8th SADC Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue - Strengthening sectoral engagement and Nexus approaches

The SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue is an event organised by the SADC Directorate of Infrastructure and Services, Water Division to provide a forum for practitioners in the region to have a dialogue with water using and water influencing sectors. The underlying objective is to ensure that the interventions in the water sector are well communicated to the non-water sector actors and also create an environment to receive inputs from them. Dr. Ken Msibi explains the objectives of the 8th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue.

The Dialogue has been held since 2007 under the broad theme of: Watering Development in SADC and has been premised on raising the awareness and understanding of how Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approaches can contribute to 'socio-economic development and poverty eradication' by ensuring a water secure region. Stakeholders at the Dialogue provide solutions and recommendations aimed at ensuring that water continues to enable socio-economic development in the region. The outcomes from the Dialogue are taken forward into programmes and responses at different levels.

Through the subsidiarity principle, Global Water Partnership Southern Africa is an implementing agency of SADC tasked with facilitating the convening of the Dialogue  since 2007. DANIDA has provided base funding for the Dialogues with support from other cooperating partners in the water sector through the framework of the Water Strategy Reference Group (WSRG). For the 2017 Dialogue additional funding was also provided by the European Union and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with delegated authority from Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), Germany, and Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom (UK).

Since 2013 the Dialogues have focused on the Nexus Approach resulting in the region taking forward the implementation of the approach. Read more on previous dialogues.

The 2017 Dialogue was held in Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 21- 22 November 2017 under the theme "Strengthening sectoral engagement and Nexus approaches" . The theme focussed on the management and development of natural resources (water, land and energy resources) through a nexus approach in order to foster regional value chains and support in creating and sustaining jobs – through building synergies and integrated planning. Below Mr. Elijah Sichone Executive Secretary Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa explains the importance of the nexus approach to the energy sector.

 Conventional policy and decision-making is structured in 'silos' which makes it difficult to build synergies across sectors – a nexus approach allows for better interactions and synergies. A nexus approach will support better resource use efficiency and greater policy coherence.  Ms. Modesta Kanjaye, Director Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in Malawi speaks about the importance of Nexus in bringing government departments to work together.

The outcomes of the 2017 Dialogue are feeding into the development of the SADC Nexus Governance Framework and criteria of the investment framework being developed under the SADC Nexus Dialogue Project. The stakeholder inputs provided through the Dialogue are therefore critical in defining the Nexus approach and its implementation in the SADC region. 

The Dialogue brought together more than 190 representatives from government departments and regional organizations working on water, energy, agriculture and economic planning. Other sectors represented included gender, environment, private sector, academia and international cooperating partners.

To see more pictures from the event, please click here. 

To see more updates from the event, please click here.