African Countries to Accelerate Progress on Great Green Wall

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Ministers from African countries North and South of the Sahara and their development partners are meeting presently in Dakar, Senegal, at a High-Level conference organized by the African Union for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI). The theme is: Restoring Africa’s Landscapes – The Way Forward

 

The Conference follows from the recent Global Climate Summit (COP21) in Paris, where world leaders and key development partners pledged an additional USD 4 billion to the Great Green Wall over the next 5 years to accelerate its progress as Africa’s largest rural development initiative.

 

“The Great Green Wall Initiative generates a great operational platform for responding to the development conundrum of African dry lands”, said Jamal Saghir, Senior Regional Advisor to the Africa Vice President of the World Bank Group.

 

It is also a strategy for maximizing the opportunities of the Sahara and Sahel region, through real involvement of communities with 46% of African land currently affected by land degradation, jeopardizing the livelihoods of nearly 65% of the Continent’s population.

 

In 2015, more than 20 million people in the Sahel were food insecure. Most of the poor and hungry live in rural areas and a major part of their income comes from agriculture.

 

Amidst these urgent challenges, the Great Green Wall promises to be a compelling part of the solution; by providing people with improved economic prospects, a cushion against climate change, a reason to stay for unemployed youth set to migrate from the region, whilst helping to restore political stability.

 

During the Conference, partners will define a roadmap on how to implement the Paris pledges to boost livelihood opportunities for local communities and establish greater resilience against climate change, whilst sharing knowledge across the Great Green Wall and beyond.

 

The Great Green Wall brings together African countries and international partners under the leadership of the African Union Commission, including the Permanent Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the European Union, The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-PACO), the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), and the World Bank Group (WBG).

 

Date: 2-7 May 2016,

Location: Dakar, Senegal

 

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