WEF Nexus framework to strengthen coordination of water, energy, and food sectors in the SADC Region

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Water Energy Food (WEF) Regional Governance Framework is expected to strengthen WEF Nexus governance in the region. The Framework together with the web- based regional investment project screening and appraisal tool form part of the milestones achieved during the first phase of the WEF Nexus Project implemented from January 2017 to December 2019. The WEF Nexus Phase One has also been key to promoting the WEF Nexus agenda in the SADC region, attracting high-level political buy-in in the region and interest beyond the SADC region.

The framework was developed by SADC, with technical support from the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA), through a multi-stakeholder consultative process involving the undertaking of a number of analyses and stakeholder engagements at regional and country levels. It was validated by all SADC Member states in September 2019 before approval by ministers responsible for energy and water from SADC in October 2020.

Dr Patrice Kabeya, Senior Programme Officer, Water Division, SADC Secretariat

“The SADC Water Energy Food (WEF) Regional Governance Framework will improve WEF Nexus governance in the region through strengthening institutional coordination between the three sectors (water, energy and food), and through aligning implementation of the sectoral policies, while facilitating decision-making in order to ensure water, energy and food security for integrated regional development,” said Dr Patrice Kabeya, the Senior Programme Officer in the SADC Water Division, during the Governance and Integration Thematic Group Consultation held on 8 February 2021.

The project was implemented by GWPSA on behalf of the SADC Water Division as priority intervention 8.2 (Nexus Approaches) of the SADC Regional Strategic and Action Plan (RSAP IV) Integrated Water Resources Development and Management.

In presenting the review and analysis of the implementation of the first phase of the WEF Nexus Programme in RSAP IV, the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA) highlighted the achievements, challenges and lessons derived from the project.

“In the SADC region, the first phase of the WEF Nexus project has made significant progress in establishing the basis for initiating a SADC regional mechanism for technical coordination between the three sectors, including the creation of a SADC WEF Working Group,” said Dr Michael Tumbare, an independent consultant commissioned to conduct the review. "The WEF Nexus Project has created an enabling environment that will drive cross-sectoral engagement and implementation of nexus investment projects that contribute to enhancing water, food and energy security in the region.”

Dr Michael Tumbare, WEF Nexus Consultant

The review also made recommendations of what should be included in the next phase of the RSAP, including recommendations for alignment of the second phase of the project within the RSAP V WEF Nexus Programme.

The second phase of the project runs from 2021 to 2023 with the overall objective of institutionalising the WEF Nexus approach in regional and national governance structures and investment decisions for water, energy, and food security in the SADC region.

The SADC-EU WEF Nexus Project is funded by the European Commission as part of Global Nexus Dialogues Programme, which is in the second of its two phases. Through the subsidiarity principle of SADC, Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA), as SADC Secretariat’s implementing partner, has been mandated to support the implementation of the project in both phases

The Governance and Integration Thematic Group Consultation meeting forms part of the development process of the fifth phase of the RSAP (2021-2025), which is being done by the SADC Secretariat with technical support from GWPSA.