IGAD stakeholders initiating innovative ways to balance WEF Nexus

Water, Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus approach can support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region in meeting the increasing water, energy and food security demands in a context of climate change, population growth, urbanization and natural resources degradation.

This was agreed upon during a consultative meeting on WEF Nexus IGAD project that discussed the approach and initial ideas to design a Nexus project for IGAD. The meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in December 2017.

The IGAD region faces several emerging challenges, most of which affect the sustainable use of key resources emanating from Water, Energy, Food, and Ecosystems (WEFE). These challenges include poor policy implementation, institutional capacity and knowledge gaps, poor access to information, management challenges among others.

The key resources from water, energy and food are essential and significantly contribute to the economies of the IGAD member states, human well-being and sustainability.

In view of these emerging challenges, the IGAD key stakeholders are initiating innovative ways of effectively balancing the WEF for a win-win situation. The stakeholders include IGAD Secretariat, Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa, and the IGAD member countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda- are so far interested). Other countries are expected to join the initiative.

The WEF Nexus approach is viewed in the region as a potential game-changer for increased socio-economic development and environmental management in the IGAD region.

Stakeholders concluded that the WEF Nexus approach could be used as a decision support tool where it is used as an approach to assessment, policy development and implementation that focuses on water, energy and food security simultaneously. They noted that the nexus-based approach is intended for policies, programs and institutions that lead to WEF security and resource use efficiency.

Stakeholders agreed on a phased approach of Nexus implementation; i.e. Phase 1 (from 2018-2020) and phase 2 (from 2021 -2025). During this period, resource mobilization is key to ensure the proposed design is on track.

The Nexus approach will build on the existing structures and initiatives in the region- without necessarily re-inventing the wheel.