Where We Work

Mali

Context

GCERF delineates the Sahel within the context of the Group of Five Countries for the Sahel, also known as G5 Sahel, the intergovernmental body to promote regional cooperation in development and security matters. Our focus is on the central Sahel region covering Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Our engagement in the region will directly bolster the implementation of National Action Plans of the three countries working in partnership with local, national, regional, and global partners. Our work began in Mali in 2016 followed by Burkina Faso and Niger in 2021.

The Sahel is one of the most deprived regions in the world. It is home to several fragile and conflict-affected states, each ranking low on the UN Human Development Index and beset by multidimensional conflicts. These conflicts have created fertile environments for violent extremism and organised crime in an already fragile regional context. The region is also a source of criminal activities, including human trafficking and the smuggling of people, drugs, and weapons.

Mali is currently ranked 7 on the Global Terrorism Index of 2022. According to the 2022 Global Terrorism Index, Islamic State accounted for 35 per cent of the total global deaths due to terrorism in the Sahel, in 2021.

The main drivers of violent extremism are youth unemployment, farmer/herder conflicts and governance-related grievances. VE groups exploit these tensions and insecurities by communicating narratives of injustice and by providing protection in exchange for loyalty.

 

Country Statistics

Country Statistics

STORIES FROM THE GROUND

Empowering women and youth through workshops

I am learning for the first time, through these participatory diagnostics workshop, that a citizen has the right to challenge an elected local official on the management of communal affairs. 

– Youth participant in Douentza

Pathways to Change

Baseline studies conducted by GCERF grantees revealed that unemployment, poverty, lack of access to basic social services, and the lack of economic opportunities result in frustrations that contribute to a feeling of exclusion and marginalisation.

Violent extremist groups take advantage of this situation and offer young people financial and material incentives to enlist them. Violent extremists exploit public perceptions of poor governance with a discourse that claims fight to corruption, impunity, and offer alternative solutions.

GCERF works with youth, women, religious and tradition leaders, farmers and herders, students and local authorities to:

  • Raise awareness on radicalisation and effective responses.
  • Promote community engagement.
  • Provide positive social and economic alternatives to what violent extremist group claim to offer.
heart-image

31,500 community members were directly engaged in activities to enhance their sense of belonging to an inclusive community.

297 PVE radio shows (in the languages Bambara, Dogon, Fulani, French, and Songhay) were broadcast in the programme locations, in addition to reaching listeners across the border in Burkina Faso. Some imams use the free air time granted to them by local stations to spread PVE messages based on the GCERF-funded programme training materials. Further, GCERF’s Malian grantees engage local radio reporters in other activities. As local celebrities, they have been invited to host graduation ceremonies of vocational training.

heart-image

24,000 community members participated in activities including:

  • 133 community watch groups monitored unusual behaviour and directed concerns to a local chief and/or mayor
  • 123 village/district community dialogues raised awareness of recruitment and radicalisation to violent extremism, and how to guide at-risk individuals to the help they need
  • 110 activities built the capacity of community and religious leaders in conflict resolution, resulting in an increase in mediation requests
  • 100 griots (oral historians) were trained to spread PVE messages through music, storytelling, and poems
heart-image

10,617 vulnerable individuals (2,936 men and 7,681 women) benefitted from economic empowerment and livelihood support.

3,242 individuals in rural and urban settings received training on vocational skills relevant to the local environment, as well as business management and entrepreneurship

1,287 individuals benefited from increased access to microcredit or savings mechanisms (Due to the high-risk security environment, many credit mechanisms have deserted the Malian countryside, and GCERF grantees have provided alternative savings solutions to programme participants.)

877 individuals were trained in organisational management, including how to build contacts with other associations, networks, and platforms

heart-image

6,304 vulnerable individuals – including disadvantaged women and children – participated in activities to enhance self-worth through confidence-building and critical thinking/life skills training.

1,410 talibé (pupils of Quranic schools) received vocational and entrepreneurship training, start-up funding, individualised career coaching, and PVE and civic education training

1,905 disadvantaged children (who had dropped out or never attended school) were supported in returning to school

1,287 disadvantaged women received intensive literacy courses and vocational training to enable them to join the work force and to participate actively in community affairs

Local Partners in Mali<br>

Local Partners in Mali

PARTNER IN OUR WORK

Invest in the
Future of Mali

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

Peace, Justice & Strong Institution

Peace, Justice & Strong Institution

No Poverty

Quality Education

Quality Education

Gender Equality

Gender Equality

Decent Work & Economic Growth

Decent Work & Economic Growth

Reduced Inequalities

Reduced Inequalities

Partnership for The Goals

Partnership for The Goals

These goals are based on those set forward in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nation Member States in 2015