Washington, D.C., 10 May 2016 -- In response to an invitation by the United Sates Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for Africa Abdoulaye Mar Dieye took part today in a briefing event on Instability in Africa in Washington D.C.
The two-part panel focused on ongoing threats in Africa’s so-called “Arc of Instability”, a region which encompasses the Sahel, the Lake Chad Region and the Horn of Africa.
Joining Abdoulaye Dieye were Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for Africa, Linda Etim USAID Assistant Administrator for Africa, and Justin Siberel U.S. State Department Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.
In his statement to the Foreign Relations Committee, Abdoulaye Mar mentioned the human toll brought about by violent extremism in Africa (which has reportedly claimed the lives of 35,000 on the continent since 2011 and caused 6 million people to flee their homes) and outlined UNDP’s targeted and development-based initiative to counter it.
“We support employment creation, and we work with local governments to strengthen public administration and the extension of state authority.”, said Mr. Dieye
Speaking to the root causes of violent extremism and its impact, Abdoulaye Dieye also stressed UNDP’s focus on “epicenter, spill-over, and at risk countries” and on “supporting regional institutions, governments, communities and at-risk individuals to address the drivers and related factors”.
To that end, he also mentioned UNDP Africa's recent 'mapping initiative' aimed at better understanding the mechanics of radicalization among the youth in affected countries.
Violent extremism has affected the economies of various African countries, as attested by a 45% decline in Tunisia’s tourism industry and the contraction of Chad’s G.D.P growth rate to 1% down from 5% in 2011.
“For Africa to meet its full development potential, preventing and responding to violent extremism is a key. This will require coordinated and collaborative partnerships between governments, developments partners and civil groups” Mr. Dieye said in closing.
To access the video of the hearing please visit: http://1.usa.gov/278NaSB
In Washington D.C.: Leanne Rios, Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
In New York: Lamine Bal, Communications Specialist, email@example.com,