renewed approaches to development.

The Sahel Alliance, launched in 2017 by Chancellor Merkel and President Macron, aims in this direction to obtain concrete results in a limited number of sectors, on subjects essential for the future of the Sahel which have nevertheless been neglected. recent years by donors like agriculture and education. The Sahel Alliance favors an approach in terms of the effectiveness of official development assistance (ODA) and the transparency and accountability of the actions implemented, in close collaboration with the partner governments and the civil societies concerned. It intends to strengthen the targeting of donor actions on the most fragile and vulnerable areas, peripheral and distant from capitals, and promote better coordination of development programs with humanitarian and security issues.

How to rebuild a trusting and lasting partnership between France and the African continent?

Relations between France and Africa have always had a particular dimension linked to a shared history made up of difficult times, but also of an exemplary community of weapons to face the enemies of freedom. But the world of 2018 is no longer that of 1945 or even that of 1958. International relations have evolved profoundly with the end of the Cold War, the attacks of 2001, the emergence of new powers, the appearance of planetary threats which we have to face and which can cause strong nationalist withdrawals. In this new international concert, France, and through it more broadly Europe, and Africa have common interests to assert.

In his speech in Ouagadougou last November, the President of the Republic clearly laid the foundations for this new relationship to be built, notably through the call for better listening to African youth, a real change in method in the management of aid to development, “no longer build cathedrals to our glory” he even said, the priority to education, in particular that of young girls, the common fight against religious extremism and obscurantism , the launch of a reflection on the restitution of African heritage, the conditions of movement of African students and the reception of African talents, investment in the African infrastructures of tomorrow. All these subjects, I do not cite them all because the list is impressive, are crucial for the establishment of a relationship of respect, partnership and balance, alone capable of establishing lasting mutual trust in the long term between our two continents.

What are the challenges of growth, peace and security for Europe and Africa?

Africa is the site of essential economic and security issues for Europe in a rapidly changing geographical area with strong demographic development.
The takeoff of many African countries is now underway and represents commercial and investment opportunities for Europe in emerging markets. Conversely, the persistence of fragile and failed states poses a threat to both our collective security and the sustainability of African development. The strengthening of regional peace capacities and the deployment on the G5 Sahel model of African military forces capable of coping with the various threats to peace and security on the continent is therefore a fundamental priority.

The complete columnhere.