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AfDB couches Africa water ministers ahead of World Water Forum

By Noah Jagwe

Added 23rd January 2018 01:46 PM

The World Water Forum offers an opportunity for Africa to actively participate in global water discussions.

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The World Water Forum offers an opportunity for Africa to actively participate in global water discussions.

PIC: Participants during a meeting at Entebbe in preparation for the World Water Forum. (Agnes Nantambi) 

KAMPALA - In preparation for the 8th World Water Forum, the African Ministerial Council on water are discussing issues of water security, ecosystem and climate change to make a report that will represent the regional position during the forum.

Osward M. Chanda, the Ag. director, water and sanitation department at the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), said politicians need to be sensitised so that when policy elements related to climate change, job creation for youth in the water sector, ecological systems and water development come up, the representatives are able to influence decisions.

“We want to ensure Africa’s case is well-presented at a global forum,” Chanda said.

He noted that the World Water Forum offers an opportunity to actively participate in global water discussions and ensure that Africa’s perspective is adequately presented in global dialogue.

This was during the 8th World Water Forum Africa preparatory process - regional report validation and consultation workshop held in Entebbe on Friday. The forum is slated for March 18 to 23 this year in Brasilia, Brazil.

Chanda said there is a financing gap in Africa’s water sector. The continent needs $14b to supply the water sector per annum.  AfDB is currently injecting $3b to improve the water sector and sanitation on the continent.

Chanda said the bank is looking at all the aspects, including water resources development in Africa to ensure water security, agriculture as well as energy development and on the continent.

“It is not only about finance, but also sound technical support in gathering case studies,” Chanda said.

He said Uganda is a case in point, the moment water levels go down, it suffers electricity shortage.

The 10-year strategy for 2013-2022 focuses on supporting Africa to achieve quality growth that is transformative, inclusive and sustainable to support the transition to green growth.

Chanda said the strategy and the five focus areas to fast-track its implementation - light and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialise Africa, integrate Africa and improve the quality of life of the people - highlight the critical role that the water sector plays in Africa’s transformation.

He added that massive investments in integrated water development and management are central to sustainable water, food and energy security for green and inclusive growth.

Ahmed K Eldaw, the regional co-ordinator of Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa, said there are key issues the region needs to focus on such as the impact of climate change and water security, ecosystem and other issues related to people.

He also said as water ministers they are looking forward to see how Africa can attract investment in the water development.

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