The upsurge of VE activity in West Africa has been an increasing cause of international concern and is driven by successful VEO recruitment strategies. In October of 2021, Albany was contracted to establish a programme to degrade VEOs’ ability to recruit new members by increasing local awareness of and resilience to the manipulation tactics VEOs employ.
Albany’s approach was designed to deliver inoculation messaging through grassroots initiatives. Knowing that radio is a dominant medium in West Africa, Albany liaised with credible messengers, ranging from community leaders to family members, to deliver PSAs on VEO recruitment tactics to increase resilience and critical thinking skills at a local level while discrediting violent extremist narratives.
Albany has increased its understanding of violent extremist narratives in the region and delivered a model of resilience messaging that can be translated into multiple environments under similar pressure from VEOs. We have since put this into practice in piloting a similar programme in Mozambique.