The Great Green Wall of Africa

The Great Green Wall of Africa

The Great Green Wall initiative to grow an 8000km strip of vegetation across Africa.

Weaving it’s way through a number of African countries from Senegal to Djibouti, this new world wonder will be visible from space!

Restoring the land is a matter of survival.

This project is more than just growing trees and plants. The Green Wall project is transforming the lives of millions of people in the Sahel region.    

The Green wall from Senegal to Djibouti
The Great Green Wall creates a barrier against climate change running across the Sahel region.

Where the Green Wall idea originated

Born from a creative idea the African Union proposed in 2007 to create a super-size forest crossing to restore the devastated southern region of the Sahara.

Seeded with $14 Billion Dollars, the project is well under way. A decade in and roughly 15% underway, the initiative is already bringing life back to Africa’s degraded landscapes. Furthermore, providing food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions who live along its path. 

Over 20 countries in Africa, including Ethiopia and Mali, joined the project named the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative.

The Great Green Wall makes a vital contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (known as the SDGs). This global agenda which aims to achieve a more equitable and sustainable world by 2030.

The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it fits the bill to support such a bold endeavour. 

There is more to the Great Green Wall than the Sahel. In the process, humanity has overcome the greatest threat coming its way, the rapidly degrading environment.

It shows that if we can work with nature, even in challenging places like the Sahel, we can overcome adversity, and build a better world for generations to come.

20 million people in the Sahel are facing famine as a result of worsening desertification. This project is helping to turn this around by supporting communities to retain viable farming land around the project.

The Great Green Wall plan

It is proposed to build a wall of forest from Senegal in Africa’s southern end to Djibouti in the continent’s northern end that measures 15 kilometers wide and 8000 kilometers long. 

Once finished, it will be 1,300 kilometers longer than the Great Wall of China, hence the nickname of “Great Green Wall of Africa.” The project is being funded by numerous organisations, including the World Bank.

Blocking the southern expansion of the Sahara will enable food crops to grow around the green wall. The project involves a number of residents as not only planting but also maintaining the trees welfare. 

The U.N. announced that the project will restore about 100 million hectares of depleted land. Furthermore, remove 250 million tons of carbon in the air. The Green Wall Project in turn will create at least 350,000 jobs in these rural regions by 2030. 

Benefits of the Great Green Wall of Africa

The green wall is far more than just planting trees. The benefits are far reaching, see the following:

  • Growing a new world wonder across the entire width of Africa.
  • Growing fertile land, one of humanity’s most precious natural assets. 
  • Growing a wall of hope against abject poverty.
  • Growing food security, for the millions that go hungry every day.
  • Growing health and wellbeing for the world’s poorest communities. 
  • Growing improved water security, so women and girls don’t have to spend hours everyday fetching water. 
  • Growing gender equity, empowering women with new opportunities.
  • Growing sustainable energy, powering communities towards a brighter future. 
  • Growing green jobs, giving real incomes to families across the Sahel. 
  • Growing economic opportunities to boost small business and commercial enterprise.
  • Growing a reason to stay to help break the cycle of migration.
  • Growing sustainable consumption patterns, to protect the natural capital of the Sahel. 
  • Growing resilience to climate change in a region where temperatures are rising faster than anywhere else on Earth. 
  • Growing a symbol of peace in countries where conflict continues to displace communities.
  • Growing a symbol of interfaith harmony across Africa. 
  • Growing strategic partnerships to  accelerate rural development across Africa.

Results and achievements

Co-ordinating the efforts of stakeholders using a common approach, a harmonised results management framework and innovative tools to achieve the 2030 targets of the Great Green Wall Initiative.

2030 targets of the Great Green Wall Initiative

Supporting Sustainability

The Great Green Wall contributes directly to the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 Goals adopted by world leaders aim to end poverty, promote prosperity and well-being for all, and protect the planet.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Great Green Wall strikes right at the heart of the fight against poverty and contributes directly to the 2030 global agenda of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Indian Green Wall

Meanwhile, the Indian government also announced a plan to build a green wall, following Africa’s example. The country intends to build a 1,400-kilometer long green wall in the western region of New Delhi to stop the southern expansion of the Thar Desert. 

Projects such as these on this massive scale require so many to pull together to make our planet a better place for the future. The more we can act on projects such as these with the support of many organisations, will prove a positive step for millions in the immediate and longer term future of our plant.

Be sure to chek out the project in dail via their website – get behind it and help make our planet green again!