Challenges in combating desertification in sub-Saharan Africa, which role for China?

Alioune Thiam


Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries are witnessing both man-made disasters, such as corruption, civil wars, fratricide conflict; and natural disasters, such as water scarcity, drought and desertification. These phenomena have led to land degradation and affected the economic and living conditions of the population. In response to these last challenges, several international conventions and domestic laws have been enacted to prevent and tackle their threatening effects. Among these attempts, is the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD). This convention requires international co-operation in which China and Africa are both engaged.

Based on the above premise, the purpose of this article is to evaluate the main challenges in combatting desertification in SSA and to assess the role that China is playing with Africa to overcome the relevant challenges. Some questions will be addressed hereto: how does the UNCCD accommodate the needs of SSA countries and what are the remaining challenges? How do SSA countries comply and respond to the requirement of the convention and what are the unresolved issues? Finally, how are China and Africa co-operating or may better co-operate to tackle the nexus challenges on desertification?

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