Location: 11 countries are officially part of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW): Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad), while 7 other Sub-Saharan African countries are associated (Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Cape Verde, The Gambia, South Sudan and Somalia). The total of partner countries with which the EU collaborates is 18.
Budget: €17 700 000 000
The Great Green Wall (GGW) is an African initiative that seeks to re-green the region of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa from Senegal to Somalia – an area stretching across 8000 km. The GGW aims to transform the lives of the people in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa by building a mosaic of green and productive landscapes that both improve livelihoods and foster environmental sustainability.
The Great Green Wall Accelerator was brought to life at the One Planet Summit in 2021. With the financial support of 9 international donors, it seeks to make the initiative a key force for sustainable development in this crucial decade up to 2030. Out of the € 17.5 billion that was pledged at the summit, the EU will provide more than € 700 million per year.
The EU's support to the Great Green Wall is part of the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package. The GGW is also a key enabler of commitments announced by the EU under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, such as the Paris Agreement, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Most importantly, the EU's support to the GGW promotes the external dimension of the European Green Deal, with a specific focus on its Farm-to-Fork Strategy, its Biodiversity Strategy 2030, and its Soil Strategy 2030. Moreover, it reflects the EU’s ambitions in combatting desertification worldwide, also under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
In addition, 15 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are broadly supported through the individual programmes under EU support to the GGW.
Africa’s Sahel and Horn of Africa regions are disproportionality facing the consequences of climate change while simultaneously experiencing heightened levels of insecurity. As a result, local communities face more persistent droughts, a lack of food, increased conflict over dwindling natural resources and mass migration. The Great Green Wall initiative provides the necessary momentum to tackle the threat of desertification and the degradation of natural ecosystems, while providing alternative livelihood opportunities for local communities.
The specific objectives of the Great Green Wall are
- restoring 100 million hectares of degraded land
- creating 10 million jobs
- sequestering 250 million tons of carbon
- improving food security for 20 million people
- supporting the millions of people living in communities across the Sahel
- providing access for 10 million smallholder farmers to agricultural technologies resilient to climate change
Broadly speaking, the goal of the EU is to enable community-based sustainable development that provides stability, security and resilience in the region.
The EU supports the Great Green Wall mainly through 18 country-specific programmes. In addition, a number of regional programmes contribute towards the goals of the GGW.
Supporting programmes can operate in the fields of, for example, food security, climate change and biodiversity loss, sustainable agri-food systems, addressing desertification or sustainable energy.
Where possible, the EU seeks to deploy an integrated approach to sustainable land management, which combines rural agricultural development with biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and climate action.