JFS is proud to have hosted 10 inspiring leaders from 5 African countries this past Friday. The delegation was made up of 9 regional mayors and the head of communications and public relations for the G-5 Sahel, a unified effort of five countries to work towards development, democracy, and security. Delegation members came from the G-5 Sahel’s five member countries: Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
The delegation was invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. A number of goals guided their visits and itinerary while in the US. JFS was very fortunate to have received them.
The group of 8 men and 2 women shared information and experiences regarding women’s current and historical roles in countering violent extremism, promoting peace, and building resiliency in their communities; as well as processes and practices that promote gender equality and protect women's rights. The group shared best practices for integrating refugees and displaced persons into local communities and methods of promoting interethnic and interreligious appreciation in America. JFS discussed the services we provide and how information could be shared in an on-going fashion between the delegates and ourselves.
Last week, the United States promised up to $60 million to support the G-5 Sahel’s Joint Force’s counter-terrorism efforts. Their goal is to counter a growing jihadist threat in West Africa’s arid Sahel region that includes groups linked to Al Qaeda and The Islamic State.
Exchanges like these inspire tremendous power. This is how we can all begin to repair our world.