A Great Wall of trees (the GGW)


Photo credit: Global Citizen


African nations will build a Great Wall of trees across the continent!

By Katherine Curtiss

Africa is about to get a lot greener through a new pan-African proposal called the Great Green Wall (GGW) Initiative. This plan, which is sadly not an actual wall, but rather a long strip of green collaboration, will stretch from Senegal in West Africa to Djibouti in East Africa—a total of 4,400 miles.

The Great Green Wall is not a reforestation initiative. It is a social and economic initiative aimed at improving the quality of life for populations across these Africanregions.

Physically, The Great Green Wall initiative includes an actual wall of trees that will flourish in arid regions of Africa chosen by local communities. This stretch of  land is planned to extend across the Saharan strip, its north and south borders including oases and enclaves like Cape Verde. Currently, 15% of the plan’s trees have been planted in Senegal, and 3 million trees have been planted in Burkina Faso as of late March 2016.

The initiative intends to halt the area’s desertification. When completed, the initiative will improve the area’s economic growth, food security and reduce the number of displaced peoples and refugees caused by the currently uninhabitable land.

The GGW Initiative began as an African Union idea in 2005. It was initially supported by Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade. In 2010, the countries of Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan signed up to implement the GGW.

Read the full article: Global Citizen


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.