By Francis Ogwo
As part of efforts towards protecting the environment from desertification and degradation, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has revealed it will pull together the sum of $6.5 billion in support for the green wall for a period of five years.
AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adesina made this disclosure in a speech on Monday at the One Planet Summit, Great Green Wall Investment Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
“I am therefore pleased to announce that the African Development Bank will mobilize $6.5 billion in support of the Great Green Wall over the next five years,” Mr Adesina said.
According to him, “As we rebuild from the coronavirus and its impacts on our world, we must recalibrate growth, we must prioritise growth that protects the environment and biodiversity, and we must de-prioritise growth that compromises our global commons.
‘’The Great Green Wall is part of Africa’s environmental defence system, a shield against the onslaughts of desertification and degradation.”
Speaking further, he added that the future of the Sahel region of Africa depends on the Great Green Wall.
Meanwhile, the African Development Bank has launched a $20 billion Desert-to-Power program to build the largest solar zone in the world in the Sahel.
According to him, ‘’this will provide electricity for 250 million people and help to protect the Great Green Wall.
‘’If there is no access to energy, the Great Green Wall will be no more than trees waiting to be turned into charcoal,’’ he said.
“Without the Great Green Wall, in the face of climate change and desertification, the Sahel may disappear.
“The Great Green Wall is a wall worth building, a wall that brings people together, not one that pulls them apart. A wall that insulates, not one that isolates, a wall that protects our collective existence, a wall for the environment, a wall for the planet,
‘’By building the Great Green Wall, we will secure the Sahel, reduce climate change, reduce migration and improve the lives of people,’’ Adesina added.