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Mitigating the risks of violent radicalization among youth in Mali and Senegal

The West African region is facing a rapid rise in violent extremism in which young people are the main actors. Faced with these challenges, states, local actors, and international institutions have suggested solutions in the form of policies, laws, and programs. However, these solutions are poorly informed by evidence-based data. The little research that does exist on these issues often takes the form of studies of opinion and perception, which do not allow for in-depth analysis or the development of viable solutions to counter the involvement of young people in violent extremism. This research will help to fill these gaps.

Under the responsibility of the Université Gaston-Berger in Saint-Louis, Senegal, researchers from the Timbuktu Institute in Senegal and the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Mali will apply a mixed and comparative methodology to groups of young men and women (18 to 35 years) from the border regions, which are characterized by lawlessness and seem to be fertile ground for the recruitment of young jihadists. The researchers will clarify, document, and analyze the underlying causes, as well as the individual and collective resilience factors in the involvement of young people in violent extremist movements. These results will be used to suggest tools, approaches, and strategies that can be replicated in West Africa to develop policies and programs that can qualitatively transform the experience of young people and their communities, thereby contributing to countering the involvement of young people in violent radicalization.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Ramata Thioune
Total Funding
CA$ 477,400.00
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Project Leader
Bakary Sambe
Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis