The « Great Green Wall » was launched in 2007 to combat desertification by creating a strip of vegetation from Dakar to Djibouti. A wall of 8,000 kilometers that crosses 11 countries of the African continent. Since then, the project has taken a more social turn: it aims to restore land eaten by the desert and create millions of jobs. But its benefits have been meager to date. Nearly 12 billion euros have been raised, at the beginning of 2021, to try to relaunch it.
The progress report, presented in September 2020 by the United Nations, was hardly encouraging: barely 4% of the target set for 2030 has been achieved, or 4 million hectares of land developed out of the 100 million of the program – half of which was achieved by Ethiopia and its ambitious reforestation program. Our correspondents Sarah Sakho and Moïse Gomis visited Senegal and Nigeria, two Sahelian countries that are experiencing this project in very different ways.
To support this project, which is close to his heart, Emmanuel Macron announced on January 12 that an envelope of 14.3 billion dollars (11.8 billion euros) over five years had been set aside. « We are truly preparing the Africa of 2030, » said the French president at the fourth edition of the « One Planet Summit » dedicated to biodiversity.
« It is 100 million hectares restored, 10 million jobs created, 250 million tons of carbon sequestered. It is also, through this initiative, the ability for Africa to show that it is a player in the fight against global warming, » he added. Among the donors are the World Bank and the European Commission. A secretariat has been set up to ensure that the commitments are met.
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