Africa's population is projected to reach 1.6 billion by 2030, which translates into a need to transform and improve the investment outlook for water security and sustainable sanitation for a prosperous peaceful and equitable society.
Currently, the level of financing for water and sanitation activities on the continent is said to fall far below the level required to meet the targets of the Africa Water Vision 2025; the Africa Union (AU) agenda 2063; and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This was stated by Andrew Takawira, a Senior Technical Advisor at the Global Water Partnership- Africa Coordination Unit, when speaking to journalists attending a Nairobi Workshop on water issues for East African journalists organized by The Water Diplomat and Africa21.
Mr Takawira said the current situation calls for huge investments in water to satisfy the social and economic demands facing the continent. To accelerate implementation and focus attention on the water projects, he said, the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) was adopted by the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government as part of Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa Priority Action Plan 2 (PIDA-PAP 2) during the 34th ordinary session of the African Union summit on 7 February 2021.
"Consequently, The Zambia Water Investment Programme was launched by the President H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, on 16 July 2022, during the African Union 4th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting of Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, in partnership with the International High-Level Panel on Water Investments for Africa," he added.
He further noted that the government of Zanzibar has signed a bilateral agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for EURO 660,000 as part of support to the Zanzibar Water Investment Programme.
However, AIP report highlights some challenges facing its implementation including the fact that the role of water is not adequately reflected in national investment decisions, inadequate mutual accountability for tracking progress in water investment mobilisation, and unreliable data on water investments, to mention just a few.
The AIP supports countries in all sub-regions of Africa with 38 approved as initial beneficiaries in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa Priority Action Plan 2 (PIDA-PAP 2). Other countries will be added on a rolling basis to ensure every country benefits.
Currently, USD $10-19 billion is invested each year in Africa, while at least USD $30 billion/year is required to achieve water security by 2030. There is therefore a need to close the gap by intensifying advocacy and, above all, action, said H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, while launching the International High Level Panel on Water Investments for Africa, in his capacity as Chair of the African Union (AU) during the 9th World Water Forum held in Dakar on 25 March 2022.