The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has just approved a new water policy for Africa. Prepared by the water, policy and strategy departments of the pan-African financial institution, the document includes the creation of a platform for the management of available water resources.
How to put water at the service of sustainable development in Africa? The African Development Bank (AfDB) provides some possible solutions in a document published on May 21st, 2021. In its new water policy, the AfDB indicates that good productivity of water resources can support sustainable development. Unfortunately, the situation in Africa is far from reflecting this balance.
With its many rivers, Africa is paradoxically the continent where people have difficulty accessing water for drinking, irrigation, etc. This scarcity has further intensified in recent years. This shortage has been further intensified by the health crisis caused by Covid 19. To promote sustainable, green and inclusive economic growth, the AfDB proposes to secure water resources at the household level in all its regional member countries. Within this framework, a platform for the management of available water resources will be put in place by the pan-African financial institution.
Through this new water policy, the AfDB will also intensify its advocacy for an integrated approach to water development and management by striking a sustainable balance in the social, economic and environmental domains. The institution is also committed to promoting sustainable and equitable access to water services as an enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the recognition of transboundary water resources as an important requirement for achieving smooth regional economic integration. “We actively seek to use the transboundary nature of water to strengthen regional integration and promote conflict resolution,” the AfDB says.
The newly approved water policy was prepared by the AfDB’s water, policy and strategy departments. The financial institution will establish an internal coordination mechanism for water-related interventions. The mechanism will be overseen by a committee with appropriate capacity, resources and expertise.
In Africa, securing water supply also requires the construction of adequate facilities. On the continent, the AfDB is very involved in water, sanitation, electricity and climate change resilience projects. These initiatives contribute to sustainable development.