The Islamic State in West Africa launched a goodwill campaign aimed at winning over the local population in its territory. The group, which split from Boko Haram in 2016, has been digging wells, giving out seeds and fertilizer, and providing safe pasture for herders. The campaign has created an economy for the group to tax, and ISWA has also begun to charge protection money: $8 for safe grazing per cow, and $5 for smaller animals. The group also runs a slaughterhouse and takes a cut of each animal.
Analysis: Boko Haram has financed itself primarily through kidnappings for ransom, but has also used ‘subsistence financing’ to fund itself (essentially taxing small amounts of economic activity, and taking payment in kind). ISWA will also likely use similar fundraising activities to support itself, but could also potentially receive funding from other Islamic State affiliates and supporters.