AWF/ GWP hold capacity-building workshop on Integrated Urban Water Management

In line with the GWP strategic thematic area on urbanisation, GWP is collaborating with AfDB – Africa Water Facility and Partners to support the region and countries in Africa to address challenges related to water management in urban areas in cities in Africa. In view of this, a capacity building workshop on IUWM was held from 25th to 28th January in Abidjan, Ivory Coast aimed at contributing to the well-being of the urban population of Africa by improving water and wastewater services through the implementation of an integrated approach.

The workshop is a follow-up of previous AWF/ GWP engagements relating to the promotion of IUWM in the SADC region and Africa in general. Particular engagements have involved appraisal missions undertaken in Kinshasa (DRC) in 2014 as well as in Marondera (Zimbabwe) in 2015. The experiences and recommendations received during the DRC and Zimbabwe missions motivated the planning and holding of the follow-up workshop in Abidjan. Expertise was also drawn from the IUWM toolkit recently developed by GWP in collaboration with the University of South Florida and the Water Partnership Program of the World Bank.


Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the representative of the AfDB Water and Sanitation Department, Mr Osward Mulenga Chanda thanked GWP and AWF for their collaboration and expressed the wish to have a team of IUWM Ambassadors at the end of the workshop. He further highlighted the need to address the challenge that the Water & Sanitation (WATSAN) sector experts and engineers face when attempting to convince finance and planning ministries to invest in a holistic management of water and sanitation (water resources, solid waste and liquid waste).

Mr Francois Brikke of GWP further thanked the AfDB team for their confidence and trust in the GWP network, and promised GWP’s continued support and collaboration with the bank at all levels. He further indicated that this 3-day workshop was not intended to create IUWM experts, but more to provide experts with tools and skills to initiate and facilitate discussions on IUWM at country and local level.


A key focus of the workshop involved the analysis of the IUWM approach from different angles with a focus on its principles and benefits, with a better understanding of how water sources, water supply, sanitation, wastewater, storm water and solid waste interact with one another. The programme was divided as follows:

  • A half-day dedicated to an “Awareness Raising Introductory Session”;
  • A 2-day “IUWM Capacity Building Program”;
  • A half-day Planning session, during which the Team could explore the development of a Program for Africa where IUWM approaches could be introduced.

The capacity building workshop was facilitated by Mr. Armand Houanye of GWP,  with support from Mr. Jean Michel Ossete, acting head of the AWF, Mr Francois Brikke from GWP, Prof. Kala from IWMI and Dr. Tsegeye from the University of Florida (United States of America).


At the end of the workshop, various steps were agreed upon; such as agreements between GWP and the DRC government, and the Zimbabwean government and GWP to provide adequate technical assistance. Furthermore, it is anticipated that conversations will deepen between GWP and the Government of Seychelles, Sierra Leone and Madagascar in providing support to the various planned IUWM projects.


Overall, the capacity building workshop contributed to enhancing the collaboration between GWP and AfDB - AWF to promote the IUWM approach for addressing the challenges related to the development and management of water resources in African cities. It gave a significant platform for AWF and GWP Africa Regional Programme Managers to liaise and identify areas to begin strong partnerships similar to that of GWP Central Africa which is aiming at supporting the establishment and enhancement of capacity within the RBOs in collaboration with Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). GWP and AfDB - AWF agreed on a clear vision to guide their partnership and activities to be implemented starting from 2016. The AfDB committed to providing financial and technical support to the initiative; and shall work closely with GWP in bringing on board other relevant partners.

The workshop, took place at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, and attracted the participation of about 25 professionals from AWF, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and GWP. At the end of this event, participants were better equipped with the relevant tools for better assessment and monitoring of projects. Read more