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Lake Chad member nations committed to ‘Abuja Charter’ — Communique

President Buhari with R-L: Prime Minister of Cameroon Philemon Yang, President of Niger H.E. Mahamadou Isoufou, President of Chad H.E. Idris Deby Itno and President of Gabon H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba at an High Level Meeting of the International Conference on Lake Chad Basin in Abuja on 28th Feb 2018

By Tosin Kolade
Member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) have expressed willingness to implement the roadmap for the restoration of the shrinking Lake Chad, called the Abuja Charter.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the three-day International Conference on Lake Chad in Abuja, on Wednesday, members expressed the need to take the restoration of the basin as a Pan-African project.

The LCBC countries are: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Niger, and Nigeria.

The communiqué signed by Hajiya Khadijah Abba-Ibrahim, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, called on all the LCBC member states to demonstrate high political will to save the Lake Chad region.

It urged member-nations to implement integrated measures such as afforestation, biotechnology, drop irrigation among others to minimise water evaporation from the basin.

The communiqué also urged the member states to establish an economic free trade zone to serve as a hub for trade, job creation and poverty alleviation in the region.

It commended the Italian Government for the provision of 1.5 million Euros for the feasibility study and best viable options for the restoration of the Lake Chad area.

Prof. Salihu Mustafa, a Nigerian, who spoke on behalf of member states made recommendations that there were no other options to restore the shrinking lake if not the option of water transfer.

He called on all stakeholders to take the project as a pan-African goal and achieve results.

Mustafa said it was important for the African Development Bank to mobilise the proposed $50 billion to fund the Inter-Basin Water transfer in the region.

The conference came to a close with the appointment of Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, as the Executive Secretary of the LCBC.

Nuhu replaces Engr. Sanusi Abdullahi, who also served as the Head of Mission of the Multi-National Joint Task Force.

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