Under the aegis of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), a high-level panel is being formed to mobilise investment in the water sector. This key sector is lagging behind the energy sector, which has grown enormously thanks to private investment.
The roadmap for the new High Level Panel on Water Investment in Africa is known. The strategy was adopted at the recent inaugural meeting of the panel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, under the auspices of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOM). The panel is being established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP).
The high-level panel aims to mobilise investment in the water sector in Africa. According to Amcow, the annual investment gap in the water sector on the continent is estimated to be between US$ 47 and 54 billion. To reduce this gap, the panel will develop an investment plan for the 2023 UN Water Conference and the African Union (AU) Heads of State Conference. The panel should therefore propose a clear path and recommendations for African countries to mobilise at least $30 billion per year.
The panel will officially start its activities at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in November 2021 in Glasgow, UK, and will last for 18 months between 2021 and 2023. The panel will also participate in side meetings at the 9th World Water Forum in Senegal in March 2022, regional events on water investments in Africa, and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2022.
In the same year, an event focusing on mobilising private investment in the water sector will be organised by the panel. According to Amcow, the panel also aims to “improve investment prospects in water security and sustainable sanitation by transforming gender in a climate resilient manner, address the dual challenges of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic and make Africa resilient to future pandemics”.
Contributing to the achievement of SDG 6
This partnership, signed in August 2021, is presented as the engine of global political mobilisation and international commitment to reduce the water investment gap on the continent and meet socio-economic water needs. For Amcow, this initiative will contribute to the achievement of Agenda 2063 for Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 6, which mandates universal access to water and sanitation and sustainable water resources management.
For the time being, Africa is far from achieving this. According to Global Citizen, 40% of the 783 million people in the world who still do not have access to drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa. In all, 320 million people in Africa do not have access to drinking water.
Jean Marie Takouleu