Niger Basin, Africa bank officials meet

A delegation of the nine-nation Niger Basin Commission met with officials of the African Development Bank January 21-22 to update bank officials on the Niger’s shared vision process and preparations for a roundtable on the basin’s sustainable development plan.

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. Basin commission members are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Chad.

The commission’s sustainable development plan is to help check the silting process in the Niger River, which has adverse effects on food production. The program already has protected 7,540 hectares, checking silting.

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 library on the Niger River, the fight against wild hyancinth infestation, and design of a technical manual designed to help efforts to fight desertification. In 2004, heads of the member countries signed a commitment to sustainable development of the basin.

Niger Basin countries received funds from the World Bank’s International Development Association in 2007 that included financing for Nigeria to rehabilitate the 760-MW Kainji and 540-MW Jebba hydroelectric projects in the Niger River Basin. (HNN 10/2/07)

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