A U.S $500,000 African Great Lakes Conservation Fund for major projects protecting the environment of Africa’s Great Lakes was launched in Kampala Wednesday.The fund will also support projects aimed at improving livelihoods and driving economic development for the 50 million people who rely on Africa’s Great Lakes.
Uganda’s president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has pledged his support for the fund, launched at the ongoing 2017 African Great Lakes Conference in Kampala targets to protect seven lakes including Victoria, Albert, Edward, Kivu, Tanganyika, Turkana, and Malawi, also known as Nyasa or Niassa.
The conference is a once-in-20-years high-level gathering of global conservationists, business leaders and governments.
“I commend the establishment of the African Great Lakes Conservation Fund, a trans-boundary Lake initiative that will go a long way in helping to protect our Great Lakes. I pledge to continue supporting Lake management programmes? and I would be gratified if development partners indicated their support for this new fund,” Museveni said.
The fund will focus on projects that deliver the priorities identified at the close of the conference, hosted by the government of Uganda with leadership from each of the 11 nations in the African Great Lakes Region, including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The African Great Lakes Conservation Fund, supported by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by The Nature Conservancy, is among the largest ever created for environmentally-sustainable development projects in Africa.
The region holds nearly one-third of the world’s fresh surface water, supports livelihoods for 50 million Africans, and is rich in freshwater and terrestrial biodiversity.
It also faces high population growth rates, extreme poverty, and rapid unplanned development, all of which are driving related environmental impacts.
It is anticipated that all of the $500,000-worth of grants will be disbursed before the end of 2017.
A senior advisory committee with leaders from each of the African Great Lakes Region countries will help consider applications.