As part of its regional response strategy towards helping countries in the Sahel and Sahara regions mitigate and adapt to climate change; plus, improving food security, the African Development Bank has pledged a $6.5 Billion targeted at boosting the region’s Great Green Wall Initiative.
The Great Green Wall initiative is a responds plan which aims to plant an 8,000 km long and 15 km wide mosaic of trees, grasslands, vegetation and plants across the Sahara and Sahel to help restore the degraded lands and help the region’s inhabitants produce adequate food, create jobs and promote peace in the region.
countries targeted by the initiative includes; Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia among others.
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina made this pledge during the OnePlanet summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
While Addressing the summit virtually from Abidjan, Adesina noted that Climate change has led to extreme temperatures, fluctuating rainfall and drought in the Sahel, a region that is home to 250 million people living in ten countries.
According to him, “The future of the Sahel region depends on the Great Green Wall. Without the Great Green Wall, the Sahel region as we know it may disappear”.
The AfDB President also said it had made the Sahel region a top priority for investment and mobilising new sources of finance to advance Africa’s climate opportunities, including the AfDB’s African Development Bank’s Desert-to-Power programme to build the largest solar zone power in the world.
The programme, according to Adesina, will provide electricity to 250 million people in 11 Sahel countries and help protect the Great Green Wall.
According to an April 2016 report by the Sahara and Sahel Observatory, the Great Green Wall initiative was launched in Africa at the Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Burkina Faso in June 2005.
It was designed first to serve as a means to combat desertification and poverty and was initially limited to the establishment of a “green belt” of trees extending from Senegal to Djibouti.