African Water Facility seeks investment for water goals

Experts of the African Water Facility met in Tunis in September discussing how to mobilize funding to develop needed water resources.

AWF, an initiative led by the African Ministers’ Council on Water, is pursuing water programs expected to cost 235 million euros (US$331 million) through 2010. Programs are expected to cost up to 3 billion euros (US$4.2 billion) between 2011 and 2025.

The goal of AWF, which is sponsored and managed by the African Development Bank, is to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development in Africa by creating an environment that will attract investments in the water sector and strengthen water resource management. Its operational focal areas are national and trans-boundary water resource management and capital investments.

AWF said nearly 40 percent of Africans do not have access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities. Additionally, per capita water storage capacity in Africa is 100 times lower than in Europe and North America, leading to a lack of water security.

To date, 23 projects have been approved at a cost of 17.9 million euros (US25.2 million).

In 2006, AWF granted 165,000 euros (US$199,590) to help establish the Volta Basin Authority to manage the Volta River Basin and promote strategic water resources development, including hydropower. (HNN 5/2/06)

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