4th Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum Concludes with Commitments to Scale Up Joint Stabilisation, Recovery and Resilience Efforts in the Lake Chad Basin

July 7, 2023
4th Lake Chad Basin Governors Forum
RS-SRR Secretariat

N’Djamena, 7 July 2023 – The 4th Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum concludes with a solid commitment to enhancing joint efforts towards stabilising the region, promoting peace, and fostering sustainable development.

The three-day forum, organised from 5th to 7th July, convened governors of the eight Boko Haram-affected territories in the Lake Chad Basin and over 750+ participants from member states, the African Union, the United Nations, multilateral and bilateral institutions, donors, civil society organisations, traditional and religious leaders, and the media; to explore opportunities for promoting peace and strengthening regional collaboration.

It took place at a time when the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery, and Resilience (RS-SRR) is approaching the end of its first phase in 2024 and the commencement of its second phase, providing a unique opportunity for stakeholders to take stock and envision improvements in the ways and means of implementing the strategy.

“I believe this meeting provides the needed opportunity to reflect on the journey so far and the lessons learnt, and to collectively strategise on how to effectively address the emerging challenges in the region,” said Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission and Head of Mission, Multinational Joint Task Force. “I urge our partners to continue to rally around the strategy and mobilise resources for its full implementation,” he added.

The Lake Chad Basin region is experiencing a poly-crisis from the growing threat of climate change which is impacting the lake's surface area, to the surge of human mobility and the Boko Haram insurgency, which has triggered a wave of violence and instability throughout the region. These issues are further compounded by the Sudan Crisis, which has increased internal displacement in the region, particularly in the Eastern part of Chad.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 1,038 schools are non-functional across the region due to attacks that have deprived thousands of children, access to education. Furthermore, 11 million people require urgent assistance, 4.1 million struggle with food insecurity, and 3.1 million have fled their homes.

In response to the security challenges in the region, the governments of the four countries established the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in 2015 to launch a coordinated military counter-offensive against Boko Haram. To complement these efforts, the Regional Strategy was developed by the Lake Chad Basin Commission and endorsed by the African Union in 2018 to facilitate long-term peace and development.

“This gathering reflects the ultimate goals of the African Union, the union of the people and of governments at subnational and national levels to focus on stability, security and new opportunities for growth,” said Ambassador Adeoye Bankole, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, African Union Commission. The AU remains fully committed to restoring state authority and facilitating good governance in the region,” he added.

The forum provided an opportunity for stakeholders to take stock of progress made in implementing the strategy and advancing stabilisation, recovery and resilience across the region.

Through joint efforts under the Regional Stabilisation Facility, for example, more than 1.36 million people in 2022, 700,000 of whom were women, benefitted from stabilisation interventions. More than 76,000 people received vital livelihood support through grants, capacity-building opportunities, and cash-for-work initiatives, and today, more than 1.1 million people (including 600,000 women) report feeling safer and more secure.

“What we have seen over three years is how the impact of stabilisation extends beyond numbers; it has restored hope and dignity across the region. It has brought communities together, fostering resilience and determination to rebuild their lives,” said Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa. Together with the governments of the Lake Chad Basin, and under the leadership of the Governors, we have built homes, schools and health centres; restored markets and feeder roads; repaired garrisons and police stations; given access to energy; and more than 400,000 displaced persons have returned home,” she added.

Considering the gains made across the region since 2018, calls were made at the forum by member states and partners to sustain these efforts by developing phase two of the strategy.

The new strategy will centralise climate security, the role of women and youth, private sector partnerships, CSO engagement, support to borderland areas, community-based reconciliation and reintegration, transitional justice and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). It will also strengthen the role actors play in enhancing the humanitarian, development and peace nexus, to facilitate coordinated and comprehensive interventions in the Lake Chad Basin region.

“We are at a crossroads, one where we need to use the best opportunity we have had since the start of the Lake Chad Basin crisis to lay the ground for sustainable peace,” said Heike Thiele, Germany, Co-Chair of the International Support Group, Director for Crisis Prevention and Stabilization, German Foreign Office. “We need to agree on a joint approach to developing the next phase of the RS-SRR. The planned extension of the RS-SRR offers this unique opportunity to adapt and adjust existing engagement at the local, national and international levels,” she added.

The forum also provided an opportunity to reinforce the role of national governments in leading efforts in the region and the role of the Lake Chad Basin Commission in coordinating and mobilising the international community and national and local partners, to contribute to stability, resilience building, recovery and the resurgence of economic activities in affected areas.

The forum concluded with the acceptance of the hosting rights for the 5th edition in Nigeria.

For more information and media enquiries, contact:

  • Ibbo Daddy Abdoulaye, Director, Information, Communication and Technologies, Lake Chad Basin Commission | i.daddy@cblt.org
  • Amalachukwu Ibeneme, Communications Analyst, UNDP Nigeria | amalachukwu.ibeneme@undp.org
  • Ugochukwu Kingsley Ahuchaogu, Regional Communications Analyst, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa | ugochukwu.kingsley@undp.org

Notes for the Editors:

About the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC)

The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) was established on 22 May 1964 with a focus on managing Lake Chad and its shared water resources, preserving the ecosystems and promoting regional integration, peace, security, and development in the Lake Chad Region.

Learn more at www.cblt.org/

About the African Union Commission

The African Union Commission (AUC) is the AU’s secretariat and undertakes the day-to-day activities of the Union. It is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Some of its functions include representing the AU and defending its interests under the guidance of and as mandated by the Assembly and the Executive Council and acting as the custodian of the AU Constitutive Act and all other OAU/AU legal instruments.

Learn more at www. https://au.int/en/commission

About the Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery, and Resilience (RS-SRR)

The Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery, and Resilience (RS-SRR), developed by the Lake Chad Basin Commission and endorsed by the African Union in 2018, acts as a regional architecture for responding to the complex security, humanitarian and development issues plaguing the region. It emphasises the need for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral, and coordinated set of sub-national, national, and cross-border initiatives to achieve long-term stabilisation, recovery, and resilience.

About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP is the leading United Nations organisation fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.

Learn more at www.undp.org/africa/waca