Special Initiatives


UN Support Plan for the SAHEL (EN)

Le Plan de soutien de I'ONU pour Ie SAHEL (FR)

Harnessing renewable energy development in the SAHEL (EN)

Enhancing prosperity of women and youth in the SAHEL (EN)

Our work in the SAHEL


To better coordinate the work of the UN system and to facilitate the cooperation between the 30 different agencies working in the Sahel region, the Secretary General on 21 March 2018 has appointed Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, former Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser for the Sahel.

In support of the action of the Special Adviser and thanks to the intervention of the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development (ACSD) and UNDP, Italy provided funding of 1.500.000 EUR which helped realize the surge capacity needed to fast track implementation of UNISS. This included the establishment of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Sahel in Dakar, Senegal.

The generous support of the Italian government was given through the Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) on a cost-sharing basis under the auspices of ACSD with the goal of promoting the Sahel as the Land of Opportunities.

Since its inception, The Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for the Sahel (OSAS) has made significant progress on:

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Set-up of a common framework to streamline programmatic activities towards joint programs and trans boundary initiatives incorporating the New Way of Working principles;
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Mainstreaming of programs development principles emphasizing the nexuses of peace, security, humanitarian and development;
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Launch of two groups of transformative initiatives for economic growth, job creation, livelihoods and poverty reduction targeting women and youth in the region;
  • The Integrated Value Chain Climate Resilient Agriculture initiative comprised sustainable agriculture production systems; de-risking private sector agribusiness investments and climate insurance schemes; primary sector value chain industrial enterprises development covering a wide range of agricultural products including food and cash crops, fishery and pastoralism;
  • The Renewable Energy for Development initiative entailed powering the agriculture value chain; driving demand for energy services, stimulating rural growth through energy enterprises development in off-grid energy production, distribution and marketing; enhancing social services delivery in health, education and housing sectors.
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Building strategic partnerships with main stakeholders associated with the Sahel including G5 Sahel Secretariat, Alliance for Sahel, Sahel Special Envoys from the EU, the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, foundations such as Bill and Melinda Gates hastening resource mobilization and implementation of concrete programs; Changing of the Sahel’s narrative, usually focused on its challenges such as violence and conflict, extremism and terrorism, shocks and vulnerabilities, to articulate one that inspires hope with an emphasis on the inherent opportunities in energy, natural resources and new potential markets. For more information please visit: https://unowas.unmissions.org/