The miasma of insecurity created over West Africa in the last 9 years has exposed the region’s frailties resulting in the most dangerous period for terrorism in West Africa’s history. The region emerged as the highest for terrorist deaths recording over 7,200 deaths in 2014. A largely youthful population, with high unemployment, pervasive poverty and inequality, West Africa region remains a highly vulnerable environment for radicalization.
For nearly a decade West Africa has remained a notorious epicentre for radicalization and costly terrorism wreaking economic damage in billions of dollars annually. Terrorist attacks drive away investors, increase insurance premiums and result in costly life-changing adjustments. Whilst it is a complex threat, our understanding of terrorism and its underlining factors can help us adequately prepare and effectively counter, save lives and preserve vital infrastructure in the event of an attack. What is even more important is, if gauged well, effective Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) programs and adequate preparations can help build strong sustainable social resilience and shield societies against terrorism and its potential impact.