Vice President Pittman successfully led the AfDB delegation to the second African Water Week

12/11/2009
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The second African Water Week held in Johannesburg under the theme “Carrying forward the commitments of the Sharm El Sheikh AU summit on Water and Sanitation: A Sprint to the finish” has ended. This theme underscores the realities of Africa’s water security and sanitation and the urgency of the need to implement those key commitments made by the political leadership in accelerating progress towards the achievements of the MDGs and the African Water Vision and Framework for Action targets for water and sanitation.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) contributed to the conference by making presentations on a key topic of interest to the participants, namely financing water and sanitation infrastructure for economic growth. Africa’s low base of water infrastructure accounts for poor progress in the fight against poverty and retarding economic growth. Financing and scaling up infrastructure and service delivery in Africa remains a challenge. Vice President Pittman emphasised the importance of this issue during his speech during the special session in these terms: “The attainment of the MDG targets for drinking water and sanitation will truly be facilitated by rapid economic growth, which in turn will be facilitated by harnessing the region’s water resources to support agriculture and generate energy to accelerate economic development”. He reassured the participants of the Bank’s commitments to increase funding to countries to increase access to water and sanitation while continuing to play a vital role through its support for other water-related infrastructure in order to improve prospects for economic growth. Since 2003, the Bank’s financing for water supply and sanitation is approaching about $500 million a year and plans to double this in the coming years, he said.

Vice President Pittman, along with two other key members of the delegation (Mr. Jallow and Mr. Woudeneh), has several important meetings with the South African authorities and representatives of major organizations. He also met with other African authorities.