11 June 2011, Thikene Ndiaye - Colonel Sarre explaining the Great Green Wall (Grande Muraille Verte) to a visiting participant of the Africa Drylands Week conference.
The Great Green Wall (Grande Muraille Verte) is a pan-African initiative launched in 2007 by the African Union with the goal to create a wall of trees 15 km wide and 7,600 km long from Dakar to Djibouti to help slow desertification. Seven species of trees were selected not only according to how they would adapt to the roughness of the terrain, but also for what they could give to the neighboring populations, e.g. the Acacia senegal for its gum arabic, the Balanite tree for its berries and oil, the Zyzyphus for its fruit. These are also trees that community members will not want to cut down as they are a source of income.