For decades, hundreds of women have been working in Agadez huge migration business, lodging and feeding millions of migrants in transit. They were often wives or sisters of drivers or
After an EU-sponsored migration crackdown, launched in 2016, their lives changed completely.
From a relative wealth, they were plunged back into poverty. Husbands left them in search of fortune, and a compensation scheme from the government didn’t touch them.
As a reaction, dozens of them created mutual support groups, to share their suffering and start small-scale economic activities.
A crossroad for people and goods travelling from Western Africa to Libya and Algeria, Agadez is undergoing a new challenge.
The EU is pouring funds in this desertic region, the size of France, to reduce the impact of anti-migration measures. But people are frustrated. A good opportunity for drug and weapons trafficking networks, that have links to jihadist groups active in Libya and Nigeria.
Still, community links and traditional values are strong.
Tanakra means “rise up” in Tamasheq. It’s the name of one of the women’s mutual help groups.