What a year 2023 has been! As the year comes to a close, the African Water Facility has much to celebrate. We made important progress in advancing our mission to improve the availability, accessibility and sustainability of water and sanitation across Africa through support to the preparation of priority high impact projects. This is key to improving the quality of life on the continent, while preserving precious resources for our collective future.
Currently, the Facility is managing 20 projects with a total grant value of €35 million, with four more due to be approved before the turn of the year. Our April call for the submission of project proposals resulted in the receipt of 416 projects – 80 of which have moved into our rolling project pipeline. These pipeline projects have the potential to trigger over €4 billion in downstream investment, benefiting 625 million people. We continued working with our key partners to mobilise more resources into the Facility to support the development of these projects. Critically, work to establish the new urban sanitation dedicated financing window - African Urban Sanitation Investment Initiative (AUSII) – within the Facility made significant progress and is now at an advanced stage.
In October, we held the second ever funding dialogue for the Facility with donors and partners. I was pleased to note that, in addition to mobilising new funding, we received positive feedback on our work and collaboration from donors and partners at the event, including key expressions of support for the Facility’s ambitions.
During the year, the Facility took an active part in key industry events including the 2023 UN Water Conference, the Stockholm World Water Week, the 7th African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) Africa Sanitation Week (AfricaSan7), and the International Water Association (IWA)’s Water Development Congress and Exhibition. Our focus remained on showcasing our work, sharing knowledge and building stronger partnerships. This year marks the first time that the Facility attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), where we hosted a session on water security for climate resilience, reinforcing our position as the leading water and sanitation project preparation facility for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Africa.
We’ve been able to achieve these milestones including being commended by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President, thanks to the strong leadership and support from the Bank and the full team at the Facility, which has collaborated seamlessly with stakeholders including AMCOW, our donors and partners.
As we reflect on the year, I want to offer my thanks to all our donors, partners, team members and leaders for your committed collaboration and hard work. Together, we are building a future where every person in Africa can live with dignity and realise their potential through improved, reliable, climate resilient, and safe access to water and sanitation services. I look forward to 2024 as a year of even greater progress towards these goals.
Mtchera Johannes Chirwa
Coordinator, African Water Facility
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