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International Workshop on Germany's West Africa Policy, Dakar, Senegal, 12th-13th February 2020

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WAI Director General, Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré, participated in the International Workshop on Germany's West Africa policy, held from 12th-13th February 2020 at the Fleur de Lys Hotel Plateau in Dakar, Senegal.

The workshop was organized by the Institute for Theology and Peace (ITHF) and Helmut-Schmidt-University (HSU), both academic institutions located in Hamburg, Germany. 

On Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the eve of the holding of the event, the participants were invited to visit the Gorée Island, UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 

Some insights :

The German engagement is focused on five key sectors:

1) Peacebuilding - 2) Development - 3) Migration - 4) Working with African Partners - 5) More cooperation with Civil Society

The current population of Western Africa is 397,583,077 as of Tuesday, February 4, 2020, based on the latest United Nations estimates.

Western Africa population is equivalent to 5.16% of the total world population.

Western Africa ranks number 2 in Africa among subregions ranked by population.

The population density in Western Africa is 66 per Km2 (172 people per km2).

The total land area is 6,064,060 km2.

47.7 % of the population is urban (191,841,724 people in 2019).

The median age in Western Africa is 18.2 years.

The workshop begun on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, with the opening remarks of :

Prof. Dr. Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven (ITHF) 

Prof. Dr. Michael Staack (HSU) 

Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré (WAI

Prof. Dr. Oumar Ndongo (CEDS Centre for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies of the Cheickh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD

The four speakers stressed the importance of the workshop for the implementation of the new Germany's West Africa policy and the relevance of the themes identified by the organizers and the Scientific Committee of the workshop.

They insisted that terrorism in the whole African continent, in particularly the West African region is currently a real threat for the entire world and specifically for women and children who are the first victims of the plague.

They also underlined that terror attacks are the consequence of multiple problems, for instance: issues of governance, poverty, social inequalities and inequality of chance, unemployment leading to rebellions, Jihadism, social divisions questioning the democratic process and the economic development.

Explaining that the current situation had become highly alarming and very much challenging they expressed their conviction that the reflections issues of the panels would lead to relevant recommendations.

IMG 6390Four Panels were set up in order to analyze the workshop theme :

Panel 1: “Empowerment of Women: Education, Healthcare, Jobs”

Adelaide Ekua Mrenfoa Otoo
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC, Accra, Ghana)

Alex I. Tendeng
Director Caritas Saint-Louis, Senegal

Lillian Kuutiero
Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC, Accra, Ghana) (Commentary) 

Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré
West Africa Institute (WAI, Cabo Verde) (Chair) 

Key questions: How can educational opportunities, healthcare provision and economic integration of women be enhanced? What are the most pressing and expedient priorities in these areas? Are German policies already meeting these requirements? 

Panel 2: “Peace Process in Mali – Prospects for Peace and Stability?” 

Prof. Dr. Omorou Touré
University of Juridical and Political Sciences of Bamako (USJPB, Mali) 

Rémy Diousse
Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung), Dakar, Senegal) (Commentary) 

Sonja Nietz
Helmut-Schmidt-University (HSU, Hamburg, Germany) (Chair) 

Key questions: Why is the Malian peace process not progressing?
What general measures can be taken in order to support the peace process? Can Germany contribute to an improved development of Mali?IMG 6391

Thursday, February 13, 2020 

Panel 3: “Organizing Regional Cooperation: ECOWAS and G5 Sahel – Interlocking or Interblocking?” 

Prof. Dr. Oumar Ndongo
Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques (CEDS, Senegal)

Prof. Dr. Michael Staack

Helmut Schmidt University (HSU, Hamburg, Germany) (Chair)

Dr. Claire Demesmay
German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, Germany) (Commentary) 

Key questions: How has the G5 Sahel capacity-building process developed so far? Did the strong focus by Germany, France and the European Union on this institution actually prove effective in practice? How could the ECOWAS be successfully strengthened alongside G5 Sahel ? 

Panel 4: “On the right track? Compact with Africa and Economic Partnership Agreements” 

Rémy Diousse

Peace and Security Centre of Competence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES, Dakar, Senegal) 

Dr. Habib Yaya Habbah, ECOWAS Commission (Nigeria) 

Prof. Dr. Omorou Touré,
University of Juridical and Political Sciences of Bamako (USJPB, Mali) (Commentary) 

Key questions: How is the Compact with Africa approach assessed by West African countries? Are the Compact approach and Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) reasonably and effectively complementing each other? Which substantive modifications of these two concepts are deemed particularly urgent? 

IMG 6388Participants in the workshop were also:

Thomas Mättig
Resident Reprensentative Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Dakar, Senegal 

Philipp M. Goldberg 

Peace and Security Centre of Competence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES, Dakar, Senegal) 

Dr. Thérèse Samaké
Université Catholique de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, Unité Universitaire de Bamako (UCAO-UUBA), Bamako, Mali

Dr. Marco Schrage
Institute for Theology and Peace (ITHF), Hamburg, Germany

Dr. Christiane Agboton Johnson
Centre des Hautes Etudes de Défense et de Sécurité (CHEDS), Dakar, Sénégal 

Preliminary Results: Roundtable Discussion 

Lillian Kuutiero, Prof. Dr. Oumar Ndongo, Prof. Dr. Michael Staack, Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré, (Chair): Prof. Dr. Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven 

The workshop ended with a dialogue session intertitled : “Next generation: Expectations for Germany/European Union” by young social scientists from UCAD (Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar)” with the German Ambassador to Senegal, HE Stephan Röken.

Chair: Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré, Prof. Dr. Michael Staack and Sonia Nietz.

The discussions of the meeting have allowed to better identified the key sectors  for a 'win - win" partnership between  Germany and West Africa:   

Development focused on peacebuilding and security.

Scientific research.

Experience sharing in the domain of vocational training and higher education.

Capacity building and technical support.

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