2017 World Water Week: AfDB joins global community to address water challenges

29/08/2017
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As a leading financing partner on water and sanitation services in Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and two of its flagship water initiatives: the African Water Facility (AWF) and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), are participating in the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden from August 27 to September 1, on the theme: “Water and Waste: reduce and reuse.”

During the annual World Water Week, experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators and a range of sectors and countries gather in Stockholm to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today.

The importance of water to human development and poverty alleviation in Africa is clearly expressed in the strategic focus areas of the Bank called The High 5s – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

“We are delighted that the African Development Bank, together with partners, is given an opportunity to showcase and discuss its strategies, results and lessons learned at the 2017 World Water Week. The development of the water and sanitation sector in Africa greatly benefits from this unique forum organized every year by the Stockholm International Water Institute,” said Osward Chanda, OIC Director of the Bank’s Water Development and Sanitation Department and the AWF.

This week in Stockholm, the AfDB, AWF and the RWSSI have been invited to provide new and emerging perspectives on how to accelerate delivery of water services, water supply and sanitation to all Africans by 2030 and organizing two event together with partners.

The first Showcase co-organized by the AfDB, African Water Facility and the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW): An African Response to Agenda 2030 was held on August 29. This event outlined key approaches by the three Conveners, and how they cooperate to produce an evolving and more effective approach

As key African institutions, AfDB, AMCOW, and AWF have an important role to play in helping African states address their water objectives and challenges that are enormous as highlighted by Mansour Faye, Senegal’s Minister for Water and Sanitation and President of the AWF’s Governing Council: “Together we must take up the challenges of water and sanitation financing and reduce the deficit in hydraulic infrastructure in a sustainable way in order to increase our resilience to climate risks. Today, only 5% of the hydroelectric potential of our continent is developed and only 7% of arable land is irrigated.” The minister further explained that the financing gap for water and sanitation is in the region of US$ 6-14 billion per year, almost half of the total funding requirement.

To accelerate development of bankable projects for the sector, the African Water Facility adopted a strategic plan in December 2016 for the years (2017-2025). This approach considers the previously stated challenges and innovative approaches to financing water investment. The 2017-2025 Strategy aims to leverage financing for water sector development through Project Preparation, Catalytic Investments and Investment Promotion.

The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) hosted by the African Development Bank is a pan-African response to address the rural water and sanitation crisis. The AfDB’s rural water and sanitation portfolio supports 37 active programs in 25 African countries and represents €1.3 billion of AfDB financing commitments. RWSSI is supported by a multi-donor Trust Fund with paid-in contributions of €182 million.

Together, the AfDB, AMCOW and AWF provide a comprehensive approach to preparing sustainable infrastructure projects, whilst strengthening the enabling investment climate and facilitating access to needed investment financing by African governments, development partners and the private sector. Further, increase the investment impact of the internal financial resources from their national budgets in the sector.

On August 30, the AfDB will co-organize a second Showcase in partnership with the Global Water Partnership on the theme: Integrated Urban Water Management – Challenges and Opportunities

About World Water Week: Hosted and organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the World Water Week (WWW) is the largest global event for water and development issues. Every year, government representatives, water experts, and private sector leaders meet to discuss and advance the water agenda.