UNDP: Development Must Remain a Priority in the Sahel

  Thu, 09 Nov 2023
Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa and Mar Dieye responding to questions from the press in Burkina Faso - UNDP
Ahunna Eziakonwa and Mar Dieye responding to questions from the press in Burkina Faso - UNDP

New York, 09 November 2023 - Following a ten-day visit to Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, and the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Director, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, reaffirmed the importance of redoubling sustainable development efforts at a pivotal moment for the subregion.

During their mission, Ms. Eziakonwa and Mr. Dieye met with the Mauritanian government and the transition governments of Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea, as well as various civil society organisations, including women and youth associations, and development partners, to exchange on concrete actions for transformative results that best address current development challenges in the Sahel.

“We are halfway through to the 2030 Agenda, and we absolutely must keep our foot on the acceleration pedal, particularly in the Sahel,” emphasized Ms. Eziakonwa. “Through our joint mission, we indicated our willingness to listen to Sahelians at this critical moment of transition, as well as to reinforce our commitment to supporting the peoples of the sub-region, particularly women and youth, and to multiply opportunities for inclusive and sustainable development.”

“The Sahel is being rebuilt, and it is essential to continue our development efforts, whatever the context,” stressed Mr. Dieye. “At this critical time, it is vital to continue working towards a better future for all. By engaging diverse partners across the Sahel during this mission, we have now reinvigorated our approach to development in the sub-region and other countries on the continent.”

Throughout this official visit, Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye and Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa discussed the opportunities and challenges for structural transformation in the Sahel, and reiterated UNDP's commitment to accelerating the sustainable development dynamic. They also stressed the need to work with young people and women to ensure their participation in politics and decision-making bodies, and to foster entrepreneurship, promote civic engagement and empower women and girls.

At the concluding leg of the mission, in Conakry, Guinea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Guineans Living Abroad, Dr Morisandan Kouyaté, said he was very pleased with the discussions held with the UN Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, and the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Director, summing up the feeling that prevailed since the start of the visit: "I am happy to hear a new discourse from the United Nations. I congratulated the UN Secretary-General and his emissaries on coming to Guinea. We will work together on this basis and we share the same concern: to accelerate sustainable development."

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