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The Africa Water Facility Revised Strategy 2017-2025: Embracing a Broader Focus on Water Security

03 January 2022

In the last quarter of 2021, the African Water Facility’s governance organs approved a revised version of the 2017-2025 Strategy to guide the Facility’s work in the remainder of the implementation period.  The Facility’s revised strategy embrace a broader focus on water security.

The Bank revised the AWF's phase III strategy to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness of the African Development Bank's actions in ​​water and sanitation sectors. The AWF's revised strategy will address the operational weaknesses revealed by the 2019 independent evaluation, will set ambitious targets in the 2017-2025 strategy as well as align the Facility’s operations with the Bank Group’s new Water Policy (2020) and Water Strategy (2020). In addition, the revised strategy integrates functions related to other trust funds and supports more effective advocacy and resource mobilization for the development of hydraulic infrastructure.

The three trust funds that have been integrated are the African Water Facility (AWF), the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), and the Multi Donor Water Partnership Programme (MDWPP).

An extensive participatory and consultative process was followed by the AWF in the revision of the strategy. Key steps in the process included background document review, key informant interviews, focus group consultations, internal and external review by AWF/AHWS and AWF Governing Council Members.

The Implementation of the strategy will require € 62.15 million over the remaining five years of the Strategy at an average of €12.43 million annually. Key outputs will include the preparation of ten urban and ten rural WASH projects; two agricultural water management projects; and three multi-purpose water resources development projects. In addition, nine catalytic investment projects will be implemented and € 500 million invested in downstream investments on various water projects prepared by the AWF.

The long-term goal of the revised strategy is “Improved quality of life for urban and rural communities in Africa”. This will be achieved through a set of 22 strategic actions grouped under four strategic priority pillars , namely: the preparation and promotion of projects, which will cover 65% of the overall budget of the strategy; catalytic investments (20%); promotion of investments (5%); and water governance (10%).

The Water and Sanitation Development Department (AHWS) of the African Development Bank will ensure smooth implementation of the strategy. The Department  will also receive strategic and policy guidance from the AWF’s Governing Council (GC) and the Bank’s Board of Directors. 

Since the facility’s inception in 2004, the revised strategy 2017-2025 is the third and will be instrumental in  guiding  the work program of the AWF going forward.