President of Zanzibar, H.E. Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, formally receives and accepts Global Water Changemakers Award

On Wednesday, 5 April 2023, His Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, formally received the Global Water Changemakers Award which had been presented to him in absentia during the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York.

HE Mwinyi was awarded the local country leadership award alongside His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema, President of Zambia, for leading national efforts in ending water and sanitation challenges following the launch of the Zanzibar Water Investment Program and the Zambia Water Investment Program respectively.

Four co-chairs of the International High-Level Panel on Water Investments for Africa ; HE Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chair of the African Union, HE Hage Geingob, President of Namibia, HE Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, and HE Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the Republic of Tanzania and Global Water Partnership Southern Africa Chairperson each also received the Presidential Global Changemakers Award for demonstrating high-level political commitment and leadership for climate resilient water security in Africa.

The Zanzibar Water Investment Program supports the implementation of the Zanzibar Development vision 2050 towards achieving the Blue Economy Policy. The Program is geared towards promoting investment in the sector, strengthening governance, enhancing capacity of various stakeholders, mobilizing resources, and ultimately, ensuring the optimal water supply to all the areas and people of Zanzibar. The Program is also vital given that water is one of the most essential natural resources needed, as well as for the attainment of all national and international development plans.

"I have received this award with great honor on behalf of the Government and all the citizens of Zanzibar. This award supports the efforts of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar in bringing changes and reforms in the water sector. It is my hope that the ongoing reforms in the Zanzibar Water Sector will help promote the welfare of society, and the economy, as well as ensure the existence and availability of sustainable clean, and safe water services," said HE Mwinyi on receiving the award at the State House in Zanzibar.

 HE Mwinyi receiving the award at the State House in Zanzibar

The award was formally presented to HE Mwinyi by His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of Tanzania and Chairperson of the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa, who had received it on the former's behalf in New York.

"HE Mwinyi has been given the award in recognition of the special contribution he made personally and that of his government in developing a Water Investment Programme, whose main goal is to have solid strategies to develop the Unguja and Pemba water & sanitation sector," said HE Kikwete.

Speaking earlier at the event, Dr. Victor Kongo,  Global Water Partnership Tanzania Executive Director,  commended Zanzibar for the progress it had already registered in the one year of implementation of the USD $665.5 million Investment Program whose implementation runs from 2022 to 2027 .

"The continent of Africa and the whole world recognizes your great contribution in establishing and leading this program and today we are here to congratulate you for your efforts and for having a great vision in solving Zanzibar's water challenges.

"After the launch of our program, we have seen positive results in a short time including the Ministry coordinating all projects in the water sector, development partners contributing to the program, and now gaps in the water sector are easily identified and steps have been taken to address these deficiencies. Moving forward, we need to strengthen infrastructure and ensure that every citizen gets clean and safe water," explained Dr. Congo .

HE Mwinyi highlighted that while implementation of the Zanzibar Water Investment Program is progressing well, there is a need to mobilize more funds to achieve the desired clean and sustainable water supply for the island's population and fast-growing economy.

HE Kikwete assured that "the High-level Panel on Water Investments in Africa recognizes the challenge of obtaining financial resources, manpower, and equipment to effectively implement the Africa Water Investment Program including the Zanzibar Water Investment Programme. Therefore, the Panel will launch a special campaign to find resources for the implementation of the AIP in September.

The announcement and presentation of the awards to the six leaders was done on Wednesday 22 March 2023 by HE Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and Chair of the Water Changemakers Awards during the launch of the International High-Level Panel Report on Water Investments in Africa titled Pathways for Mobilization of $30 billion annually by 2030 at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York, the first United Nations conference on water issues since 1977.

The report, which the High-Level Panel developed under the leadership of the African Union Commission in collaboration with AUDA-NEPAD and the Co-Chairs of the High-Level Panel, outlines three pathways to secure an additional USD $30 billion to achieve water security and sustainable sanitation in Africa by 2030 on the continent:

  • Pathway 1: Achieve more impactful water spending and financial leveraging
  • Pathway 2: Mobilize Domestic Resources
  • Pathway 3: Secure Global and Continental Investment and Finance

The Panel proposes a 5-point Action Plan for Heads of State and governments, business and global leaders, to support the implementation of the three actionable pathways.

The Water Changemakers 2023 is a global challenge to recognize high-level commitment and leadership for climate resilient water investments and showcase the most promising climate resilient innovations with the greatest potential for scale, replication, and further investment to support a water-secure world.

Changemaker Awards include the Presidential Global Changemaker Award for demonstrated leadership and commitment and Innovation challenge Award for the most promising climate innovations.

The core partners running the awards are the Global Water Partnership, Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), The World Bank Group and the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme.