Monday, December 22, 2008

Water Online: A three-day pan-African ministerial Conference pledged recently to promote water development throughout the continent to fully exploit Africa's agricultural and hydroenergy potential. In a final Declaration, the Conference, on Water for Energy and Agriculture in Africa: the Challenges of Climate Change, noted that water is a key resource to economic and social development as well as to hunger and poverty eradication in Africa, and that food and energy security are prerequisites for the development of Africa's human capital.

The Conference, which brought together ministers from 53 African countries, recognized that the challenges faced by the continent concerning food security, achieving the Millennium Development Goals, increased energy demand and combating climate change required all countries to move together.

Implementation of integrated water, agriculture and energy programmes to enhance sustainable development in Africa should be considered a priority, the Declaration said. This involved expansion of the area under sustainable land management and reliable water control, and accelerated investment in water for agriculture and energy. The Conference declared its support of efforts to enhance clean energy production in the continent, particularly in developing hydropower potential and in strengthening regional power pools.

On climate change, which is likely to have a severe impact across Africa, the Conference agreed to foster research and development of renewable energy and agriculture in Africa in order to increase resilience and adaptation to climate change….

The shores of Lake Chad, Cameroon, from the US Geological Survey

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