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The Force behind Africa’s Terror Recruitment

A new UN report has suggested the most common factor driving people to join extremist groups in sub-Saharan Africa is not religion, but the need for work. The report by the UN Development Programme surveyed thousands of people in eight African countries, including Mali, Nigeria and Somalia. Only 17% of respondents said that religion was the reason for joining radical groups, whereas 40% said poverty was their main motivation. Education is also important, with one extra year of education significantly reducing a person’s likelihood of joining an extremist group. In 2021, nearly half of deaths attributed to terrorist groups took place in sub-Saharan Africa.