In his opening remarks, Mr. Osward M. Chanda Ag. Director, Water & Sanitation Department, AfDBthanked GWP team for its crucial role in the technical coordination of Africa’s preparatory process. He indicated that World Water Forums offer an opportunity to actively participate in global water discussions and ensure that Africa’s perspectives are adequately presented in global dialogue. “The Forums also expose Africa’s sector actors to new knowledge, developments and opportunities all of which are important in the continent’s goal of attaining water security for equitable and sustainable socio-economic development.” added Mr. Osward.
The 8th World Water Forum is based on four main Processes: Thematic, Regional, Political and Sustainability; as well as a Citizens’ Forum, and an Exhibition. The Regional Process Commission, with overall guidance chaired by the African Development Bank (Chair) and the Brazilian Ministry of Integration (Vice-Chair), facilitates regional and sub-regional involvement of stakeholders through a preparatory process leading towards the Forum in Brasilia in 2018, utilizing commonalities within regions for sharing knowledge and learning of best practices. With 6 Regions, some divided into sub-Regions, the Regional Process brings together regional specificities on a global platform.
The African Regional Process, arranged under four sub-Regions, is jointly coordinated by Global Water Partnership (GWP) and African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) with overall support by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Each of the four sub-regions (Southern, Eastern, Central and West Africa) made a sub-regional draft report that will feed into the African draft report. The current workshop brings together key stakeholders from all the regions for final consultation and validation of the report. The workshop is also expected to help participants strategize on how to present the report and the region in Brasilia as well as deliberate on the main messages to be delivered to Africa’s political leadership.
Mr. Alex Simalabwi, Head of Global Water Partnership Africa Coordination Unit said that Africa’s sustainable development largely depends on goods and services derived from its environment and natural resources. As Africa pursues sustainable growth pathways and structural transformation, the management of natural capital, mainly water resources is critical. Water is at the core of Sustainable Development Goals, being critical to nearly every aspect of sustainable development creating social, economic, financial, and other benefits. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require governments, societies and the private sector to change the way they use and manage water. To accelerate this transformation, the UN Secretary General and World Bank Group President convened a High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) comprised of 11 Heads of State and one Special Adviser, which officially launched in April 2016. The HLPW provides the leadership required to champion a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative way of developing and managing water resources, and improving water and sanitation related services.
The HLPW issued an Action Plan for a new approach to water management that will help the world to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. As part of the HLPW’s Action Plan, Africa took an initiative, championed by the three members of the Panel (South Africa, Senegal, and Mauritius), to close the gap in achieving the SDG 6 and other water-related goals and targets. The Africa Investment Program (AIP) which will be launched during the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil aims to enhance water security, industrialization, job creation and climate resilient development in Africa. The program also aims to create an instrument which will address key prevailing constraints in financing water security and delivery of water related infrastructure in Africa. The program is expected to contribute to meeting the objectives and targets of the Africa Water Vision 2025, Africa Agenda 2063, water and sanitation related targets of SDGs, and AMCOW’s Strategy..
The World Water Forum (WWF) is an international event, organized every three years by the World Water Council in collaboration with the authorities of the host country. It is the largest water-related event in the world, aimed at putting water firmly on the international agenda. The 9th World Water Forum will be held in Africa and hosted by the Government of Senegal in 2021.