EGYPT: a call to strengthen regional cooperation in the water sector

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EGYPT: a call to strengthen regional cooperation in the water sector ©Gloria Mary Nabirye/Shutterstock

Egypt took advantage of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the 49th Annual Meeting of the African Development Fund (ADF), held in Sharm el-Sheikh from 22 to 26 May 2023, to call on African governments to step up cooperation on water. The aim is to provide a more effective response to current challenges, particularly drought.

The call for cooperation was launched by the Egyptian Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Hani Sewilam, in Sharm el-Sheikh, in Egypt’s South Sinai governorate. This was during the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, held from 22 to 26 May 2023. Hani Sewilam asked his counterparts to pay more attention to the water sector, in particular by strengthening regional cooperation. The aim is to provide a more effective response to the current challenges.

These include drought, which manifests itself as water stress. As well as reducing the quantity of drinking water, this phenomenon is responsible for the reduction in irrigation water, at a time when African countries want to increase their food production tenfold since the start of the war in Ukraine.

What is the key to achieving progress on Africa’s water agenda?

To date, various approaches exist to mitigate the effects of water stress, including water rationalisation, desalination of seawater, reuse of treated wastewater, etc. According to Hani Sewilam, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, strengthening regional cooperation in the water sector would not only speed up innovation, it would also advance Africa’s water agenda, Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU), and serve the interests of African countries.

Read Also – EGYPT: Some 50 companies shortlisted for water desalination

Egypt wants to promote technical cooperation and research in the fields of water management and treatment in order to adapt to climate change and develop the use of renewable energies in water pumping and treatment.

Inès Magoum


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