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African Water Facility’s 2023 Funding Dialogue Strengthens Regional and International Commitment to Africa’s Water and Sanitation Sector

31 October 2023
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The African Water Facility has successfully concluded its second funding dialogue since inception. From 12 to 13 October 2023, the second funding dialogue convened global leaders representing donor and beneficiary governments, multilateral and international organisations, and other stakeholders at the OECD Centre de Conference in Paris to discuss and explore innovative pathways to financing access to safe, secure, and accessible water and sanitation in Africa.

At the meeting which was led by Dr Beth Dunford, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank, stakeholders expressed support towards financing the Facility’s current strategy which ends in 2025, its incoming strategy for 2026 – 2030, and initial capitalization funding for the Africa Urban Sanitation Investment Initiative (AUSII) financing window. They also reaffirmed their commitment to the Facility as the agent of change for water and sanitation in Africa and its growing mandate as the “go to” institution to address Africa’s growing demand for water and sanitation project preparation and implementation.

The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), key donors, and African Sovereign recipients recognized and further expressed support for the Facility’s emerging and significant pipeline, liable to improve access to water and sanitation for over 625 million beneficiaries whilst generating overall investments of over EUR 4 billion over the next 5 to 10 years. To deliver on this demand, the Facility’s financial requirements of over EUR 300 million was duly noted by all.

Stakeholders also emphasized that the Facility remains the only continental mechanism for catalysing funding for climate-resilient water and sanitation projects in Africa, and it is an essential resource to achieving international goals and regional strategies on the continent. In particular, key donors highlighted that the Facility is a strategic partner to help enable their ambitious water and sanitation targets in Africa, as well as recognized the need to harmonize water and sanitation interventions in Africa.

The funding dialogue was premised on the increasing demand for water and sanitation in Africa and the need to deploy more investment into the water sector to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensure access to water and sanitation for all, whilst also mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change. It was also in line with the Facility’s updated Investment Case which aims to support investment projects that will enable access to water and sanitation for close to five million additional African beneficiaries by 2025.

“It is abundantly clear that we have to stand ready to unlock Africa’s development potential by availing water as a pivotal enabler for all socio-economic development…” said Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, African Water Facility’s Governing Council chair and co-chair of the Funding Dialogue, and the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Namibia.

The African Water Facility provides demand-driven financial and technical assistance to enable governments to invest in climate resilient water and sanitation service delivery. It achieves results by supporting the preparation of bankable projects, making innovative investments that leverage capital, and improving governance across the water sector. Since inception, it has financed 135 water and sanitation projects in 52 countries on the continent, and mobilized EUR 1.7 in downstream financing, benefiting over 23 million people.

The African Water Facility aims to scale up mobilization of resources to support African governments to provide climate resilient clean water and sanitation in line with the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6. Commitments from the 2023 Funding Dialogue will enable the Facility to continue to support African countries in meeting the water and sanitation needs on the continent well into the future.