Global Fund to Prevent Violent Extremism Appoints Special Envoy for Africa

Global Fund to Prevent Violent Extremism Appoints Special Envoy for Africa

Global Fund to Prevent Violent Extremism Appoints Special Envoy for Africa

Global Fund to Prevent Violent Extremism Appoints Special Envoy for Africa

Geneva, 16 February 2024:
 The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) today announced the appointment of Mr Maman Sambo Sidikou as the organisation’s Special Envoy for Africa. As GCERF’s Special Envoy, his mandate will be to leverage further visibility and financial support for the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) channeled through GCERF’s global grant-funding model. The appointment was announced as GCERF enters its tenth year since the launch of the global fund for prevention of violent extremism.

“Violent extremism has been a destabilising force in countries which have been a focus throughout my career, and many now face even stronger headwinds,” said Mr Sidikou. “This is a cause which is close to my heart. I’m convinced of GCERF’s added value as an effective partner to African States and am delighted to become the organisation’s Special Envoy for Africa.”

Once Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador of Niger to the United States, Mr Sidikou’s subsequent diplomatic roles spanned more than a decade including in the services of the United Nations where he had served as the Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the African Union, firstly serving as Special Representative for Somalia and most recently as High Representative for Mali and the Sahel. The Special Envoy will act as GCERF’s representative and advocate vis a vis existing and future implementing partner countries in Africa, as well as donor governments.

“Since GCERF was launched, global leaders and champions who have lent their voices to the PVE cause have played an important role in our success,” said Dr Khalid Koser, Executive Director of GCERF. “The support of the Special Envoy brings this leverage to a new level, and Mr Sidikou’s distinguished career and deep engagement in the region will be of great benefit to GCERF.”

In the lead-up to his appointment, Mr Sidikou chaired the first meeting of a GCERF ‘Group of Friends’ comprised of current African State partners, convened during GCERF’s latest meeting of its Governing Board. Participants in the Group of Friends include delegates of Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Tunisia; countries in which GCERF supports civil society organisations which are working to reduce and prevent risk of violent extremism.


Based in Geneva, Switzerland, GCERF is a global fund making grants to support community-led projects in countries where the risk of violent extremism is high. GCERF supports more than 358 civil society partners around the world with grants of an initial duration of three years. Projects supported by GCERF aim to reach vulnerable individuals and communities, equipping them to be better able to counter violent extremist rhetoric and efforts to recruit new members.

The new grants will build in features to ensure continuity beyond the period where the countries receive GCERF funding. Long-term sustainability of community-led initiatives is a key feature of all GCERF grants. To date, projects supported by GCERF have reached more than three million people directly at risk of radicalisation and recruitment, at an average cost of only USD 39 per person.

To learn more about GCERF please visit:

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