Open a satellite map of the African continent and you’ll see the Sahel front and centre, a large, brown band across Northern Africa. It suggests a vast and dry piece of planet Earth, with no visible sign of people and no hint of vegetation. But zoom in closer and the picture becomes richer. Contours cut across the Earth’s surface, villages are visible here and there, and small green dots pepper the landscape. Up close, one begins to see the story of communities regreening the Sahel.