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The African Development Bank: strategic partner for the development of resilience and sustainable energy in the Sahel region

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The Sahel Alliance will hold its second general assembly in N’Djamena, Chad, on Monday, February 15, 2021. The meeting will take place on the sidelines of a summit for the G5 Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad, plus France. The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) played an active role in the formation in July 2017 of the Alliance, a platform for international cooperation to boost development and stability in the Sahel region.

To foster closer synergy with development partners, the Sahel Alliance has invited the African Development Bank to lead a working group on agriculture, rural development and food security.

The Bank’s extensive experience in the Sahel region in managing and monitoring water, agropastoral and fisheries development, as well as in the sustainable management of natural resources, attracted it to the Sahel Alliance.

Agriculture and food security are of strategic importance to the Bank, which considers Feed Africa as one of its five strategic priorities.

The Bank’s current portfolio in the Sahel includes three key projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of ecosystems and populations and ensuring food security through investment in agriculture and livestock, as well as the sustainable management of natural resources.

The Bank’s flagship Desert to Power solar initiative, valued at $ 20 billion, will make the Sahel region the world’s largest solar giant zone with up to 10,000 MW of solar generating capacity. Eleven countries are beneficiaries of this initiative: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad.

Covering Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and the Interstate Committee for the Control of Drought in the Sahel (CILSS), the Program for the Promotion of Resilience to Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel ( P2RS) promotes resilience to climate change, long-term financing of the agricultural sector, and trade development and regional integration.

By providing long-term, sustained investments to strengthen the resilience of Sahelian households, P2RS, which is mobilizing more than $ 250 million for its first phase and $ 750 million over 20 years, is contributing enormously to breaking the cycles of famine in the region. It also promotes the development of rural infrastructure and creates thousands of jobs for rural youth through the development of value chains and regional markets.

Another project that demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to the development of the region is the continuous implementation of the Program for the Rehabilitation and Strengthening of the Resilience of Socioeconomic Systems in the Lake Chad Basin (PRESIBALT), which covers Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central Africa. Republic and Nigeria.

The project, valued at approximately $ 70 million, provides training to improve the skills of young people to prepare them for the local economy, thus reintegrating vulnerable members of society in a region plagued by political insecurity and extreme weather. PRESIBALT also provides socioeconomic support to women and youth

The Bank is also implementing a third major initiative, the Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change Program (IPCCP), to strengthen the populations of the Sahel.

With a budget of more than $ 205 million, the IPDCDC, which covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and the Niger Basin Authority, will directly benefit some four million people, 51% of them women, between 2019 and 2024.

Using an integrated and inclusive approach, the IPDCDC will recover 140,000 hectares of degraded land and build 209 hydraulic structures for agropastoral and fish farming activities. It will implement 450 subprojects to help develop the agricultural chain and create 184 youth-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In addition, more than 100,000 households will be strengthened to adapt to climate change. The plan will also operate a financing mechanism for sustainable natural resource management activities in the Niger River basin.

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