The President of Gambia, Sir Dawada Jawara visited the Sahel country of Niger recently (22 November) on a tour of several members of the Inter-State Committee for the Fight against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS).
The President of Gambia, Sir Dawada Jawara visited the Sahel country of Niger recently (22 November) on a tour of several members of the Inter-State Committee for the Fight against Drought in the Sahel (CILSS). The Sahel region extends almost three thousand miles (5000 kms) across Africa, south of the Sahara desert, and the severe drought of 1972/73 brought the region to the brink of disaster. The CILSS was formed in 1973 to combat the drought effects and launch new initiatives for rehabilitation and development.
SYNOPSIS: Gambian President Sir Dawada Jawara, current president of the CILSS arrived at Niamey airport, and was greeted by Niger's President Seyni Kountche and Army Chief of Staff General Ali Chaibou. Niger is among the largest and Gambia the smallest, of the eight-nation CILLS Committee.
President Jawara's tour to Niger, Upper Volta and Mali includes visits to several development projects before he leaves for the CILLS Chief of State Summit in Upper Volta in January.
For its part, Niger has made good progress in the battle to increase food production. President Kountche, after a tour through six provinces of his country, announced that Niger will be self-sufficient in food production by 1980. The main crops are millet and sorghum, and in 1974, at the end of the great drought, production of those crops met only twenty-eight to thirty percent of the country's needs. The countries of the CILSS are working jointly to prevent similar disastrous effects from any future drought.