Protecting Peace in Coastal West Africa: Policy Recommendations for the GFA

The Global Fragility Act (GFA) presents a fresh opportunity for the United States government to invest in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. By focusing on reducing the risk of large-scale violence and instability, rather than responding to its aftermath, the United States government can proactively promote and invest in stable and productive civil society around the globe.

As the US government develops its GFA implementation strategy for the region, it should focus on repairing cracks in society that are being exploited by extremist forces, strengthening social cohesion specifically, while also helping communities to mitigate violent conflict. The following recommendations lay out a roadmap for how this can be achieved:

  1. Bolster stability of the region, through economic development, focusing on jobs for youth. 
  2. Strengthen local government and civil society actors. 
  3. Strengthen social cohesion to prevent future conflict. 
  4. Improve donor coordination.
  5. Invest in early warning systems (EWS). 

Catholic Relief Services remains committed to building peace and contributing to stability in Coastal West Africa by engaging local stakeholders as the drivers of their own peace. This is particularly relevant to GFA implementation as the coastal region grapples with ongoing fragilities and the spillover of conflict from the Central Sahel and Lake Chad Basin. Now, more than ever, is the moment to unite all actors around a multi-sectoral strategy building synergy and collaboration. 

Published October 2022