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Ground Truth Briefing: U.S. Interests and Engagement in the Sahel: Current State, Key Issues, and the Way Ahead

Please join the Wilson Center Africa Program for a Ground Truth Briefing on “U.S. Interests and Engagement in the Sahel: Current State, Key Issues, and the Way Ahead” with Dr. J. Peter Pham, U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel Region of Africa, on Thursday, September 24 from 9:30-10:30 am Eastern Time (U.S.). This event will be held as a teleconference call, and connection details will be sent out to registered participants before the event.

Date & Time

Sep. 24, 2020
9:30am – 10:30am

Ground Truth Briefing: U.S. Interests and Engagement in the Sahel: Current State, Key Issues, and the Way Ahead

Please join the Wilson Center Africa Program for a Ground Truth Briefing on “U.S. Interests and Engagement in the Sahel: Current State, Key Issues, and the Way Ahead” with Dr. J. Peter Pham, U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahel Region of Africa, on Thursday, September 24 from 9:30-10:30 am Eastern Time (U.S.). Dr. Pham will provide an update on the current U.S. interests and engagement in the Sahel, give insights into the key issues facing the region and what the U.S. is doing to address them, and what he sees as the way forward for addressing insecurity in the region. This event will be held as a teleconference call, and connection details will be sent out to registered participants before the event. 

The countries of the Sahel face a series of multifaceted and interrelated challenges. Mali is in the midst of political upheaval.  Violent extremist organizations (VEOs) pose a critical threat to the region’s security. Violence in the region has increased over the last 5 years and continues to spread in spite of national, regional, and international efforts. Persistent underdevelopment remains a key challenge, with many Sahelian countries ranking near the bottom of the United Nations 2019 Human Development Index. Corruption, inequality, and a lack of public services continue to undermine confidence in many  governments in the region. The Sahel is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which threatens to intensify these existing challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of complexity to this already tenuous context.

The United States remains a key partner for the countries of the Sahel through long-standing development and humanitarian assistance; its support for peacebuilding, economic development, and governance projects; and support to governments, regional organizations, and international military efforts to combat VEOs. This commitment was underlined by the creation of the position of the Special Envoy for the Sahel Region, the role to which Dr. Pham was appointed in March 2020 and where he is responsible for coordinating America’s engagement in the Sahel region.


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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.–Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, including our blog Africa Up Close, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more