Investment Action Plan Closing the gap on investment in SDG 6 in Africa

12 Dec 2023 by The Water Diplomat

The African Union and the High-Level Panel on Water Investments launched the Water Investment Action Plan at COP28. The Water Investment Action Plan has identified 53 national projects worth U.S. $ 30 billion across 19 African countries and 15 transboundary projects worth U.S. $ 9 billion, to be implemented in the remaining years until 2030. From its inception, the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) seeks to raise U.S. $ 30 billion annually for the achievement of water related SDG targets on the continent. Announced already at the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar in March 2022, the AIP seeks to accelerate the implementation of SDG 6 and related targets by closing a funding gap that varies between U.S. 11 billion and U.S. $ 20 billion annually. Since the launch of the programme, several countries – including Zambia and Tanzania - have launched national level water investment programmes which demonstrate the commitment towards domestic resource mobilization: Tanzania announced a U.S. $ 15 billion water investment programme in June this year, and Zambia announced a U.S. 6 billion water investment programme in July 2022.     

A key aspect of the AIP is the emphasis on the role of local leadership to achieve the mobilization of funds: the programme works on the assumption that a full 90% of the necessary funds can be gained through improvements in sector governance through efficiency gains and savings. This includes the reduction in operational water losses, improved billing, appropriate technology and non-revenue losses. Furthermore, the programme builds on partnerships with the private sector to reduce risks, yielding savings in water costs incurred through improved water stewardship. And finally, a large proportion of domestic resource mobilization is expected to be achieved by mobilizing institutional investors, implementing pollution and mineral extraction taxes, increasing national budgets for water, and raising funds from local banks and multilateral agencies.

In this perspective, the proportion of investments required through bilateral and multilateral assistance as well as through international climate finance remains relatively low at 10% of the total.