The African Development Bank will support the Great Green Wall initiative with $6.5bn over the next five years.
AfDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this at the One Planet Summit on Monday.
According to him, the initiative was part of Africa’s environmental defence system, “a shield against the onslaughts of desertification and degradation.”
He said, “I am, therefore, pleased to announce that the African Development Bank will mobilise $6.5bn 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.”
Adesina stressed that the project would contribute to the integration of people on the continent and globally.
The $6.5bn would be made available through a range of programmes by drawing on internal as well as external sources of funding, he hinted.
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.
The plan is to plant an 8,000 kilometre-long and 15km-wide mosaic of trees, grasslands, vegetation and plants across the Sahara and Sahel.
The plan is expected to restore the degraded lands and boost the production of adequate food, create jobs and promote peace in the region.