Prevention of radicalisation in Africa: exchange of experiences with African experts at a meeting in Dakar

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Dakar, Senegal, March 2018 — Efus, represented by Yves van de Vloet, associate expert, took part in a meeting on the prevention of radicalisation organised in Dakar (Senegal) on the occasion of the Quinzaine de la Francophonie (the Francophonie fortnight), on 22 March. The meeting also gathered David Morin, who holds the UNESCO chair on the prevention of radicalisation, Carol Mottet, expert in the prevention of extremism and Councillor at the Swiss federal department of Foreign Affairs, Bakary Sambé, Director of the Observatory on radicalism and religious conflict in Africa, Moulaye Hassane, head of department at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Institute of the University of Niamey (Niger), and Adam Thiam, editorialist at the Républicain du Mali.  

A major social and political phenomenon in Africa

Even though it is doesn’t get a lot of coverage in western media, radicalisation has spread throughout Africa, in particular in West Africa, in recent years and it is a motive for concern not only for African governments but also for the international community. Since the rise of movements such Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Al-Shabab in Somalia, radical Islamism has become a major social and political phenomenon in Africa.

Its causes vary from one country to another, but it is interesting to note that according to a study carried out in the suburbs of Dakar by Bakary Sambé, 45% of young people say that it is poverty that can lead people to extremism, as opposed to only 19% who say that religion is the main factor.[1]

Being able to answer to the aspirations of young Africans and strengthen their resilience to extremist propaganda has thus become a priority. Panellists at the round table exchanged their experience and views on the possible causes and responses, such as prevention and restorative justice. How to support families and make them resilient? How to manage returnees? What role can women play in the fight against radicalisation? These were the main themes discussed.

Efus as a partner of African local authorities

Efus has long had numerous links with African cities and institutions, and it makes available its expertise in urban security, including the prevention of radicalisation, to interested African local authorities. The Forum offers trainings, publications resulting from European projects, or tailored support and consultancy.

In addition, Efus will take part in the Préventica Fair of Casablanca (Morocco) on 26, 27 and 28 April. There will be several conferences, including “A territorial approach for social cohesion and security” and “The prevention and management of incivilities and violence at large events”. More information on www.preventica.ma

 

[1] Jeune Afrique, ‘Jihadisme : l’Afrique en passe de perdre la bataille contre la radicalisation des jeunes ?’ (novembre 2016)

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