AfDB and Niger River Basin Officials Meet
A Niger Basin Commission delegation, led by Niger’s Minister of Water, Aminou Tassiou, is currently at the Bank to discuss the development of the Niger basin. The two-day meeting between Bank Group officials and Niger River Basin authorities, which started on Monday, January 21, 2008, aims at updating Bank Group officials on the progress made regarding Niger’s shared vision process and preparations for a roundtable on the basin’s sustainable development action plan. Created in 1980, the Niger Basin Commission is a sub-regional organization comprising Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Chad.
The commission’s objective is to promote cooperation among member countries and ensure the basin’s development is integrated into all sectors of the economy through resource development. The objective of the basin’s development plan is to help check the silting process in the Niger River which has adverse effects on food production. The programme has already resulted in 7,540 ha being protected and the silting checked in May 2007. The ADF has provided a UA15 million funding and the project is expected to be completed in December 2010.
Since its creation, the Niger Basin Commission has undertaken various actions focusing mainly on water forecast systems in the basin, the creation of a large document stock on the Niger River, the fight against wild hyacinth and the dissemination of a technical manual designed to help efforts aimed at fighting desertification. The shared vision comprises a common sustainable development vision of the Niger River negotiated and accepted by all key players in member countries. In 2004, heads of state of member countries of the basin signed a statement in Paris confirming their political commitment to the sustainable development of River Basin.