The Bamako-based World Bank’s Director of Operations for Mali, Guinea, Niger and Chad, Mrs Soukeyna Kane, granted an audience to the Executive Secretary of LCBC on Friday, 2nd June 2017, as part of her familiarization tour in the countries covered by her activities.
Mrs Kane was appointed on the 1st May 2017. She considered her tour as the strategic guidance she plans to implement as part of the development of the World Bank programmes for poverty eradication and fair sharing of the outcomes of growth in the Sahel region, which is hard-hit by several challenges. She held talks with the Executive Secretary about the partnership between both institutions.
During this audience which took place in the World Bank local office, the Executive Secretary of LCBC was assisted by the Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), the Technical Director of LCBC, the Military Adviser to the Executive Secretary and the Head of Division of Information, Communication and Technologies. He commended the nature of relations between the World Bank and LCBC.
Engr. Sanusi Imran Abdullahi underlined the Lake Chad Development and Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan, which was developed as part of the Paris CoP21 with the assistance of the World Bank, which decided to support LCBC for its execution following its approval by close to twenty Heads of State, including those from the LCBC Member States by holding a Donors’ Conference for the mobilization of resources needed to fund it. It is worth noting that it aims to help LCBC member countries exploit the resources of the Lake Chad basin and enable the sustainable and inclusive growth amid climate change through enhancing the fight against poverty and the sub-regional and cooperation and integration.
During the side event on Lake Chad organised at the Paris CoP21, this plan attracted hope from all the Heads of State of the region, who viewed it as a strategy to save this precious water body, which is on the brink of total shrinkage. In this vein, the Executive Secretary of LCBC sought to know if the World Bank is still available to support his institution in the execution of this programme by organising the Donors’ Conference for its funding in line with the commitment made in Paris.
The new Director of Operations who said she just heard about this issue, declared she will try to know more on it, notably the three items raised by LCBC including the holding of the Donors’ Conference, the funding of the Lake Chad development plan and the will of the World Bank to support LCBC.
She decided that talks will continue on this matter in line with the Bank’s priorities in the Sahel region through regular holdings of video conferences involving all the stakeholders.
The Director of Operations sought to have an idea of the security and humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad basin as development issues should be handled alongside security matters in the Lake Chad and Sahel region as a whole.
The Commander of the MNJTF, Major General L.O Adeosun saluted this move explaining the nature and mandate of this force, which is placed under the commandment of LCBC. He briefed the audience on field attacks conducted since its inception, which enabled to improve the security situation in the basin although he acknowledged that isolated terrorist attacks are still rampant.
After the discussions, Mrs Kane was pleased to realise that concerted efforts to restore peace and stability are yielding their fruits. She thus pledged to do her best to support the development of the Lake Chad basin, which is facing ecological, economic and security challenges, which fall in line with the World Bank agenda in the Sahel region. It is worth noting that the resident Representative of World Bank, Mr. Adama Coulibaly and Mrs Mehita Fanny Sylla, Regional Director at the World Bank for Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Sao Tome and Principe also took part in this audience.