The ousting of Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum on 26 July 2023 follows a string of military coups in the Sahel. This latest coup transcends internal power struggles and fits into a wider pattern of surging great power rivalry. Both Russia and China are seeking to strengthen their foothold in the region, increasingly contesting the presence of European countries. Furthermore, Europe’s foreign and defence policy bodies are preoccupied with managing the first major interstate war on our continent in 80 years. These developments, along with the withdrawal of French forces from Niger, have put the spotlight on Europe’s commitment towards the Sahel region.
In this conference, we will seek to answer crucial questions about Europe’s development aid to Niger. What role has development aid played in Niger’s recent history? Which major European development projects are currently in place? How is the military coup impacting these projects? Is development aid a tool of European soft power? And could it contribute to a return of Niger’s political stability and legitimacy?
To answer those questions, we will have the pleasure to welcome Dr Abdourahmane Idrissa, from the African Studies Centre at Leiden University, and Mr Jean Van Wetter, CEO of the Belgian development agency Enabel.

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Research lines: Europe; Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa

Source image: © Enabel

Evening conference

Lessons Learned from European
development projects in Niger

Conference videos
Dr Abdourahmane IDRISSA

Moderator: Simon VAN HOEYMISSEN

Language: English
Simultaneous interpretation in Dutch and French

26 October 2023, 17:00 – 18:30
> 16:30 – Registration
> 17:00 – Conference
> 18:30 – Reception

Campus Renaissance
Rue Hobbema, 8
1000 Brussels