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International Partnerships

Socio-economic integration project for youth and women in the Sahel


Burkina Faso is a country of the Sahel region, with a mostly agricultural economy based on small family farms with low productivity levels. More than half of the country’s population is made of young people (less than 20 years old). Most people live in poor rural areas, with low literacy and high unemployment rates, and are vulnerable to natural disasters. Women are among the most vulnerable groups of people. Malnutrition and food insecurity are endemic, generating important migration flows.

In this context and building on the positive results of previous efforts to reduce poverty and food insecurity in Burkina Faso, the Italian cooperation office launched a 3-year project in the Seno province of Burkina Faso in 2016, funded by the EU under its Emergency trust fund for Africa, to contribute to the reinforcement of the region’s stability.


The project’s overall aim is to tackle the root causes of the Sahel region’s instability, by improving the management of migration flows, creating more and equal economic opportunities, and ensuring security and development.

The project is built around 2 specific objectives:

  • Improve the resilience of vulnerable households by increasing the production of agro-pastoral communities, and ensuring land tenure security and local governance of natural resources
  • Increase women’s and youth’s revenue levels by introducing income-generating activities, and preventing crises through stronger female leadership and more social cohesion


Under the first objective, the project has yielded the following results:

  • 6% increase of agropastoral products’ availability on local markets
  • 10% reduction of cattle dying from lack of water or pastures
  • 30 new water points installed
  • 332 ha of developed or repurposed agropastoral land
  • 6 local development plans directly supported
  • 6 land tenure structures promoted

And here are the results emerging under the second objective:

  • 4,400 jobs created
  • 8,000 people benefitting from professional training and/or skill development courses
  • 6,700 people supported to develop income-generating economic activities
  • 800 micro, small or medium enterprises (MSMEs) created or supported
  • 7 female organisations created
  • 30% of women and youth in provincial structures and organisations
  • 10 consultation frameworks for youth and women supported
  • 5 multimedia centres set up, with a yearly average of 2,500 visitors
  • 3,000 people sensitised on migration, community participation and sustainable development issues

EU trust fund for Africa – project page…

Funding instrument

EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa

Implementing organisations

Italian Ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation - Directorate general for development cooperation (‘Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale’ – MAECI DGCS)