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AU Agriculture, Rural Dev’t Commissioner commends Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative

Addis Ababa, August 25, 2023 (FBC) – AU Commissioner Josefa Sacko has commended the Green Legacy Initiative and the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s commitment to change the narrative.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) said Ethiopia is one of the countries that most suffers from drought, but the seedlings that are being planted will eventually prevent the drought and land degradation.

“I (therefore) commend the example of Ethiopia. Ethiopia did not ask for grant from anybody. Your own initiative is a political initiative from the Government of Ethiopia that decided to start planting trees; and it is easy to plant trees,” Sacko added.

Since Africa is tropical forest it is a matter of designing the program and mobilizing the society to join in implementing it to fruition.

“Many other countries should come and see this program of Ethiopia; and learn from this. That is the advantage of being in this platform of the AU— knowledge and sharing. We need to share knowledge. For that we, and me as commissioner in this area will always say that look at what Ethiopia is doing that all other countries should embrace and should follow the example of Ethiopia.”

Commissioner Sacko stated that this is something we need to support. “We need to support and encourage Ethiopia to continue on that (Green Legacy Initiative).”

She noted that there had been one Climate Change Conference (COP) after the other that did not go beyond pledges and promises. We decided therefore to have our own African summit, the commissioner revealed.

Accordingly, the first Africa Climate Summit will be held in Kenya, Nairobi, under the theme “Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World” next month.

Our responsibility on emission is less than 4 percent, but we are the most vulnerable, Sacko said, emphasizing that “this time it is demand driven by our institutions.”

AU is the only organization that has full membership of all its 55 member states; and that is our strength and power, she pointed out.

Africa’s 30 percent of grain and 40 percent of fertilizer is imported from Ukraine and Russia markets, the commissioner said, adding that “our vision in terms of this should reduce the import bill of Africa.”

Sacko underscored that spending up to 50 billion USD annually on food when we have 50 percent of arable land, aquatic resources and the youngest population is not acceptable.

“What is that we are lacking that we are not onboard? Our second name is poverty, it is shame on us!” the commissioner complained bitterly.

She said that the first Africa Climate Summit, unlike the COPs, will not delve into speeches. “We want to walk the talk.”

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