The Sahel and Africa’s Future in a World of Geopolitical Confrontation

Panels and Discussions

Violence and instability have been on the rise in the Sahel region of Africa over the last three years. Moreover, Russia’s multi-pronged penetration in the Sahel has made the region into a new zone of geopolitical confrontation over political influence and control of valuable resources. 

By employing disinformation campaigns and Wagner mercenaries Russia managed to create a foothold especially in the region’s countries most troubled by poor governance and violent extremism. In parallel, Western presence was diminished by the French pullout and growing anti-European and anti-US sentiment.

How does, and how should, the European Union act to stabilize and improve the situation? What implications will the Russo-Ukrainian War have for the situation in Sahel?

Emanuela Claudia Del Re took up the duties of EU Special Representative for the Sahel on 1 July 2021. Her mandate is to lead the EU's contribution to regional and international efforts for lasting peace, security and development in the Sahel. She also coordinates the EU's comprehensive approach to the regional crisis, on the basis of the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel. Emanuela Claudia Del Re is an Italian national with a long academic career, having conducted extensive research in conflict areas in the Middle East, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. She was a member of the Italian Parliament and served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Permanent Fellow and Head of Europe's Futures - Ideas for Action hosted the conversation after Emanuela Claudia Del Re’s lecture.

A recording of the livestream is available below.


Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action is IWM’s strategic partnership initiative with the ERSTE Foundation aiming to understand and address challenges posed to Europe and the European Union by the eroding of democracy, rule of law deficiencies, migratory pressures or climate change.