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Alliance Of Sahel States Focus On Food Security and Climate Sustainability!

The Central Sahel is one of the world's most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change, with temperature increases that are 1.5 higher than the global average. Only 25 percent of the population in the Sahel have access to electricity and only 40 percent have access to clean water.

Africa's youth in the Sahel region are key to driving economic growth, creating sustainable economies, and fostering peace. The Sahel is home to over 230 million young people under 24, and their voices and potential can be a driving force for positive change. However, governments in the region have historically excluded youth from decision-making, and major opposition parties often don't include citizens under 35. To create lasting change, some say that young people need opportunities and relevant skills, and that governments should give them a seat at the table and empower them to use it.

Sahel's youth are key to creating sustainable green economies, and have what it takes to build a better Sahel, but we must give them the ladders of opportunity they require to create lasting change. They need access to relevant skills, and they need business and infra structure building opportunities. Young people have collective power to make their own great futures, with the guidance of the government they can use that power.” In many countries outside of Africa, countries with ageing populations are facing high healthcare costs and a shortage of skilled labor. Africa and the Caribbean and parts of central America have the advantage because of growing populations while the rest of the world is in speedy demographic decline.

The Sahel is considered a transitional zone between the desert of the north and the savannas of the south. It can also be characterized as a steppe environment. The region has a long history of human habitation and usage, and it played an important role in the development of societies and even a major world religion. The Sahel—the belt of land that stretches across Africa on the southern edge of the Sahara—has always been a tough place to farm. Rainfall is low and droughts are frequent. The crust of hard soil is, at times, almost impermeable, and harsh winds threaten to sweep away everything in their path. Over the past three decades, however, hundreds of thousands of farmers in Burkina Faso and Niger have transformed large swaths of the region’s arid landscape into productive agricultural land, improving food security for about 3 million people. Once-denuded landscapes are now home to abundant trees, crops, and livestock. Although rainfall has improved slightly from the mid-1990s relative to earlier decades, indications are that farmer management is a stronger determinant of land and agroforestry regeneration. Sahelian farmers achieved their success by ingeniously modifying traditional agroforestry, water, and soil-management practices.

To improve water availability and soil fertility in Burkina Faso’s Central Plateau, farmers have sown crops in planting pits and built stone contour bunds, which are stones piled up in long narrow rows that follow the contours of the land in order to capture rainwater runoff and soil. These practices have helped rehabilitate between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares of land and produce an additional 80,000 tons of food per year. In southern Niger, farmers have developed innovative ways of regenerating and multiplying valuable trees whose roots already lay underneath their land, thus improving about 5 million hectares of land and producing more than 500,000 additional tons of food per year. This is only the beginning as modern machinery is being brought into the region to work in tandem with the sustainable practices that have recovered so much desert land.


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