Most Sahelian states -- Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad -- are landlocked. This geographical reality imposes costs and constrains some economic possibilities. Yet the relationship with coastal West Africa is also complementary, a crucial driver of the patterns of food and labour supply.
- Coastal countries will compete to position themselves as trade gateways for West Africa and the Sahel.
- Spreading militant and criminal violence could become a threat to key trade axes.
- Mali’s economic cooperation with ECOWAS is undermined by mistrust and antagonism between its junta and most West African leaders.