Organization of Islamic Cooperation Endorses Transaqua Project for African Water Management
June 3, 2019 (EIRNS)—At its 14th tri-annual conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia over the weekend, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued an endorsement of the Transaqua project for the restoration of Lake Chad. In a speech at the summit, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari commended the decision, pointing to its benefits for the local economy. Noting that the shrinking of the lake had caused severe economic deprivation, fuelled illegal migration to Europe, the displacement of communities and radicalization of youth, Buhari said,
“In this connection, we welcome the various interventions under the Special Program for the Development of Africa, the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development [both programs of the Islamic Development Bank] and the recent approved Science and Technology Fund [of Egypt], among others. We urge them to do more as their contributions towards poverty alleviation and peace building,”
The OIC is the second largest intergovernmental institution in the world, just after the UN, with 57 member states from four continents, representing 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. As a result, it has a much higher percentage of “developing” nations of the world (than the UN), and is more attuned to their perspective. Buhari, as President of one of the four states bordering Lake Chad (along with Niger, Chad and Cameroon), has seen the lake disappear, and the growing devastation and radicalization which resulted; and the six members states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (along with Libya and Central African Republic).
In 2018, the OIC approved $9 billion for development in the region, specifically identifying Boko Haram, saying in their statement, the security, stability and development of the Lake Chad region remain priorities for the OIC. At the same conference, they signed an MOU with the Lake Chad Basin Commission to save the lake.