AU SAFGRAD to attend the Great Green Wall for Sahara and Sahel Initiative Steering Committee in Dakar, Senegal

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative is held its second Regional Steering Committee in Dakar, Senegal

The Regional Steering Committee of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) held its second meeting from 10 to 12 November 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. 

The objective of the two-day meeting is to make an inclusive stocktaking of the implementation, evaluate the achievements and explore the way forward in order to ameliorate the progress in the implementation of the GGWSSI. 

Participants are coming from national and international organizations including AUC, NEPAD, FAO, UNCCD, World Bank, ICRAF, SOS SAHEL, ENDA etc.

Also attending the meeting various national focal points coming from countries involved in the initiative among which Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Mali, Niger, and Senegal. AU SAFGRAD Office is represented by two senior officers namely : Mr. KOUTOU Mamadou, Programme Officer and Mr. MBENGUE Youssoupha, Information and Outreach Officer.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Elvis Paul TANGEM, GGWSSI Coordinator, thanked the government of Senegal for accepting to hold this meeting. “We are very grateful of the Republic of Senegal because this meeting was previously scheduled to take place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso but finally moved to Dakar, Senegal, in a very short notice, due to the Burkinabe current political situation” he stated. He also extended his appreciation to all the organisations that are contributing to the activities of the initiative, namely EU Delegation to the AU, FAO, Global mechanism of UNCCD, the World Bank, OSS and representatives of civil society and local communities. In his part, Mr. Almamy DAMPHA, also from AUC, has explained the context as well as expected outcomes of this meeting.


Chairing the opening ceremony, Mrs Ramatoulaye DIENG NDIAYE, Permanent Secretary of Senegalese Ministry of Environment, has in her opening remarks thanked the African Union Commission for selecting Senegal, “the Country of Hospitality”, to host this important meeting. She highlighted the importance of the GGWSSI notably its interest for the concerned countries that are challenging desertification and climate change. “We think that the outcomes of this Steering Committee will substantively increase the coordination mechanisms of this initiative between countries”, she added.


It is expected that the participants will discuss during two days the terms of reference and membership of the Regional Steering Committee (RSC); the Status of implementation of the GGWSSI; the way forward for enhancing the implementation initiative. The possible joint activities on capacity development and advocacy as well as the results framework will be also examined by the experts and members of the RSC.

The Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative was endorsed in 2007 by African Union. This initiative is aiming at tackling the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and the Sahara region. The initiative is seeking to improve food security and livelihood of the people, while contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation.