The Follow-Up Meeting on African Initiative for Combating Desertification to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa (AI-CD) was held on 3rd Sept 2019 during the UNCCD COP14 in New Delhi, India.
For the mid-term point of AI-CD implementation (2016-2022), representatives from the Horn of Africa region, the Sahel region, and JICA shared updates and had cross-regional discussions on the next steps to be taken towards the latter half of AI-CD, with particular focus on their main challenge which is access to finance. The meeting was closed by moderators, Dr. Chagala of Kenya and Mr. Dia of AI-CD, also a consultant for Sahel who emphasised that AI-CD should accelerate its activities in the latter half of AI-CD implementation to make impacts on the ground.
Outline of the forum
The outline of the forum is as follows:
(1) AI-CD Updates
The participating country representatives and JICA shared their updates regarding the AI-CD activities.
Dr. Chagala, Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya introduced the main activities that have been done in the Horn of Africa so far. It included each country’s efforts to develop project idea notes and the issue of access to finance that the countries have faced. A country workshop in South Sudan was held in July 2018 for a wide stakeholders’ consultation and to identify prioritised projects in the country, which is a good example as a process to formulate fundable projects under the country ownership principle. KEFRI’s role as facilitator in sharing the good practices of HoA – which led to the development of a guideline and a case study on effective measures to combat desertification in the region – was highlighted.
Mr. BA, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MESD), Senegal reported about three AI-CD regional forums that have been held in the Sahel region so far. Sahel countries have developed the AI-CD TOR, prepared the project idea note of each country, and agreed to work to develop a knowledge sharing platform managed by CILSS. He also presented the outcomes of two national workshops held in Nigeria in April 2019 and Burkina Faso in July 2019 in the Sahel region.
Ms. Miura, JICA explained that the AI-CD secretariat, supported by JICA, has been helping the participating countries in enhancing knowledge sharing through joint development with ICARDA, the AI-CD Knowledge Hub. She also mentioned about providing assistance to the countries – through cooperation with other AI-CD partners – in developing project idea notes to seek fund from donors. A sandstorm and dust forecast system (SPRINTARS) in Sahel region, now available on the AI-CD website, was introduced.
(2) Moving forward to 2022
The 2nd session of the meeting focused on discussing the main challenges facing the member countries, with focus on access to finance and capacity building.
With regard to access to finance, representatives from Ethiopia shared that they are still struggling to get finance from donors. Mr. Izumi from AI-CD Secretariat indicated that intermediary institutions in Africa, which have experiences about the situation and policies in Africa, can be helpful in developing project proposals and partnering with relevant donors for implementing projects.
In terms of capacity building, Eritrea and Kenya stressed the importance of enhancing fund raising capacity, while Kenya emphasised the necessity of being proactive as a focal point and to have short, medium and long-term financing plans.
[i] Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Senegal, and South Sudan