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Memorandum of Understanding Signed to rehabilitate and restore Lake Chad Basin.

The Lake Chad Basin Commission and the African Development Bank Group have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to restore and rehabilitate the Lake Chad Basin. This agreement, which was signed during the 37th African Union Summit in Ethiopia, aims to secure financial and technical resources to enhance the development and management of water resources, promote sustainable livelihoods, and restore peace in the region.

Over the past few decades, Lake Chad has experienced a significant reduction in its size, shrinking by approximately 92%. Despite this, the Chad Basin plays a crucial role in ensuring food security for around 50 million people.

Passalet Kanade Marssela, the Minister of Water for the Republic of Chad, highlighted the socio-economic challenges faced by the population living in this ecosystem. In addition to these challenges, the region also grapples with insecurity caused by terrorist groups, resulting in the loss of livelihoods, displacement, and destruction of households.

During the signing ceremony, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Vice President for Regional Development, Integration, and Business Delivery at the African Development Bank, emphasized that the agreement provides a comprehensive framework for implementing projects and programs that will significantly improve the quality of life for millions of Africans, particularly in the water and agriculture sectors.

The Memorandum of Understanding aims to enhance living conditions in the hydrographic basin of the six member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission – Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, the Central African Republic, and Libya. As the primary financial supporter of the Commission, we are committed to building on the progress achieved by implementing a new comprehensive regional program that will expedite sustainable solutions to the Lake Chad challenges and further enhance the well-being of the basin’s inhabitants.

The African Development Bank has been designated as the “Champion Lead Partner” for mobilizing resources to revive Lake Chad. Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, emphasized the importance of ensuring the sustainability of the Lake Chad Basin, particularly in light of its shrinking size due to climate change and increased human activities. This partnership underscores our joint efforts to promote water security, economic development, and stability in the region, as well as our commitment to fostering climate resilience and sustainable progress.

The African Development Bank has a proven track record of providing significant support to the Lake Chad Basin Commission and its objectives. Since 2005, the Bank has allocated $241.3 million towards various multinational projects in the water, transportation, environmental, and social sectors.

Most recently, the Bank approved $17.8 million for a United Nations Development Programme initiative, “Breaking the cycle of fragility through stabilization in Lake Chad.” This initiative is expected to leverage an additional $21.5 million in funding from partner organizations.

The Bank is currently working on a comprehensive program to enhance the capacity of the Lake Chad Basin Commission over several years. This program aims to conduct extensive studies on the environment, technology, and economy of the basin, which will provide valuable insights for decision-making, finding solutions, and determining the financial needs for the restoration of the basin. Furthermore, the Bank’s African Water Facility is providing funding for the development of a five-year investment plan, which will focus on creating a pipeline of projects that promote the sustainable and beneficial utilization of water resources in the basin. Additionally, this investment plan will lay the foundation for future investments in the region.

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