The Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that seeks to promote investment and collaboration for water and sanitation projects in the Southern Africa region.
The MoU was signed by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, in his capacity as chairperson of the GWPSA and Africa Coordination Unit.
The agreement was also signed by DBSA infrastructure delivery group executive Chuene Ramphele, during a ceremony held in Pretoria on November 11.
The event was attended by Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa secretary general Chileshe Kapwepwe, African Union Development Agency CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki and, virtually, by African Development Bank (AfDB) water security and sanitation manager Osward Chanda.
The MoU between the GWPSA and DBSA will support the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Water Fund, which is hosted by DBSA on behalf of the region’s SADC Secretariat, in its objective to strengthen project implementation in the SADC water sector and support member States to access finance and develop water infrastructure.
“There is an urgent need to accelerate water infrastructure investment on the continent, which is lagging behind the growing economic and social needs. The AfDB estimates that $64-billion in water infrastructure investment is required annually to meet the 2025 Africa water vision of water security for all; the actual figure invested stands between $10-billion and $19-billion a year,” said Kikwete.
Ramphele commented that, as part of their partnership, the SADC Water Fund and the GWPSA would develop and implement the GWP-SADC Water Fund Regional Water Investment Programme, which will scale up and accelerate preparation, financing and implementation of priority transboundary and regional cross-border projects in the region focusing on three interrelated areas.
These areas are climate resilience hydrological and informational systems for water; resilient cities and water utilities; and cross-border water supply and sanitation services in regional development corridors including fostering a water-energy-food nexus and regional corridor approach and gender transformation.
The investment programme will be aligned to the Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP), which was introduced with the goal of transforming and improving the investment outlook for water security and sustainable sanitation for a prosperous, peaceful and equitable Africa.
The AIP seeks to leverage $30-billion in gender transformative, climate resilient water and sanitation projects by 2030, and create five-million indirect and direct jobs in vulnerable communities.
Implementation of the AIP is sustained through the AIP Water Climate Development and Gender Transformation programme, which seeks to mobilise partnerships and implement gender transformative investments in water and climate development.
Implementation of this support programme was initiated in 2020 in five pilot countries − Benin, Cameroon, Uganda, Tunisia and Zambia across five transboundary basins, being the North-West Sahara Aquifer System, Volta Basin, Lake Chad Basin, Kagera/Lake Victoria Basin and Zambezi River Basin.
The AIP is also supported through catalysing commitment and leadership for coordinated climate-resilient water investments, and through accelerated project preparation, finance and implementation of regional and transboundary water investments.
The DBSA follows a strategic partnerships approach which seeks to design and establish various water sector programmes both in the SADC region and the broader continent in order to fund and implement water-related initiatives and programmes.