Global Water Partnership Chair for Southern Africa and Africa Coordination, H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete, 4th President of the United Republic of Tanzania, called upon the European Commission to increase the profile of water in the EU-Africa strategy and support the implementation of the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP).
“Water and sanitation sector investment in Africa stands at between US$10bn-19bn. The African Development Bank estimates that US$ 64 billion should be invested annually to meet the 2025 Africa water vision of water security for all,” said H.E. President Kikwete.
In 2018, water commitments to Africa were just US$13.3bn. In 2018, African governments’ national budget allocations were US$5.6bn, while development agencies and G8 members contributed US$5.1bn.
“African governments are doing their best to prioritise water investments, but resources are limited. Current investment levels are not enough to cover the needs of the continent - 700 million Africans still live without access to good sanitation, with women and girls bearing the brunt of water insecurity and climate change,” he said. “Shortages of water are a major impediment to economic growth in Africa.”
“The Continental Africa Water Investment Programme or AIP, which was adopted by African Union in February this year, responds to the bottlenecks to investment that impede progress in water and sanitation on the continent.”
“Therefore, I would like to call upon the European Commission and other international partners to increase support to African countries in the implementation of the AIP.
“Water is currently not adequately prioritised in the EU-Africa Strategy, and we need to work together to increase the profile of water in the EU-Africa strategy,” said H.E. President Kikwete.
The AIP is aligned to the objectives of the European Green Deal, contributing to human development, climate resilience, gender equality, and economic growth and jobs.
“I also call on the European Commission to initiate a closer working relationship with GWP in Africa, as the organisation is supporting the secretariat for implementation of the AIP,” said H.E. President Kikwete.
H.E. President Kikwete was speaking at a High-Level Panel onWater, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Innovations for Inclusive Growth, during the European Development Days 2021 (EDD2021) virtual conference on 15 June 2021.
The session was organised by UNICEF, with the purpose of exploring the game changing role that innovations – whether technology, business models or policy – can play in the WASH sector to advance our progress to reach those left behind, and to meet future challenges with greater inclusion, resilience, and sustainability.
“While the past 20 years have been a time of progress, with billions of lives transformed by accessing water and sanitation. We also see the challenge ahead— that the world is still dramatically off-track. The current rate of progress must quadruple to reach the global target of universal access to water and sanitation by 2030,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“Starting to manage water resources in a sustainable way is important for everyone. Water security is a big component in the European Green Deal,” said Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director General for Environment at the European Commission.
“Collaborative problem solving will see all countries working together for water security, including collaboration between developed and developing countries,” added Fink-Hooijer.
Following the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Innovations for Inclusive Growth session, Fore and H.E. President Kikwete issued a joint call to action for investment in water and sanitation in Africa.
They called for investment in water and sanitation infrastructure to be prioritised at the highest political level by Heads of States and Government, with leadership and commitment to reverse the current inadequate investment trend.
“Last month, African water ministers and stakeholders called for the establishment of an International High-Level Panel on Water for Africa to champion the AIP and explore ways to mobilise finance and narrow the financing gap on water and sanitation to meet SDG 6 targets,” said H.E. President Kikwete..
“We call upon the European Commission, UNICEF and others to partner with us and others to establish this High-Level Panel on Water for Africa.”
Fore and H.E. President Kikwete also called on development partners, donors, and the private sector to provide technical and long-term financial commitments through public private partnerships and innovative financing mechanisms to support water and sanitation investments.
Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days bring the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
The EDD2021 will provide a decisive moment for analysis and reflection on the road to the CBD COP15 in Kunming in October and the Glasgow COP26 in November 2021.