Securitisation initiatives and the lingering security challenges in Sub-Saharan Sahel region: An appraisal
Security in the Sahel region has traditionally been studied through a realist prism, emphasising military concerns and the pre-eminent influence of great powers in shaping local security concerns. The paper reviews the securitisation initiatives in Africa's Sahel. It specifically explores Buzan and Waever's ‘securitisation' framework to re-evaluate securitising discourse and the contemporary initiatives of the EU, France and the U.S.A. in the Sahelian States. Its main observation is that the central security actors in the Sahel have over the years paid less attention to the securitisation of threats in the region. The paper provides indicators of successful securitisation, which includes but goes beyond speech acts. It underscores the reality that though the securitisation of Africa's Sahel has helped to legitimise the ‘war on terrorism', it has very little to offer for Africa’s development problems. The paper posits that securitisation, though a laudable initiative, does not sufficiently address root causes of terrorism, which are not military but social and economic. It thus recommends a holistic approach to addressing the security challenges in the Sahel; which must include: providing increased safe access for those who want to work in the West while also assisting to create economic prospects and opportunities in the region.