The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has been appointed to champion Africa’s Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative, a role in which he will lead the mobilization of political and economic support needed to realize the project.
This announcement was made in Paris at the 2021 One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, which was arranged to summon support for the planting of 8,000 kilometers of trees and other vegetation across the Sahara and Sahel regions of Africa.
The One Planet Summit is an annual event in which political leaders, private sector decision makers, foundations, NGOs and citizens come together to identify and accelerate funding for climate- and biodiversity-related initiatives, and to mobilize public and economic actors in collaborative efforts.
Proponents of the project believe that the Great Green Wall will act as a barrier against desertification and that it will create more than 10 million green jobs in the region.
According to Adesina, the African Development Bank’s ongoing initiatives, such as Desert to Power, a program to build the world’s largest solar zone in the Sahel, will enhance and complement the Great Green Wall and that the bank has committed to mobilize $25 billion for climate finance by 2025.
“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.”
“The Great Green Wall is part of Africa’s environmental defense system — a shield against the onslaughts of desertification and degradation. The future of the Sahel region of Africa depends on the Great Green Wall,” Adesina noted.