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Promoting sustainable development in the Sahel


 A community garden in Ganki, Mauritania. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

The Sahel could potentially be one of the richest regions in the world if a comprehensive and multidimensional framework like those offered by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be implemented. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Sahel countries have a great potential. The Sahel is one of the richest regions in the world thanks to its abundant natural resources, solar energy and groundwater reserves. However, various structural geopolitical, demographic, economic, social and environmental challenges have slowed its development.

At the request of the Inter-parliamentary Committee of the G5 Sahel (CIP G5 Sahel), a sub-regional parliamentary organization set up in 2017 by five countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania), the IPU organised a webinar “Understanding the Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into parliamentarians’ action” on 19 May.

Participants acquired the latest information on current challenges in the region; how SDGs are progressing; and how parliamentarians can play a crucial role in implementing them. Participants referred to Parliaments and the Sustainable Development Goals: A self-assessment toolkit, the IPU’s most translated publication, demonstrating its usefulness.

Good practice discussed included setting up a harmonized framework for monitoring and evaluating the SDGs; mobilizing internal public and private resources for financing SDG implementation; fighting corruption; and strengthening budgetary control. 

Many of the issues discussed during the webinar will be taken up at the next assembly of the CIP G5 Sahel in Bamako, Mali, in June 2021.