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The rise of violent extremism has become particularly acute in the West Africa and Sahel regions, and has given rise to a proliferation of international and regional responses. Regional CVE efforts are anchored by the G5 Sahel and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), while international efforts include the French Operation Barkhane and the U.S. Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP).

In this paired paper and policy brief, Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar, Osei Baffour Frimpong, analyzes regional and international approaches for CVE in West Africa, evaluates the efficacy of current mechanisms, and explores the root causes of violent extremism. He also offers recommendations for how ECOWAS, its member countries, and their international partners can improve regional responses to effectively counter violent extremism in West Africa.

The Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding (SVNP) is a continent-wide network of African policy, research and academic organizations that works with the Wilson Center’s Africa Program to bring African knowledge and perspectives to U.S., African, and international policy on peacebuilding in Africa. Established in 2011 and supported by the generous financial support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the project provides avenues for African researchers and practitioners to engage with, inform, and exchange analyses and perspectives with U.S., African, and international policymakers in order to develop the most appropriate, cohesive, and inclusive policy frameworks and approaches to achieving sustainable peace in Africa.


About the Author


Osei Baffour Frimpong

Former Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar;
Lead Regional Researcher and Conflict Analyst, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Ghana
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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, 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 US-Africa relations.    Read more