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The history of the AWF

Established in 2004, the African Water Facility (AWF) received its funding in 2005 and became operational in 2006, when it funded its first project: Support for the creation of the Volta River Basin Authority.


The new Strategic Plan 2012 – 2016 confirms the focus of AWF grants and technical assistance will be on Project PreparationWater Governance and Water Knowledge.


Analysis of the first six years of operation shows the AWF has made grants covering 73 projects in 50 countries including Africa’s most vulnerable states. On average each €1 contributed by the AWF has attracted €20 in additional follow-up investments.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation becomes the first private donor to AWF.

2006 – 2010: Additional funding

Additional funding and pledges from the African Development Bank, Algeria, Australia, the European Commission, France, the United Kingdom, Senegal and Spain brings the total fund up to €127.1m.

2006: AWF operations commence

The AWF commences operation and approves its first project on March 25, 2006. The first project is Support for the creation of the Volta River Basin Authority.

2005: Initial funding

The initial funding for the establishment of the AWF is provided by Canada, with a total pledge of €12.9m. Austria, Denmark, Norway and Sweden also made pledges, creating a starting fund of €45.1m.

2004: The creation of the AWF

The AWF is legally established by the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank, at its Annual Meeting in Kampala on 25 May 2004 by approving the Instrument for the establishment of the African Water Facility Special Fund.