African Union (AU) has announced plans to extend the “Great Green Wall” project to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, due to the climate change in some areas of the southern part of the continent.
The move comes in the wake of the existence of the two deserts, Namibe and Kalahari, as this project aims to combat land degradation and increase resilience in vulnerable communities in arid lands.
As for the situation in this extension of Africa, the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, Josefa Correia Sacko, met with a German delegation, headed by the Director General for Africa of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Birgit Pickel, in search for support.
“We will be grateful if the government of Germany can also directly support this initiative, because this year we must draw up a 10-year strategic plan that we believe will guide the way forward,” Sacko said.
Josefa Correia Sacko added that in line with this initiative, the AU Commission is working on the strategy and the climate change and resilient development action plan for the region.
The AU official said the strategy provides a broad outline for harmonised and coordinated actions to respond to the impacts of climate change, as well as, plan for the continent’s low emission and climate resilient future.
It also sets out key parameters and priorities for building strong African capacities to adapt to climate change and exploit the benefits of the continent’s mitigation potential.
“We therefore seek your technical and financial support in operation of the strategy at the continental level, as well as from AU Member States for its implementation. The Strategy is comprehensive and offers great scope for developing projects for specific interventions,” the AU Commissioner said.
The diplomat said the AU Green Recovery Action Plan is expected to be implemented with the aim to achieve good results by coordinating interventions in five priority areas such as climate finance, efficiency and impact, renewable energy, energy efficiency, fair transition national programs and nature-based solutions and biodiversity.
Another concern raised by the official has to do with the water scarcity due to climate change, which she said could lead to future conflicts around shared watercourse unless mitigating measures are implemented.
“We are happy that the Team Europe initiative is underway, in which the government of Germany is a key player, however, we will need direct support to the AU in other water and sanitation components, including technical support,” Sacko said.