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Spain hands over the Sahel Alliance presidency to Germany

Minister Albares highlights access to basic services and support for women during Spain's three-year presidency of the Sahel Alliance

July 10, 2023

The 4th General Assembly of the Sahel Alliance, held in Nouakchott (Mauritania), has just hosted the handover of the presidency for this platform, which coordinates development partners in the Sahel, with Spain handing the baton over to Germany after three years.

During the opening ceremony of the Assembly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, congratulated Germany after taking over the Alliance's presidency, and underscored the Alliance's goal of responding more effectively to the needs of the people of the Sahel in a particularly difficult environment.

Albares, who spoke via videoconference, expressed his concern about the food insecurity situation and the impact of the climate and security crisis in the region. "Spain believes that the link between security, development and climate change is crucial," the minister emphasised when he introduced this issue as a key focus for this 4th General Assembly of the Sahel Alliance, which is undertaking the new G5 Sahel Security and Development Strategy.

The minister took the opportunity to take stock of Spain's mandate during these three years of presidency, which has seen Spain promote priority issues for the region, such as access to basic services, support for women and their political and economic empowerment, the commitment to youth as an engine for development, the impact of climate change on security and development, and the response to new worrying phenomena such as the spread of the Sahel crises to coastal countries or disinformation.

Milestones of the Spanish Presidency

Minister Albares highlighted the work of the Spanish Cooperation in the region, aligned with the Alliance’s goals, to promote adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its effects in order to build more resilient, greener and more sustainable societies.
Specifically, the work of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in the Sahel was highlighted, with initiatives to improve the resilience of local communities to the impacts of phenomena such as droughts, floods and desertification. These initiatives include the support of the Spanish Cooperation in Niger for the National System of Prevention of Food Crises, or the EU's DESIRA initiative, which AECID participates in, whose objective is to develop climate-resilient agricultural systems to improve food security for families.

The minister outlined some of the milestones of the Spanish presidency's work, such as the development of a joint action plan in the department of Ayouru (Niger), one of the most notable examples of donor coordination in the most vulnerable regions, or the work of the Alliance's communication group to address and combat the phenomenon of misinformation.​