Long neglected by outside powers, the Sahel region stands at the strategic nexus of a number of growing challenges facing the African continent, Europe, and the wider Middle East. This one-day conference brought together leading U.S., European, and African experts to examine trends that drive fragility across the Sahel region, including weak and unaccountable governance, transnational organized crime, religious radicalization, poor natural resource management, rapid population growth, inequalities and exclusion, secessionist movements, and climate change.

Panels of experts discussed current political and conflict dynamics within the Sahel, the medium-term outlook for the region, and the role of international actors in supporting solutions to the Sahel’s challenges. The conference also addressed the conflict in Libya and how it impacts the Sahel.

This conference was a part of the FRIDE project "The Fragile Sahel: A Challenge for Europe," carried out in cooperation with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


8:30 to 9:00 a.m.

9:00 to 10:30 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks

Security Challenges in the Sahel 

10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Development Challenges in the Sahel

  • Kamissa Camara, National Endowment of Democracy
  • Clare Castillejo, FRIDE
  • Alec Crawford, International Institute for Sustainable Development 
  • Moderator: Giovanni Grevi, FRIDE 

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Keynote

  • Amanda J. Dory, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs 

1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Libya’s Conflicts, Rivalries, and Role in Regional Instability

  • Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Rebecca Murray, McClatchy News
  • Fiona Mangan, United States Institute of Peace
  • Moderator: Karim Mezran, Atlantic Council