At the Heads of State and Government Summit this Monday, May 9th, 2022, the Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi presented the "Abidjan Initiative". It is a program designed by the Ivorian authorities to deal with desertification and its consequences, particularly on agricultural production.
The Abidjan initiative is a comprehensive and integrated response, which aims first to create the conditions for environmental sustainability, then to put the agricultural sector in a powerful role of job creation and income, to finally produce a social balance that guarantees all segments of society, the right to a balanced diet and a more decent life.
The Abidjan Legacy Program is a five-year, $1.5 billion (approximately CFA 900 billion), comprehensive and innovative approach to new prosperity. It is structured around 4 main pillars. Such domains are the(i) fight against deforestation and forest restoration, which aims to restore 20% of the Ivorian forest cover by the end of the decade, (ii) improving agricultural productivity through mechanization and soil restoration, (iii) actions to make current value chains more sustainable with more significant local processing, to generate more wealth and jobs, especially for youth and women, and the (iv) identification of future value chains that are soil-friendly and will resist climate change. According to the Prime Minister, the Abidjan Initiative is a plan that can be exported. It is a program whose main principles can be applied to all countries facing the challenges of desertification and deforestation.
Its implementation will involve the private sector and development partners. It has already received support of 500 million dollars from the African Development Bank, 502 million Euros from Team Europe, which includes the European Union and the European Investment Bank, 130 million dollars from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 30 million dollars from UNDP, 370 billion CFA francs from the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and 100 million dollars from the Ban-Ki Moon Institute. This means that more than one billion dollars have been obtained by Côte d'Ivoire to fund its initiative as of Monday 9th May 2022.
In line with the ECOWAS Commission Heads of State and Government Declaration on Climate Change of 12th December 2021, the Commission encourages countries to develop and implement integrated regional climate-friendly programs covering agriculture, livestock, water resources, forestry, restoration of degraded lands, preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Indeed, such initiatives call for ensuring that our Earth, the source of all life, can continue to benefit future generations with the same beauty, abundance and sustainability.