Demography, Environment and Conflict in West Africa
"In this paper, we argue that West Africa’s conflict experiences since 1990 have never been devoid of the concurrent influence of the youth bulge problematic and the effects of the economic downturns of countries in the sub-region. These factors can therefore not be relegated to the background in present and future attempts to achieve peace. We also argue that the outbreak of conflicts has had grave ramifications on the region’s environmental security. This paper starts with a section that analyses the nexus between demography and conflict from which evidence is deduced to explain the youth bulge phenomenon and supporting destabilising factors. Subsequently, we discuss migratory flows and conflict in terms of the role of migration and its impact in fuelling tensions and the cyclical impact of conflict on migration trends. The third section assesses the possible role of environmental challenges in fomenting tensions and the effects conflicts have on the environment. The paper concludes with possible policy options for West Africa."