19 Feb 2014 In a clear demonstration of the famous adage that united we stand, the leaders of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso have agreed to create a regional organization to strengthen cooperation on development and security in the Sahel region; the belt of land south of the Sahara desert which runs across Africa from Mauritania in the west to Sudan in the east.

The Zambezian tells us that Mauritania will host the headquarters of the new grouping, dubbed the G5 Sahel, and its President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will initially take the chair, according to a statement issued after a meeting in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott

President Abdel Aziz is quoted as saying “There is no lasting development without security nor enduring security without effective development. We have agreed to unite our efforts to tackle this double challenge of security and lasting development in the Sahel.”

We are informed that ministers from the five nations would work together to identify priority investment projects and seek sources of international financing, focusing on areas such as infrastructure, food security, agriculture and pastoralism.

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