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A fragile Great Green Wall for Africa

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The Great Green Wall was officially launched by the African Union in 2007. It aims to fight desertification by creating a huge strip of vegetation across Africa, from Dakar in the west to Djibouti in the east. The Wall would be eventually more than 8,000 kilometres long, crossing 11 African countries. Since 2007, the project has evolved, with the goal of creating millions of jobs. But critics say progress has stalled. Our correspondents report from Senegal and Nigeria. 

The UN status report released in September 2020 could hardly be called encouraging. Barely 4 percent of the Great Green Wall’s objectives for 2030 have been achieved, with just 4 million hectares restored out of a goal of 100 million. Half of that total is located in just one country: Ethiopia, which has an ambitious reforestation programme.

At the One Planet Summit in Paris in January 2021, donors pledged to raise $14.3 billion (€11.8 billion) over the next five years for the project. For French President Emmanuel Macron, the Great Green Wall has to see the light of day.

As the ambitious initiative once again becomes a priority for the international community, our correspondents Sarah Sakho, Moïse Gomis and Emmanuelle Landais report from two countries affected by it in very different ways: Senegal and Nigeria.

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The Groucho

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