BY: MIKE OCHONMA
Member states of the African Union (AU) are taking decisive action against water shortages through a new programme. Named the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP), it aims to mobilise $30 billion over 10 years to accelerate priority water projects in Africa.
The African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government formally adopted the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) at its 34th Ordinary Session on February 7 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The programme aims to fill the investment gap in the water sector in Africa, in a context marked by the dual crisis of Covid-19 and climate change.
Thus, over the next ten years, the IPA plans to mobilise $30 billion to finance water projects to address current challenges in AU member states and create at least five million jobs.
- World Bank to release $30bn fund to tackle global food crisis
- Heifer makes $3.5m fresh investment to boost tractor financing in Africa
- Transport ministry tasks states on inland water transportation
- University don, entrepreneur want more investment in catfish production
- How significant is Africa to the West, to the world (3)?
“At least 18 of the 55 countries in the African Union will benefit from these funds, including five pilot countries, namely Benin, Cameroon, Uganda, Tunisia and Zambia, as well as five transboundary basins. These are the North-Western Sahara aquifer system, the Volta Basin, the Lake Chad Basin, the Kagera/Lake Victoria Basin and the Zambezi Basin,” says the Global Water Partnership (GWP).
The priority projects mentioned focus on the construction of dams, water transfer systems, irrigation and water management information and sanitation infrastructure that are essential to meet Africa’s growing socio-economic needs.
Currently, only $10 billion to $19 billion is invested in the water sector in Africa each year, according to GWP. Yet the AfDB estimates that $64 billion is needed annually to achieve Africa’s 2025 vision of water security for all. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region where the phenomenon remains the most worrisome, with 400 million people lacking a safe source of drinking water.
In addition to the lack of funding, the difficulties of access to water on the continent are linked to the inadequate preparation of bankable projects, as well as a lack of technical knowledge in the development of water projects. The IPA will also focus on knowledge sharing and capacity building among AU member states.
The programme was adopted under the second phase of the AU Development Agency’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP 2). It is a strategic portfolio of projects proposed by the Regional Economic Communities and AU member states for implementation between 2021 and 2030, under the leadership of AUDA-Nepad.