AFRICA: Water to be the focus of AfDB strategy for next 4 years

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AFRICA: Water to be the focus of AfDB strategy for next 4 years© Yaw Niel/Shutterstock

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved the new water strategy for the period 2021-2025. Entitled, "Towards a Water Secure Africa", the roadmap aims to improve water services in Africa.

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) new water strategy paper comes into effect against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. Entitled “Towards a Water Secure Africa”, it will help ensure better access to water for all Africans by 2025. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region where the phenomenon is most worrying, with 400 million people without a safe source of drinking water, according to the World Bank.

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At least 100 experts worked on the document, which was recently approved by the pan-African bank’s board of directors. The new strategy will also promote sustainable, green and inclusive socio-economic growth and development on the African continent. “Water is essential for life, health (hygiene and sanitation), dignity, empowerment, environmental sustainability, peace and prosperity,” says Osward Chanda, the AfDB’s Director of Water and Sanitation Development.

What process?

In its 2021-2025 strategy paper, the AfDB defines four areas of intervention. It will have to ensure integrated and sustainable management of water resources through the assessment of resources and their ecosystems, support institutions and the environment in general. Over the same period, the Bank will support the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to become sustainable, resilient and inclusive through increased investments, institutional support and sustainability in urban and rural areas.

The third axis of the strategy will increase the availability of water resources for food production and improved nutrition. AfDB is also focusing on improved water management for agriculture and investments that support fisheries activities and supporting ecosystems. “We will also promote sustainable hydropower development, supporting the New Deal for Energy in Africa and recognizing the importance of energy for water security,” the AfDB says.

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The new document aligns with the bank’s “High 5” strategic priorities in Africa, which are to light and power the continent, feed it, industrialize it, integrate it, and improve the quality of life of African people. The AfDB’s new strategy will thus contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.

Inès Magoum

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