Canada and the World, Ep. 34: Peacekeeping, mining and security in the Sahel region

A podcast series from and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

By: /
29 March, 2019

Is there peace to keep in Mali? This episode looks at the complex political, economic and security landscape in Mali and the Sahel region as a whole. What do Canada’s 250 troops contribute to the peacekeeping mission? Is it enough? Is the Canadian government reflecting enough on the actions and potential impact Canadian mining companies have there? Three junior scholars — all experts on various Africa-related topics — join Bessma Momani to talk about the angles less heard when it comes to West Africa (including the cheerier topic of African cinema!).

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media.

This week’s guests

Ousmane Aly Diallo is a Ph.D. candidate and a doctoral fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University. His dissertation thesis focuses on the crisis in Mali (2012-) and its impact on security governance in West Africa and the understanding of ‘regions’ by security actors. Ousmane is also part of a multi-year research project on the influence of the informal economy on the patterns of political violence, and in the behaviours of non-state armed groups in Northern Mali.

Nadège Compaoré is a Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo. Prior to BSIA, she was a Research Analyst at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Social Science at York University. Her work lies at the intersection of international relations, global political economy and international law scholarships, which guide her analysis of global and regional governance measures targeting the oil, gas and mining industries in Africa.

Abdiasis Issa is a Ph.D. candidate, Global Governance program, at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University. Abdi specializes in international security, regionalism and African development.

Canada and The World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter