Water Investments Long Overdue

Posted: 2010-08-26

At a regional workshop on financing the water sector in Central Africa, participants expressed the urgent need for investments in basin, national and regional organizations. In addition, participants validated the proposed regional strategy for financing the water sector and its mechanism as proposed by GWP Central Africa (GWP-CAf). One participant called the strategy “relevant, consistent and forward looking.”

During the workshop the draft of the regional strategy for funding the water sector and a feasibility study for a water financing mechanism were examined. These documents were prepared from results of studies conducted in four countries: Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic and Sao Tome and Principe.

Participants also acknowledged the gravity of the problem of access to safe drinking water and sanitation in Central Africa, as well as water for agriculture and energy.

Central Africa workshopThe main objective of the workshop was to present, enrich and validate instruments for financing the water sector developed by GWP-CAf as a contribution to the implementation of the regional water policy adopted by the Heads of States and Governments of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in October 2009. Nearly eighty experts representing ECCAS countries and institutions (Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, and Chad) were present. Representatives of other bodies such as the media and private sector with an interest in water also attended the workshop.

The workshop in Douala, Cameroon, on 23-24 June 2010, was organised by GWP Central Africa in partnership with the General Secretariat of ECCAS, the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), the African Water Facility (AWF) and the European Union Water Initiative – Finance Working Group (EUWI-FWG). The workshop was held under the patronage of His Excellency, M. Michael NGAKO TOMDIO, Minister of Water and Energy for Cameroon and Vice-President of AMCOW

At the end of the workshop, a number of recommendations were made and GWP-CAf was asked to monitor these recommendations.

Member states should:

  • consolidate the results of the studies on the state of water financing carried out in four countries through national workshops
  • encourage ongoing dialogue between the ministries in charge of water and finance in order to improve knowledge on water issues and financing procedures
  • develop instruments and tools for financing the water sector in the different Central African states.

The regional community will:

  • follow up studies on the current state of water financing in ECCAS member states, with technical assistance from GWP and AMCOW-TAC, with financial support of BDEAC (Banque de Développement des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale) and other development partners;
  • conduct an evaluation on the financial needs of the water sector in Central Africa in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;
  • organize, with the help of GWP-CAF and BDEAC, the process of finalizing the Regional Strategy Paper on water sector funding and submit for adoption to competent authorities;
  • undertake all appropriate measures to ensure a broad dissemination and a greater appropriation of the regional water policy by actors at regional, national and basin levels;
  • present to the Pan African Conference the report formulated by the participants of the Central African region.

The Financial partners should:

  • support the process of finalization and implementation of the regional water financing mechanism, in partnership with GWP-CAf and AMCOW-TAC, and under the coordination of ECCAS;
  • mobilise funds to support the national validation workshops for country study reports;
  • provide financial support for water financing studies to be carried out in other ECCAS countries.

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