(Ecofin Agency) - On September 16, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger joined forces to establish the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), a response to shared ideals in the face of international economic sanctions following a breach of constitutional order. The Alliance convened its inaugural ministerial summit on November 25 in Bamako, the capital of Mali, bringing together ministers responsible for Economy and Finance from the three Sahelian countries.
The summit primarily centered on economic development within the Liptako-Gourma region, resulting in the adoption of 18 key recommendations. These aim to set the stage for genuine integration within the newly formed alliance. The proposed measures include enhancing the free movement of goods and people across the AES, implementing a robust food security mechanism, formulating a collective industrialization strategy for alliance states, expediting the execution of energy, agricultural, hydraulic, and transportation projects, and even considering the establishment of regional civil nuclear power projects.
This gathering follows the adoption of the Liptako-Gourma Charter on September 16, amid political tensions between the three states, all governed by military juntas, and the ECOWAS organization. The latter imposed stringent sanctions and demanded a swift return to constitutional order.
While the recommendations have been well-received by the populations of the Alliance countries, their effective implementation raises some questions. Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger remain heavily reliant on external financial, food, and humanitarian aid, often sourced from countries traditionally unsupportive of "unconstitutional changes." The economic repercussions of these stringent sanctions continue to impact the economies and financial systems of these three nations, compounded by the significant humanitarian consequences of the ongoing security crisis.