European Union announces €22.6 million for stability and security in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.

As part of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the European Union has announced another €22.6 million for five new programmes to foster stability and security in the Sahel and Lake Chad region. 

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “These five programmes contribute in different ways to addressing the protracted crisis in the Sahel region and advance its long-term stability and prosperity. They target the terrorist threat, the perceived impunity of criminals, and help improve governance, but they will also offer greater creative and economic opportunities for young people in the region and improve access to the internet.” 

According to a press release by the European Commission “ A €10 million programme approved under the EUTF will support the fight against impunity in Burkina Faso by making the justice system more accessible and efficient, for example by improving the functioning of the penal chain and by supporting priority projects in the justice system. 

The EUTF will also support the creation of a multi-purpose squadron of the Niger NationalGuard to enhance the security of the population and to stabilise the region. This €4.5 million programme, requested by the Home Affairs Ministry of Niger, will include capacity-building activities with a special focus on the protection of human rights, and the provision of material, including vehicles, communication equipment, bullet-proof vests, and a medically-equipped ambulance, to better confront the terrorist threat. 

The third programme, worth a little over €2 million, will contribute to the creation of Radio Jeunesse Sahel, a transnational platform to allow young people aged 15 to 35 to express themselves in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. The radio will offer innovative content on the various challenges faced by youth, and give them a space for engaging in discussion, promoting a sense of collectiveness. 

The EU will support, with just over €1 million, a technical assistance programme to strengthen the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Gambia. This is the first of phase of efforts to create universal internet access in Gambia by complementing existing internet infrastructure with 4G wireless technology and through accompanying social inclusion measures. 

Finally, a €5 million capacity-building pilot project will pave the way for the digitalisation of the Guinean civil registry system and the electronic identification of citizens. The current lack of legally certified identity documents creates numerous challenges, including rendering migrants more vulnerable to human trafficking.” 

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