Six current and former Heads of State receive Presidential Global Water Changemakers Award at the UN Water Conference in New York

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

The objective of the International High-Level Panel on Water Investments  in Africa is to develop actionable pathways for mobilizing US$30bn annually by 2030, for implementing the Continental Africa Water Investment Program (AIP) and closing the existing water investment gap in Africa, which is estimated at US$11-19bn. Currently, over 300 million Africans do not have access to clean drinking water and over 700 million live without access to good sanitation. Approximately US$50 billion annually, or US$40 per African per year is required, to achieve water security and sustainable sanitation in Africa by 2030.

HE Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia and HE Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council have also received the award for local country leadership following the launch of the Zambia Water Investment Program and the Zanzibar Water Investment Program respectively.

H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and H.E. JakayaKikwete, Former President of Tanzania and GWPSA-Africa Chair

The awards were presented to the six leaders on Wednesday March 22, 2023 by HE Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana and Chair of the Presidential Global  Changemakers Award during the launch of the International High-Level Panel Report on Water Investments in Africa titled Pathways for Mobilization or $30 billion annually by 2030 at the ongoing UN 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 US$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.

  1. Establish cross-sectoral political leadership at the highest level, with commitment to substantially increase public budgets and investments for water security and sustainable sanitation.
  2. Track progress and enhance mutual accountability for results in the mobilization of water investments and in peer review mechanisms at all governance levels. Recommit to allocation of at least 5% of national budgets for the water and sanitation sector and 0.5% of GDP per annum for sanitation and hygiene programs.
  3. Mobilize new sources of funding and innovative finance by supporting matchmaking with a special focus on climate resilient, blended public-private finance, and gender transformative approaches.
  4. Strengthen institutional regulation for water investments, create incentives and penalties for increased water efficiency across multiple industries to lead water stewardship efforts, biodiversity, and ecosystem protection.
  5. Use ODA to de-risk water investments and leverage larger funding streams


About the Water Changemakers 2023 Awards

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:

(a) Presidential Global Changemaker Award - for demonstrated leadership and commitment

(b) Innovation challenge Award- for the most promising climate innovations

Recipients of the Presidential Global Changemaker Awards are identified by the Changemakers jury and awarded at a global UN event.

The recipients of the innovation challenge award are identified through a global competitive challenge and should submit their innovation between 1 June - 31 July 2023. Entities are eligible to enter the Innovation Water Changemakers Challenge if they have been operating for at least one year and are seeking to scale up on a successful business model. Winners of the innovation challenge award will be announced in November 2023, during COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The core partners running the Water Changemakers 2023 awards include:

• Global Water Partnership

• Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water)

• The World Bank Group

• Continental Africa Water Investment Programme

For more information refer to the  Press Release .

For media interviews:

Svetlana Doneva, Panel Secretariat Communication Advisor, +27827976103,