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Issoufou, 4 others join AWF global board of trustees

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Issoufou, 4 others join AWF global board of trustees

By Tada JUTHA, Maiduguri

The former President and Prime Minister of Niger Republic and Ethiopia, Issoufou Mahamadou and Hailemariam Desalegn have joined the global board of trustees of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).

They are to share their ‘diverse and unique’ African leadership perspectives; as the Foundation implements the 10-strategy to protect natural asset base.

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The new board of trustees believe that the recovery path chosen by African leaders must be committed to securing the continent’s natural infrastructure to ensure a resilient and prosperous nation.

The AWF Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Kaddu Sebunya, stated yesterday, in Maiduguri that: “The Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and lands for modern and prosperous Africa.”

While announcing the board of trustees, he said: “As an African organization in uncertain times, we recognize the important role that the African voice plays in ensuring that the continent’s development is hinged on its people and natural asset base.”

He warned that Africa now stands at a crossroad, as the decisions of African leaders will have an enduring impact on the people.

According to him; “We’ve to lead the fight against the destruction of valuable habitats and wildlife in Africa.”

He maintained that it is time for African voices and networks to re-imagine the conservation narrative.

Speaking on African leaders’ support, he said: “We trust that the elevated status of biodiversity will influence the opportunities available to Africans today for their future generations.”

He noted that the support; will champion the new narrative for conservation in Africa; as the two former heads of States have brought outstanding experiences from their previous leadership roles and capacities as the Chairpersons of their respective Foundations.

Citing former President Issoufou of Niger, he said: “He has already recorded substantial progress in combating the impact of climate change and biodiversity for a decade in the Sahel region.”

Sebunya added that the former President supported the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative with the successful launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) that led him to win the Mo Ibrahim African Leadership Award (IBALA).

He explained that the GGW is positioned to rebuild a green belt of forest across the Saharan desert range states, stating that the idea was to hold back the growing Saharan desert and create a lush ecosystem.

Continued: “Africa needs more bold initiatives like this to give us a fair chance to reverse biodiversity loss,” he said.

In his statement of acceptance to join AWF, Issoufou said: “I am very excited to be joining the AWF board to further ensure that Africa shapes its own conservation and climate agenda,” noting that it will secure prosperity for the African nations and their communities.

He said the revival of GGW is transforming people’s lives across the Sahel with the restoration of the ecosystems.

“This will shape the future of Africa,” he declared, stating that by working with AWF enormous milestones could be achieved.

The former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn is also supporting selected national parks in the country’s most remote landscapes through the Hailemariam and Roman Foundation (HRF).

Excited to be on board of AWF, he said: “We’re transforming the tourism and conservation sector by creating alternative livelihoods in communities of Ethiopia, including neighbouring countries in the horn of Africa.

“I understand the key issues that we face as a continent and have consistently stated in multiple global forums that; what needs to change is our behavior and mindset,” adding that there are discussions on green growth investments and how to shape global negotiations.

The negotiations, according to him, are by mobilizing the private sector through nature-based solutions related to biodiversity and joint climate action.

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Speaking on COVID-19 and climate change impact, the former PM said: “African countries will therefore need to build back better with a focus on diversified and resilient economies,” assuring that AWF has set the right course to shape Africa’s economic development as a model to other nations across the globe.

According to him, AWF’s conservation is at the center of Africa’s socio-economic development and growth.

Issoufou, 4 others join AWF global board of trustees

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