Islamabad, 22 March 2022: The 48th OIC Foreign Minister’s Conference will discuss issues facing African countries. African issues were given priority in the OIC conference.

Announcing the agenda of the 48th Foreign Minister’s conference, the OIC said that “the Session will address several African issues, including the situation in the Republic of Mali, the Sahel region, and Lake Chad, the fragility of that region, and the situation in Central Africa and the Republic of Guinea.”

Foreign Ministers from several countries of the Sub-Saharan region participated in the conference. These include the foreign ministers of Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, the Republic of Guinea, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Togo. All these countries are part of the OIC and the African Union.

48th OIC Foreign Minster's meeting Africa
Many African states have participated in the 48th OIC Foreign Ministers’ Summit
Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Sahel is a region south of the Sahara Desert that stretches from the West to the East through the width of the African continent. It includes northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, Niger, the extreme north of Nigeria, the extreme north of Cameroon and the Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea, and northern Ethiopia.

Whereas, the Lake Chad region within Central Africa includes Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic. Many of these countries are OIC members.

Recently, OIC countries in West Africa including Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso have faced increasing political instability. They have faced coups and coup attempts, along with insurgent attacks on already fragile national institutions, economies.

The region has faced political instability, coups, poverty, rebellions, and terrorism. Historically, several of these countries such as Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria have faced devastating civil wars, the effects of which affect contemporary politics.

OIC in the Sahel Region

OIC has a history of assistance and support to Sub-Saharan African countries. The international organization has engaged in efforts to support the countries of the Sahel region through its specialized institutions, including the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund (ISF).

It seeks permanent communication with the Member States in the Sahel region to help finance the development projects. The countries in the region benefited from the IsDB’s US$2.3 billion Strategic Preparedness and Response Program to support the Member States’ efforts in preventing the COVID-19 pandemic.