The Blue Fund for the Congo Basin, which is the main financial instrument of the Congo Basin Climate Commission, is a rallying project which offers promising prospects for the Congo Basin, for the region and for the African Continent, HM King Mohammed VI said.
In a speech to the 1st Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Climate Commission of the Congo Basin and the Blue Fund for the Congo Basin, which opened on Sunday in Brazzaville, the Sovereign underlined that this project will “inevitably” trigger a positive dynamic which will involve projects that will boost and benefit Member States’ economies.
The project will hence improve inland waterways, develop secondary ports, promote sustainable fishing practices, fight river water pollution and upgrade irrigation systems with a view to increasing agricultural productivity, the monarch pointed out, noting that this new water-centered economy will be the main driver of development.
Financing is the main challenge facing the implementation of the project, the Sovereign said, adding that “we must innovate and come up with mechanisms that will help us identify and raise financial resources. We need to convince bilateral and multilateral donors – public as well as private – of the pertinence of the project.”
HM the King recalled, on this occasion, the several steps taken since the Africa Action Summit. “The Blue Fund was created in Oyo in March 2017. Its operational measures were agreed in Brazzaville in November 2017, and the implementation of the project was fast-tracked in Rabat in March 2018, during a meeting on the terms of reference of the Blue Fund’s preparatory study.”
“Throughout the process, the Kingdom of Morocco has rallied behind this ambitious project to ensure its success, building on the expertise my country has gained in tackling climate change,” the Sovereign underlined.
“This decision is also justified by the human dimension which is a pivotal component of the project. Indeed, an inclusive, participatory approach that involves the region’s inhabitants is essential,” HM the King explained.
“Guided by a brotherly spirit and by African solidarity, we have gathered to help unleash a beneficial dynamic. What is at stake is nothing less than the preservation and development of a precious African heritage: the Congo River,” the Sovereign said.
“We owe this to the 200 million Africans who live in the Congo River Basin; we owe it to our Continent,” HM the King added.