Cure Salée festival
Community members enjoy the Cure Salée festival, a cultural event in Niger's northern Agadez region.

Supporting and strengthening the ability of Nigerien communities and local leaders to address the threat of violent extremism.


Niger’s location at the center of the Sahel-Maghreb makes maintaining its stability critically important for the region. It is a key U.S. Government (USG) partner in the international fight against terrorism, trafficking and illegal migration as part of the USG Sahel-Maghreb Strategy. In recent years, however, violent extremist threats within and along Niger’s borders have grown significantly. Military gains against violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in Mali, Nigeria and Libya have pushed VEOs toward Niger where hiding spaces, new recruits and economic opportunities are readily available.


USAID/OTI’s Niger program addresses key drivers of extremism including large numbers of unemployed youth, increased reach of VEOs and long-held feelings of exclusion among select ethnic groups. USAID/OTI works in some of the most marginalized and remote areas of Niger, where it partners with local leaders to increase their ability to address violent extremist threats. The program provides communities with knowledge, skills and resources to resist VEOs, and connects governing authorities to constituents to address historical grievances. USAID/OTI works in the regions of Agadez, Tillaberi and Diffa to create a sense of community able to resist threats to Niger’s stability, particularly the threat of violent extremism from reaching U.S shores. 


USAID/OTI implements small-scale, cross-sectoral projects with local partners including civil society organizations, local governments and community members. Activities include:

  • Working with local citizens to strengthen their ability to detect, prevent and respond to threats of violent extremism through awareness trainings and workshops targeting key leaders in the Agadez region. Through these trainings a network of local communities called Agadez Eveil (“Agadez Awakening”) was formed to help the local population identify at-risk youth, raise awareness of radicalization and help advocate their needs and concerns to local authorities. 
  • Partnering with 12 influential community leaders on the frontline of Niger’s southern Diffa region to create a network called Nalewa Mada (“We Search for Peace”). The network provides leadership, organizational, management and communication skills training to enhance the abilities of local communities to respond to violent extremist threats. The network continues to grow and has built the resilience of more than 300 local leaders. 
Related Sectors of Work