The "ACTS" project (Support for cross-border cooperation in the Sahel)

September 2016

The "ACTS" project (Support for cross-border cooperation in the Sahel)

The "ACTS" project* was launched in February 2015 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development.** It is a Priority Solidarity Fund project financed by France. It aims to help Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso preserve their sovereignty through better management of border regions with respect to security and local development.

It has the following objectives:
- to improve the management of borders in order to combat terrorism and provide governments with tools to do this;
- to establish trust between different populations;
- and to implement inclusive projects in areas such as education, healthcare, water, agriculture, policing, the legal system and customs.

The project encourages the participation of international organisations and donors, particularly in the study phase prior to the identification of projects. It aims to gradually widen its scope to include other border regions.

Regarding implementation, a major study-assessment phase has been launched, oriented towards security and development issues. The submission of an audit report in the spring of 2016 marked the conclusion of this first phase, at a major seminar in Ouagadougou on 30-31 May.

In parallel, a process of consultation of populations has been carried out, with the aim of gathering their perceptions of security issues, their relations with government departments and their views of development priorities in the region. The first cross-border development micro-projects have also been launched, notably in the areas of healthcare and energy.

The project is now entering a phase of concrete implementation. Several "concept notes" on projects relating to the topics of security, customs, the legal system and development, have been presented in order to obtain funding either from donors invited to the presentation seminar or by the EU's Trust Fund. The MOT is likely to provide assistance to such projects.

This project illustrates the new integrated approach to borders combining security and development, which was debated at the policy forum on 7 July 2016.

More info [FR]

* ACTS : "Appui à la coopération transfrontalière au Sahel"
** By the Security and Defence Cooperation Directorate, with the collaboration of the Directorate General for Globalisation, Development and Partnerships.

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