Countries in the Sahel are navigating a tempest of escalating pressures. The Sahel has seen the most rapid growth in violent extremist activity of any region in Africa over the past 2 years. The region is also a nexus of criminal networks and illicit trafficking and has experienced a rise in farmer-herder violence. The Sahel, moreover, has the fastest population growth rate on the continent, despite being among the poorest and facing some of the most fragile environmental conditions. Consequently, migrants from the Sahel constitute a significant share of those trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. All the while, emerging democratic institutions are trying to gain traction in the region.
As part of the 2019 Ron Brown Peace and Security Forum, the Constituency for Africa and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies hosted a public roundtable, “Strategies for Peace and Security in the Sahel,” on September 9, 2019, at the National Defense University. This half-day event featured interactive sessions with ambassadors of the G-5 Sahel countries as well as leading experts examining the drivers and responses to the region’s overlapping security challenges.