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Bank Group experts and their counterparts from the Global Water Partnership (GWP) on Friday, October 9, 2009, in Tunis concluded a two-day discussion on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in East and Southern Africa. Discussions also focused on how to find the way forward. The meeting, which ran from October 8-9, 2009, was marked by several presentations on integrated water management results and the evaluation of the water situation in the region. The meeting also focused on the draft concept note that was prepared for the Bank’s review. It also served as a venue for experts to share perspectives and experiences on water resources development on the continent. The main priorities and programmes in the SADC and East African regions and assessments in 30 African countries (6 Northern, 12 Eastern and 12 Southern), were also at the center of discussions. The meeting is part of efforts to follow up on the assessments. It was also an opportunity to explore possible logical steps forward in determining further actions that could be taken to implement some of the recommendations.
Speaking on the occasion, Water and Sanitation and African Water Facility Officer-in-charge, Sering Jallow underscored that one of the building blocks of the Bank’s Medium Term Strategy was the development of effective partnerships that could deliver results. “We see the ongoing collaboration between GWP and the Bank as an important development to strengthen the mainstreaming of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Africa”, he said, adding that “Africa’s water sector challenges require innovative approaches to harness the region’s water resources for water supply, agriculture, energy, industrial and environmental development in order to accelerate economic growth”. “Conscious of this, the Bank Group’s medium term strategy 2008-2012 renewed our commitments to the water sector in Africa, especially through knowledge management activities. We hope that through our combined efforts, we can achieve the targets that the continent has set in the Africa Water Vision 2025, and the MDGs, as well as the most recent commitments by our ministers and heads of states and governments at Ethikweni, Tunis and Sharm el Sheikh last year,” he added.
In collaboration with the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the Water Partnership Program (WPP) has, over the years, supported Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) situation assessments in 30 African Countries. The results of the assessments have been discussed at a number of regional workshops in Rabat, Kampala, Uganda and Johannesburg with a view to sharing the findings and creating increased awareness of IWRM issues, best practices and approaches.