Our Stories | Office of Transition Initiatives

Speeches Shim

Last updated: September 21, 2021

September 21, 2021

Since 2015, more than 2,300 schools across the Est, Nord, and Sahel regions have either closed or suffered damage due to violence and insecurity in Burkina Faso. Attacks and threats from violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in the Sahel region have caused many teachers and students to flee to more secure places, generally provincial capitals or urban centers. As a result, the Dori Provincial High School, located in the capital of the Sahel region, has received over 200 displaced students. This influx of students has overwhelmed schools, which are unable to accommodate the 1,800 students, with only 68 teachers and 21 administrative staff available to support.

August 23, 2021

Agriculture and pastoralism are the primary economic activities in the Est region of Burkina Faso, and particularly in the Matiacoali commune. The commune is home to the Tapoa Boopo zone, the largest pastoral area in the region, and is a transit area for pastoralists and their cattle. It also sits at the crossroads of transhumance corridors (used for the seasonal movement of livestock from summer and winter pastures) between Burkina Faso’s Sahel region and Niger’s Tillabéri region. However, like many communes in the region, Matiacoali faces challenges when it comes to managing access to resources, including grazing land and watering points—particularly during the rainy season from May to October. Tensions between herders and farmers across the country are known to increase during this season, because herders often let their livestock stray into farmers’ fields during this time, which destroys crops.

July 23, 2021

Solar powered streetlights and public benches improve economic opportunities and increase positive interactions among community members in Tangaye, Burkina Faso.

June 21, 2021

Since 2001, the Women's Center in Diapaga, Burkina Faso has organized vocational training for women and girls, teaching sewing, weaving, and other income generating activities (IGAs)—courses that directly contribute to women's empowerment in the commune. The center has also provided women with a place to gather and discuss common issues and problems over the years. However, despite the center’s usefulness, the facilities deteriorated and community stakeholders stopped renting meeting rooms, significantly reducing the center’s ability to generate the income necessary to maintain it. 

May 24, 2021

Gorom-Gorom is the capital of Oudalan Province and the most populous city in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, with more than 150,000 inhabitants. The city has a large animal husbandry market that serves much of the Sahel region, as well as neighboring Niger and Mali. Traditionally, markets such as these serve as important sources of income generation in Gorom-Gorom. However, due to increased insecurity as a result of violent extremist organization (VEO) presence in the area beginning in 2018, butchers have been unable to attend nearby markets to buy animals or sell their meat. Likewise, buyers from other places are unable to travel to Gorom-Gorom to buy meat. Many local butchers also lack knowledge on proper management and meat storage, which makes it difficult for them to satisfy customers regarding food safety and food processing standards. Therefore, despite strong local demand many butchers are unable to meet the needs of their customers, leading to income disruption. The disruption of this important source of income, and the lack of other viable economic alternatives, has increased local vulnerability and feelings of abandonment by authorities in Gorom-Gorom, creating conditions that could be exploited by VEOs through financial incentives.