Today, the same geographic location that has made Agadez an important commercial hub for centuries also makes it strategically important in the fight against violent extremism in North and West Africa. Preventing recruitment and radicalization of its youth, providing positive outlets for their energy, and building rapport and trust with the local population and leaders will allow US teams and their Nigerien partners to staunch the spread of extremism and violence into this critically important city and the surrounding area.
In an attempt to start building this relationship, generating goodwill, and engaging Agadez’s youth one US Army Civil Affairs team and their local partner, with SoA funding, is refurbishing a local basketball court. Upon completion of the repairs, the joint U.S. and Nigerien team will host a basketball game and community event. The event will bring together community leaders and the U.S. military so that they can discuss ongoing developments in an informal setting and enjoy some friendly competition, thereby setting the stage for future engagement and cooperation. The court will then serve as a symbol of Niger-US partnership.
In Niger, basketball is seen as a particularly American activity. Encouraging youth participation in this sport will strengthen positive ties and associations between Agadez’s young people and American culture, countering violent extremist messaging and reducing the risk of radicalization.
A small amount of funding for some basic repairs, equipment, and event essentials will go a long way in developing these initial relationships and influencing local youths in a positive manner. With your support, Spirit of America can continue to help create a more peaceful future for the people of Agadez.
Hi, I’d like to take a minute to update you on a project Spirit of America recently funded in Niger that we first told you about here. Our partner, a US civil affairs team working to reduce vulnerability to extremism and radicalization in the central Nigerien city of Agadez, recently reopened a refurbished community basketball … Continued