Côte d’Ivoire boosts anti-terrorism budget in the north

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Wednesday, 15 December 2021 17:13

An Ivorian soldier in M'Batto, November 2020 © ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP

At the end of November, during a tour of the northern part of the country, Mamadou Touré, the minister for the promotion of youth, professional integration and civic service, announced that a training and professional integration programme would be created for young people. Côte d’Ivoire’s government is trying to prevent young people, who are often unemployed, from being seduced by jihadists, who try to recruit them in exchange for money and motorbikes.

Originally allocated 2bn CFA francs ($3.4m), the budget for this programme has, according to our information, been increased.

It has risen to more than 8.4bn CFA francs, which has already been mobilised for 19,812 young people from six northern regions (Bagoué, Bounkani, Folon, Kabadougou, Poro, Tchologo). The state is contributing 6.6bn and the remaining 1.8bn is being financed through a debt-reduction and development contract, which was concluded with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Prime minister Patrick Achi is expected to make these new measures official in the coming days.

International Academy

Since June 2020, the north has been the target of attacks attributed to men from the Macina katiba of Amadou Koufa, a jihadist leader affiliated with the Groupe de Soutien à l’islam et aux Musulmans. To prevent its young people from being radicalised, Abidjan’s policy now consists of combining military action with development efforts in regions where the population strongly feels that it has been abandoned by the state.

Côte d’Ivoire’s other partners are also planning to launch projects in the northern part of the country during the first quarter of 2022. In early December, the Ivorian authorities, the United Nations Development Programme and the AFD held a meeting to coordinate actions in these regions.

The European Union (EU) is currently finalising programmes with Abidjan to monitor the borders and gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of the illegal gold trade in Tengrela – a possible source of funding for jihadists – as well as steps to promote inter-community dialogue. The EU is also expected to support the development of the Académie Internationale de Lutte Contre le Terrorisme, which was inaugurated on 10 June in Jacqueville.

Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options