By Ahmed Rahma
In order to help the Great Green Wall initiative to bring its plans to reality, a multilateral development finance institution, African Development Bank (AFDB), said it would provide $6.5 billion.
The initiative, whose plan is to plant an 8,000 kilometre long 15 kilometre mosaic of trees, grassland, vegetation and plants across the Sahara and Sahel, is expected to restore the degraded lands, boost the production of food, create job opportunities and promote peace in the region.
Speaking virtually at the One Planet Summit organised by France and the United Kingdom, the President of AFDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the Great Green Wall was part of Africa’s environmental defence system “a shield against the onslaughts of desertification and degradation.”
“I am, therefore, pleased to announce that the African Development Bank will mobilise $6.5 billion in support of the Great Green Wall over the next five years.
“Without the Great Green Wall, in the face of climate change and desertification, the Sahel may disappear.
“By building the Great Green Wall, we will secure the Sahel, reduce climate change, reduce migration and improve the lives of people,” he said.
Mr Adesina who stated that the wall was worth building, said it would contribute to the integration of people in the continent and globally.
According to him, through a range of programmes by drawing on internal and external sources of funding, the stated sum of money would be made available.
The sources include the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), among others.
The Great Green Wall or Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel is Africa’s flagship initiative to combat desertification, led by the African Union.
It was launched in Africa at the Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Burkina Faso in June 2005, designed 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.
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