African Water Facility launches new Strategy 2017-2025
The African Water Facility (AWF), hosted by the African Development Bank Group, formally launched its new Strategy 2017–2025 on October 13, 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The occasion was used to introduce and share with stakeholders, partners, donors, beneficiaries and various Bank departments collaborating with the AWF the innovative approaches that it will focus on over the next 10 years in order to deliver on its mandate of mobilising financing for the water and sanitation sector.
“Water is at the centre of development programs aimed at improving the welfare of populations,” Jennifer Blanke, African Development Bank Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, said at the launch. “AWF’s Strategy 2017-2025 will enable the Trust Fund to strengthen its role as a project preparation structure for the Bank’s five priorities and sustainable development objectives.”
The event also included panel discussions moderated by the Officer-in-Charge and Acting Director of the Water Development and Sanitation Department, Osward Chanda, in which contributions, suggestions and knowledge were shared by the panel and participants. The distinguished panel members also commented on different areas they believe the AWF Strategy will continue strengthening. The representative of the Communities based Organizations (CBOs) and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises called for financing of catalytic investments to directly benefit the people while promoting private initiatives at the same time; the African Water Association (AfWA) challenged the AWF to continue to redouble its efforts in capacity building in water and wastewater without which no investment will be sustainable and viable; and the African Development Bank’s Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry (AHAI) called for increased collaboration with all stakeholders within and outside the Bank in order to achieve the noble objectives of the Strategy.
The Acting Coordinator of the AWF, Jean-Michel Ossete, highlighted the importance of the three main pillars of the Strategy, namely: Preparation of Bankable Projects, Catalytic Investment and Investment Promotion, and the crosscutting themes. The Country Programme Officer of the Bank’s Regional Directorate General-Central articulated the importance of project preparation facilities like the AWF to the new Development Business Delivery Model of the Bank and how existing AWF projects have contributed to effective delivery of business in that region.
At the close, the Vice-President called for the effective collaboration with participants in order to achieve the ambitious targets of the Strategy, especially in achieving the leveraging ratio of 1 to 60 from the current level of 1 to 34.