3rd Africa Water Week - AfDB Advocates Innovative Sources of Funding in Water and Sanitation Sector

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From: 22/11/2010
To: 26/11/2010
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Tunis, 22 November 2010 – Financing from official development assistance and national budgets is clearly not sufficient to close the financing gap in the water and sanitation sector, the African Development Bank (AfDB) says, on the eve of the 3rd Africa Water Week, calling for more innovative sources of funding.

As evidenced by an update carried out by the AfDB on the costs for achieving the Africa Water Vision, there are still significant gaps in water financing, a fact corroborated by the results of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic Study.

An estimated USD 45-60 billion is required annually to meet Africa’s water infrastructure requirements, of which drinking water supply and sanitation represents some USD 11 billion.

In order to promote more innovative approaches in tapping non-traditional sources of funding, the African Development Bank is leading a thematic session on “Financing Investments in Water for Growth and Development”, during the 3rd Africa Water Week (Addis Ababa, 22-26 November 2010).

The session will provide the expected 500 participants including ministers, basin organizations representatives and other sector actors an opportunity to showcase innovative and successful approaches in mobilizing financing and to facilitate peer-learning. Discussions will focus on country case-studies and experiences from an array of stakeholders on non-traditional sources of financing.

The two-day session is led in cooperation with the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the Water and Sanitation Program, Africa (WSP) as well as the African Water Facility, an African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) initiative hosted by the AfDB.

The AfDB will also launch two major reports. The “Water sector governance in Africa report during the 3rd Africa Water week” finds that poor governance has been a major reason for the poor record of sustainability of water and sanitation services affecting millions of Africans.

The “Guidelines for User Fees and Cost Recovery for urban and rural water and sanitation” touches on a very critical issue for all water sector investments: how to ensure that water and sanitation services are financially viable, in addition to being environmentally and socially sustainable?

A side event will be dedicated to sharing the findings from the country status overviews from 32 African countries. The reports track sector performance and constraints, clearly identifying barriers along the service delivery pathway, to inform relevant policy actions for sector reform and accelerate progress of the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals. The AfDB has supported the process in 4 countries – Chad, Gambia, Zambia and Nigeria (3 States).

The 3rd Africa Water Week will be held on the theme “Implementing the Africa Water Vision and the MDG target: Challenges and opportunities in water and sanitation”.

The Africa Water Week has become an annual event in the regional water and sanitation agenda.

The AfDB successfully hosted the 1st African Water Week in Tunis in March 2008 which resulted in the Tunis Ministerial Declaration, a key input for the Sharm-El Sheikh Commitments on Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals made by Africa’s Heads of States Summit held that year. The 2nd African Water Week was hosted by South Africa in Johannesburg in November 2009, where the AfDB lead the thematic session on “Financing Water and Sanitation Infrastructure”.

The Tunis Declaration on Accelerating Water Security for Africa’s Socio-Economic Development foresees AfDB and WSP undertake the second generation of country status overviews on water and sanitation to expose bottlenecks and compare country progress in achieving the MDG targets. The Sharm El-Sheikh Summit of Heads of State requested AMCOW to annually report on progress made in the implementation of commitments on water and sanitation, a task which AMCOW requested the AfDB to support it to implement.

The AfDB’s role, during and beyond these events has brought together sector professionals, technocrats and civil society to define actions to address the challenges governments face in pursuing their water security agenda, and make available its knowledge resources to support them.

A key contribution of the Bank to the agenda has been the preparation of the Action Plan and Framework for Reporting Actions to the African Union, which is a guide for countries to report their water security actions.