The Director of African Development Bank's Water and Sanitation Development Department, Osward Chanda expressed the Bank's desire to host the Africa Urban Sanitation Investment Fund, currently under development. Chanda said, on April 20, so during an outreach meeting of potential host institutions by the Steering Committee for implementation of the Fund.
« Innovation is the ability to respond to the clients’ needs and demands so the client does not suffer any negative consequences. Innovation is applying solutions that are conducive to the local socio-economic context, and the Bank has been providing these solutions for many years », said Chanda.
Chanda added that the Department’s downstream investments portfolio, currently standing at $5.1 billion in 95 operations with a sizeable share of sanitation projects, and the African Water Facility’s robust sanitation project preparation portfolio elucidate the Bank’s experience in the sanitation sector and lends credence to the Bank’s aspiration to host such an important Initiative.
« The Bank is well-suited to host the initiative. We have an Africa-wide presence and have long experience supporting development programs and projects to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals », said Chanda.
Taking examples of similar initiatives and Special Funds like the « Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa », and « Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa », the Director said that if the Bank hosts the Africa Urban Sanitation Investment fund, the initiative would benefit from increased focus, delivery, autonomy and flexibility in making decisions, faster operations, and a strong track record of mobilizing resources and building partnerships, co-financing, and concessional funds.
The Africa Urban Sanitation Investment Fund aims to catalyze change and innovation in sanitation, and scaling-up investment and impact in urban sanitation in Africa. Its innovative approach will combine financing and advisory support to implement practical sanitation solutions with strengthening the policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks. It will leverage development and commercial finance through its upstream project origination activities, and blended finance to support downstream sanitation projects.
To be a catalytic instrument for systemic change, the initiative will promote the City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation approach for sanitation systems and projects. This involves a range of sanitation models and approaches appropriate for the different areas of a city or town and users, including traditional sewer systems, onsite water-borne and dry sanitation options; and involves households, communities, local governments, utilities, and private service providers, as appropriate.
The Steering Committee is comprised the Chairperson Innocent Kabenga, West Africa Lead at the Global Green Growth Institute, Co-Chair Brian Arbogast, Director of Water and Sanitation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Member Jay Bhagwan, Executive Manager at South African Water Research Commission, Paul Paree, Expert at the RebelGroup, and Peter Hawkins, Senior Advisor.