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African Water Facility at World Water Week 2023

20 August 2023

The African Water Facility will participate at the annual World Water Week organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in Stockholm, Sweden from 20 – 24 August 2023 under the theme “Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World.”

The delegation led by Osward Chanda, Director of the Facility and Water Development and Sanitation at the African Development Bank, will participate in the conference sessions, bilateral engagements and side events including the African Exhibition Pavilion which the Bank is co-hosting with the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW).

World Water Week is an annual event on global water issues. It attracts participants across the global water sector and from many professional backgrounds to develop solutions to the world’s greatest water-related challenges, exploring topics from food security and health to agriculture, technology, biodiversity, and the climate crisis.

On Tuesday, 22 August, the African Development Bank will co-host a session with AMCOW on “Innovative Financing Mechanisms Toward Achieving SDG 6 in Africa” with a focus on financial mechanisms in Africa’s water and sanitation sector. The session will examine progress and share experiences from governments and financial institutions, philanthropies, and the private sector. It will also present way forward for the WASH sector in ensuring access to water and sanitation for all on the continent and the African Water Facility as a multilateral fund for project preparation and investment promotion in Africa. Osward Chanda will moderate this session with speakers from the World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and ministers for water and sanitation in Egypt, Namibia and Senegal.

Achieving the 2030 SDG targets will require 12 times increase in current rates of progress on safely managed drinking water, 20 times increase for safely managed sanitation and 42 times increase for basic hygiene services. At least $66 billion annually is needed to address infrastructure backlogs for universal access to water and sanitation, with $9–$14 billion per year needed to achieve secure water resources in Africa.

Over the last ten years, the Bank has invested approximately $5.2 billion in the water sector to support and strengthen water and sanitation resilience for an estimated 96.6 million people in Africa with an average investment of $900 million per year since 2015. 

“Concerted effort is needed to achieve water and sanitation goals in Africa and universally. World Water Week presents an opportunity to do so and accelerate water action. The African Development Bank is participating with a vision to share knowledge, strengthen cooperation, and inspire action towards the achievement of SGD 6 in Africa.” – Osward Chanda

At World Water Week 2023, the Bank will also present African Urban Sanitation Investment initiative (AUSII) under the theme “African Water Facility in Action for Urban Sanitation: the AUSII Initiative” on Tuesday, 22 August from 2pm – 3pm CET (12pm – 1pm GMT) at a side event in the African Exhibition Pavilion.

African Urban Sanitation Investment initiative (AUSII) is a new fund dedicated to urban sanitation to be hosted as a financing window within the African Water Facility. It is being launched to achieve climate-resilient and inclusive sanitation in African cities using City Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) approach. It will improve sewerage systems in African cities and provide sanitation services to areas not yet connected to sewer lines.

“With AUSII, we aim to increase investment flow to the urban sanitation sub-sector in Africa and scale impact in urban sanitation development. AUSII will be positioned as a bridge between service providers and governments, and commercial and development finance institutions to facilitate finance for sanitation activities. This new window aligns with African Water Facility’s revised strategy (2017-2025) in conjunction with Africa Water Vision 2025. It will support African governments in meeting the UN sustainable development goal targets for water and sanitation.” – Mtchera Chirwa, Coordinator, African Water Facility.

Other highlights of the delegation's participation at World Water Week 2023 include:

  • Showcasing African water and sanitation projects and impacts at the African Exhibition Pavilion with the African Union, African Water Facility, and AMCOW.
  • Engaging Sovereign leader donors in the WASH sector such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Netherlands, the new Dutch Special Envoy on Water, and more.
  • Bilateral meeting between the Bank and Multilateral Development Banks’ directors of water from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Asian Development Bank for coordination and shared resources to enhance knowledge and co-finance the water sector.
  • Engaging  Stockholm International Water Institute, OECD, and the Asian Development Bank for cooperation and coordination.
  • Organising an informal reception at the African Exhibition Pavilion on Wednesday 23 August at 17h00 CET (3pm GMT) for stakeholders in water and sanitation.