150 GWP Africa and Mediterranean Partners discuss solutions to improve water security investments in a post Covid-19 recovery Context

GWP-CAf partners joined GWP partners from across the globe during the October 21 – 22 Annual GWP Network Meeting to brainstorm on how to advance the water security agenda and mobilize water investments to “build back better” post COVID-19.

This statutory GWPO meeting that is now often organized virtually to expand partner participation and engagement, held for the first time in a continental format. It kicked off with an opening session on October 21st with the participation of partners from across the network. Speaking at the session, Peter Repinksi, GWP Interim Executive Secretary said, “It is only with this large, diverse, multi-stakeholder network that we can change the way water is managed”. Another highlight of this session was the announcement of the twelve Water Change Makers finalists.

The Africa and Mediterranean session took place on October 22nd with a focus on how to mobilize investments for water security especially through the Africa Water Investment Program (AIP). In his keynote address, His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former President of the Republic of Tanzania and Chair of GWP South Africa (GWP-SAF) , said, “By 2030, Africa’s population is expected to reach 1.6 billion. This will lead to a tenfold increase in water for social-economic needs. The Africa Water Facility at the African Development Bank projects that $64 billion per year is required annually to meet the 2025 Africa Water Vision, while the actual investment sits between $10 and $19 billion per year, leaving a big investment gap”

Representatives of some strategic regional partners like the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Africa Development Bank (AfDB), African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), Union of the Mediterranean, European Commission, and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) also shared ideas on the continental theme during the opening session.

The Central Africa Regional session on the first segment of the meeting was facilitated by the GWP-CAf chair, Mr. Sylvain GUEBANDA. In the plenary that followed, CWP Congo Chair, Mr. Hervé Didas AMBOULOU reported back on the this segment’s discussions highlighting the existence of two regional opportunities for investment (Regional Action Plan for IWRM (PARGIRE) and the PIDA which has a regional component in Central Africa), the five-year investment plan for the Lake Chad Basin and the availability of water resources in the region.

GWP Congo Partners at the Network Meeting

During the second regional segment on the global question, partners added to the summary report of the GWP-CAf Network preparatory meeting which focused on this question.

Additional Strategies proposed by GWP-CAf partners to advance Water Security in a COVID-19 Context

  • Improve water quality and reduce pollution
  • Strengthen water management with an emphasis on better water governance through decentralized water management (management at the lowest possible level),
  • Develop strategies to change mentality (e.g. communication for change) to encourage users to optimize water consumption and raise awareness among all users.
  • Build partnerships and strategically approach public health partners such as Ministries in charge of public health in countries.

Some success indicators will be;

  • Increase in the number of existing functional structures (regular monitoring and rehabilitation of structures);
  • Increase in the budget allocated to water mobilization and supply, especially in rural areas;
  • Increase in the number of WASH actors and awareness programs;

During the closing session of the Network meeting, Mr. Hycinth Banseka, Regional Coordinator of GWP-CAf gave a summary of key points of the Africa & Mediterranean Session.

These are;

  •  Mobilize investments in water safety through the Africa Water Investment Program (AIP)
  • Increase collaboration with strategic partners (AU, ADB, AMCOW, SWA, UE)
  • Capitalize opportunities at regional cross-border and national level of existing opportunities
  • Scale up Youth initiatives to increase youth engagement
  • Adopt and implement the Gender Transformative Approach to improve inclusion in WRM.

 In his closing address to GWP partners Mr. Peter Repinski said, “As a network organization, our next step will be to invest in our network and include all your contributions into our 2021 work plan”- a commitment GWP plans to see through.

Click to watch the Africa & Med session on GWP’s Facebook Page