Saturday, April 20, 2013

Invest in Africa's water storage to secure the future

Ben Braga in Water and energy are fundamental to poverty reduction and economic transformation on the African continent. When experts, policymakers and high-level representatives met this week in Addis Ababa at a conference to discuss water storage and hydro development, the World Water Council was there to call upon them to take actions to prepare the world, as the past is now a poor guide to an uncertain future.

Indeed, as the world population continues to increase and that population strives for higher standards of living, demands on our limited usable water resources grow. As a consequence, we are failing to keep up with water demands for the most basic human needs and, at the same time, we need to start having a different look towards water from a perspective of an engine for social and economic development.

The World Water Council has been advocating for global recognition of water security as a milestone for beyond the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. During the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in October last year, we called on all countries in the word for a Pact on Water Security. The current efforts made by the UN to set a global definition of water security for next General Assembly are a promising objective.

An enormous challenge lies ahead of us to improve water security in Africa. An effective investment framework must be adapted to different levels and contexts, as water provides a useful basis for discussion Fand engagement between policymakers, investors and stakeholders in water and other sectors in Africa. Since 2008, the World Water Council has been working on a programme on water for growth and development in Africa and presenting the need for investment in water in Africa as leverage for growth and shared development.

Wise investments in managing and developing Africa's water resources are essential to the future growth and prosperity of the continent...

From space, irrigation in the heart of the Sahara. NASA image

No comments: