The newly allocated U.S. long-term financial assistance in West Africa aims to prevent conflict and promote stability, shifting away from direct military involvement. Sahelian jihadi violence has spilt over in coastal West Africa (primarily Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, and Togo) and the burgeoning threat is concerning. Moreover, the growing influence of Wagner Group and China in the region pressed the U.S. to put forward a new global holistic strategy to defend its interests in the region.
Key Judgement 1: While the US new strategy could be effective, its implementation is unlikely to be successful without the cooperation of local governments in the next 12 months.
Key Judgement 2: Despite VP Harris’ claims, US assistance in West Africa in the next 12 months is likely to aim, at least partly, to counter Chinese and Russian influence.
Key Judgement 3: Following the past decade’s debacles, the US is likely to take a more holistic approach in the next 12 months.