Tunis, 7 October 2008 - Forty project managers from the Bank Groups French-speaking Regional Member Countries (RMCs) met on Monday, October 6, 2008, in Tunis for a project implementation review workshop financed by the African Water Facility (AWF).
The AWF Coordinator, Freddie Kwesiga, said that the workshop was being held in response to difficulties and challenges encountered by project management staff. "These challenges include inadequate knowledge of the rules of procedure of the Bank with regard to administrative and financial management of projects, or poor interpretation and application of the procedures for the procurement of goods and services," he added.
Over the next 5 days, the workshop will discuss issues related to procurement, disbursement and financial management procedures and general aspects of AWF project activities. The training is expected to meet the needs of project managers and strengthen their capacity by familiarizing them with AWF and Bank rules on disbursement and financial management of projects.
"The Facility is currently in the process of reviewing its portfolio to ensure that results are achieved as planned. Lessons will be drawn and scaled up to fulfil AWF and Bank mandate as well as play a more significant role in mobilizing additional resources for RMCs to meet targets set by the African Water Vision, and the MDG ," Mr. Kwesiga explained.
The African Water Facility, which is an initiative of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), was created in 2004 to promote the development of Africa’s water sector and to mobilize the necessary financial resources for the implementation of its activities.
The Facility started operations in 2006. It has received more than 90 requests for project financing from various RMCs and organizations. So far, 36 approved projects are at various stages of implementation in 23 countries within 6 basin institutions, Mr. Kwesiga explained. He said 33 million Euros had been invested in the projects through the support of various donors, including Austria, the EC, France, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the African Development Bank.
The workshop is being attended by experts from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles and the Central African Republic. Regional institutions, including the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), Inter-Government Authorities on Development (IGAD), International Commission of the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS), Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) and African Network of Basin Organizations (ANBO), are also participating in the workshop.