Six African countries made great strides in planning how to seek financing for trans-boundary and multi-country projects that would contribute to the Great Green Wall for the Sahel and the Sahara Initiative (GGWSSI), which brings together some 20 countries of the Sahel and the Sahara under the political leadership of the African Union.
At a workshop organized by the Government of the Gambia, the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Banjul, The Gambia, from 9 to 13 July, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and The Gambia identified innovative financing opportunities for the implementation of programmes and projects that enhance sustainable land management (SLM).
This workshop, supported by the GM scope|acp project, gave country representatives, UNCCD and GGWSSI experts, regional stakeholders, development banks and civil society organizations, the opportunity to exchange their experiences in promoting SLM.
“They saw opportunities for building bridges - partnerships, so to speak - to support the Great Green Wall Initiative”, said Youssef Brahimi, the GM’s Programme Coordinator for South-to-South Cooperation. Many participants proposed tapping the innovative financing sources that had been discussed at the workshop, such as t the private sector, microfinance and climate change funds, he added.
For instance, the workshop prompted the neighbouring countries of Egypt and Sudan to develop a project outline focusing on livestock facilities. This project will be integrated into the set of trans-boundary projects supported by the African Union within the GGWSSI framework. Other projects discussed included a South-to-South multi-country project involving exchange of experiences and capacity building, designed by Nigeria, Niger and The Gambia.
As a result of the workshop, the participants, who are stakeholders in the GGWSSI, confirmed their desire to share their experiences, learn from others and further develop their capacities. Crucially, they agreed on the role and function of a new, over-arching GGWSSI platform that in the near future will serve as a network for stakeholders to exchange information on specific topics, particularly SLM finance, both face-to-face and via the Internet. The workshop concluded that a global commitment to feed the platform with useful, pertinent data was a prerequisite for ensuring the platform’s sustainability.
Opening the event, Fatou Gaye, Minister of Forestry and Environment of the Gambia, recognized the opportunities offered by the GGWSSI for increasing resources aimed at fighting desertification and drought in the Saharan strip.
The workshop in Banjul for English-speaking African countries was the second of its kind; a similar event was held in Algeria for 6 French-speaking African countries to design resource mobilization strategies for the GGWSSI.
For more information:
Ms Inès Chaâlala, Liaison Officer on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative
Tel. +39 06 5459 2647
i.chaalala (at) global-mechanism.org