Speeches Shim

Countering Violent Extremism

Peace and Governance Participants Speaking
Participants speak during a live round table broadcast on the state of emergency at radio station in Ayourou, Niger, July 26, 2018.

Despite progress made in promoting economic growth, consolidating democratic norms, reducing the rates of HIV/AIDS, and protecting the environment, much of West Africa continues to suffer the devastating effects of conflict and violence.

USAID/West Africa’s Peace and Governance program aims to strengthen systems of non-violent conflict management in West Africa at local, national and regional levels by focusing on countering violent extremism (CVE) and promoting conflict early warning and response.

USAID/West Africa aims to reduce sympathy and support for Boko Haram, AQIM, ISIS-WA, and similar organizations by strengthening resistance to violent extremism in communities at risk of recruitment and radicalization.  USAID/West Africa works with regional institutions like the G5 Sahel to build African capacity to proactively preempt the spread of violent extremism (VE) in the region. It also targets change at national and local levels through research, trainings, partnerships, disseminating information, and other programmatic efforts. Additionally, USAID prioritizes an interagency approach and collaborates with the State Department and the Department of Defense to bring a whole of government approach to bear on this critical challenge.  To this end, USAID/West Africa hosts a Military Liaison Officer to ensure effective communication and coordination.

The West Africa mission coordinates closely with other USAID CVE-relevant programming in the region, including USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), which has ongoing cohesion and transition activities throughout the region. Together with OTI and our Military Liaison Officer, USAID/West Africa coordinates initiatives and develops responses through a CVE Unit.


Conflict Early Warning and Response

Peace and Governance Observers in Sierra Leone
Training of election observers in Sierra Leone

West African countries have experienced frequent incidents of violent conflict. Although the causes of state fragility and political instability in the region are deeply rooted and structural in nature, there have been occasions when large scale violence and instability have been sparked by political transitions  or election-related processes. Despite best intentions embodied in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and the Conflict Prevention Framework, violence is still commonplace during elections in the region. Conflict prevention and early detection and response are therefore seen as critical conflict mitigation priorities by West African governments. Strengthening early warning and response around key elections and working with government and nongovernment stakeholders across West African states and  in the region is essential to increasing stability and reducing the potential for future conflicts.

Learn More (factsheets and links for all projects and activities)

Voices for Peace (V4P)

Partnerships for Peace (P4P)

Peace through Evaluation, Learning, and Adapting (PELA)

Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data in West Africa (REWARD)

Preventing violent Extremism Actions through increased social Cohesion Efforts (PEACE)