The third summit of Heads of State and Government of the Pan African Agency on the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) met recently in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
The conference which is the highest decision making organ of the Great Green Wall with its membership comprising of all Heads of state and Government of the eleven member countries of the Great Green Wall Namely: Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Republic of Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan takes place once in two years with the last held in April 2013 in N’djamena Chad.
This year’s conference which held on 27th July, 2015 in Nouakchott Mauritania was chaired by His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and also the serving President of the conference.
At the end of deliberation, the Heads of state and Government came up with decisions to:
(i) Recruit a new Executive Secretary for the PAGGW for a term of three (3) years, renewable once, after the current Executive Secretary would have completed five years in office;
(ii) Maintain the current level of statutory contribution of member states, pending the audit of the financial accounts of the PAGGW;
(iii) Accept Sudan’s proposal to implement great role in financing the Great Green Wall (GGW) in the fight against poverty and climate change. Sudan had earlier informed the summit of its desire to host a high level training seminar for the experts of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAGGW) and member states on the Carbon Bank Proposal.
The conference also expressed its solidarity and support for the Republic of Sudan and called for the lifting of sanctions imposed on this brother country (sudan).
Present at the conference were:
ü His Excellency, Mr. Michel Kafando, President of Burkina Faso;
ü His Excellency, Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali;
ü His Excellency, Mr. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and serving President of conference of Heads of State and Government;
ü His Excellency, Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal;
ü His Excellency, Mr. Omar Ahmed Hassan EL Bechir, President of the Republic of Sudan;
ü His Excellency, Mr. Idris Deby Itno, President of Republic of Chad;
ü Mr. Brigi Rafini, Prime Minister/Head of Government, represented His Excellency, Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Republic of Niger;
ü Mr. Belete Tafere Dessa, Minister of Environment and Forests, representing His Excellency, Mr. Hailemariam Dessallegn, Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
ü Ambassador Godwin O. Agamah, Representing His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR)
Djibouti and Eritrea were absent.
Prior to the conference of Heads of State and Government, meeting of the technical committee of Experts in preparation for the 4th Ordinary session of the council of Ministers of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall was held on the 23rd to 24rd July, 2015, with His Excellency, Mr. Amedi Camara, Minister of Environment and sustainable development, Islamic Republic of Mauritania and President of PAGGW councils of Ministers as the Chairman.
The technical session on its commencement constituted the bureau as follows
(i) President: Islamic Republic of Mauritania, represented by Mr. Mady Ould Taleb, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development;
(ii) Vice President: Federal Republic of Nigeria (maintained its position) represented by Mr. Goni Ahmed, Director General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall;
(iii) Rapporteur 1: Republic of Senegal, represented by Mr. Papa Wali Gueye, Director General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall;
(iv) Rapporteur 2: Republic of Sudan, represented by Mr. Mubarak Ginawa, GGW Focal Point for Sudan.
During the session, the committee members were presented the following documents by PAGGW.
i. 2014 Draft Technical and Financial Report
ii. 2016 – 2020 Strategic Action Plan and Logical Framework
iii. 2015 Draft Program of Activities
iv. Draft 2015 Budget
v. 2016 – 2017 Roadmap or work plan
vi. Cooperation with Technical and Financial Partners
In addition, two project proposals (a) Trans-African Pipeline (TAP) presented by University of Toronto (b) Green Wall for Tarim Highway in the Taklimakan Desert, presented by Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Science, were presented for the consideration of the technical committee.
At the end of the meeting, the Committee adopted and recommended the following resolutions for the consideration of the Council of Ministers:
i. The 2014 Technical and Financial Report but subject to being audited before the end of the year 2015. The report was presented without audit certification.
ii. Review of the criteria for the appointment of financial experts for the PAGGW.
iii. All member States to pay for advertisement in their local dailies for vacant positions declared at PAGWW.
iv. Increase in statutory contribution of member states from 50million to 75million CFA from 2016 to enhance the operation of the PAGGW.
v. Support the implementation of the Trans-African Pipeline and establish cooperation with Chinese Academy of Science for the establishment of the Great Green Wall.
vi. Strengthen the partnership between the PAGGW and other institutions like OSS, CILSS, IUCN.
vii.Resolve the relationship between PAGGW and African Union.
viii. Participation of PAGGW at UNCCD CoP12 in Turkey scheduled for October 2015
ix. Ordinary or extraordinary meeting of the Council to be held at the end of the year to approve the budget and allow its implementation at the beginning of the following year.
x. Develop a comprehensive strategy to mobilize financial resources for GGW implementation at the extraordinary Council meeting planned for December 2015.
The Nigerian Delegation was led by Amb. Godwin O. Agama, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other members of the delegation includes:
a) Mr. Goni Ahmed, DG/NAGGW
b) Dr. Bukar Hassan, Federal Ministry of Environment
c) Mr. Sani M. Katsina, NAGGW
d) Mal. Saminu Ado, NAGGW
e) Mr. Musiliu A. Babatunde, NAGGW
f) Mrs. Bintu Mohammed Kolo, NAGGW
g) Mr. Edward Kogbara, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
h) Mr. Okon, Nigerian Embassy in Senegal
i) Mr. Babatunde Fashiku, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The meeting of the council of Ministers which held after the technical session on the 25th to 26th July, 2015, deliberated on many issues after which the council proposed the renewal of the Chairmanship of Mauritania for another term in recognition of the enormous efforts made by Mauritania and to allow the consolidation of the PAGGW headquarters established in 2013 in Nouakchott.
Head (Press and Public Relations Unit)