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Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso Embark on Ambitious Plans for Political and Economic Integration

Source: https://www.islamchannel.tv/

In a surprising move, the leaders of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso are laying the groundwork for a confederation under the banner of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), signalling a significant shift away from the established regional blocs.

General Abdourahamane Tiani of Niger unveiled plans for a multifaceted alliance, encompassing political, economic, and monetary dimensions. He noted that their endeavour aims to foster deeper ties among the neighbouring nations, the three countries are currently under military rule following coups in recent years.

During a meeting in Bamako, the top diplomats of the AES deliberated extensively, underscoring the pivotal role of diplomacy, defense, and development in consolidating the envisaged political and economic integration, as reported by Africanews.

Reports have it that the recommendations stemming from these discussions are slated to be presented to the heads of state at an upcoming summit in Bamako.

Key proposals put forth by the countries’ economy and finance ministers included the establishment of a stabilisation fund, an investment bank, and the formation of a committee tasked with studying an economic and monetary union. They established that these measures sought to fortify the economic foundations of the nascent confederation.

The military leaders, under the Liptako-Gourma Charter, formalised the AES with a mutual defense pact signed in mid-September, reinforcing their commitment to collective security within the region.

However, the envisioned departure from the West African monetary union, particularly the use of the West African CFA franc—a currency tied to the Euro at about €1 =  CFA 655.957, and viewed by some as a vestige of colonialism—could further isolate the AES countries from the broader West African Economic Community.

Despite the consistent clamour from ECOWAS to return to democratic governance, the military juntas remain steadfast in their pursuit of an independent path.

General Ibrahim Traoré of Burkina Faso echoed sentiments of solidarity with Mali and Niger, affirming that the AES extends beyond a defense pact, projecting its evolution toward a robust economic alliance and more.

While concrete timelines and finer details of this ambitious confederation remain undisclosed, the resolve of these Sahel nations to forge ahead with their vision for a politically and economically integrated bloc signifies a monumental departure from established regional norms, Reuters reported.

As these plans take shape, eyes turn toward the upcoming summit in Bamako, where the future course of the Alliance of Sahel States may well be charted.

 

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