Multiple funding commitments for Africa’s water security emerge from 37th AU Summit

Multiple funding commitments for Africa’s water security emerge from 37th AU Summit


Implementation of the African Union’s AIP will be strengthened by three separate multimillion US dollar programmes funded by the Green Climate FundWorld Bank Group, and the European Union as announced during the 37th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

The AIP’s goal is to mobilise an additional US$30 billion per year to close Africa’s water investment gap and achieve water security and climate resilient sanitation for all by 2030. The AIP forms part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa – Priority Action Plan 2 (PIDA-PAP 2), the African Union Climate Change and Resilient Development Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2032, and the 2023 Nairobi Declaration on Climate Change.

H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of United Republic of Tanzania and Alternate Co-Chair of the International High-Level Panel on Water Investment for Africa welcomed the support and commended AU’s leadership and partners GCF, EU, World Bank, UNICEF, Development Bank of Southern Africa, and other partners. 

Full address by H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of United Republic of Tanzania and Alternate Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel

He was speaking at the “Accelerating Finance for Climate Resilient Water Investments” side-event hosted by the Africa Union Commission, in partnership with the High-Level Panel, Global Water Partnership Africa, and AIP partners on 16 February 2024.

GCF grants US$6mn to enable easier access to climate funds

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved over US$6 million for the development of national climate resilient water investment programmes in 15 African countries: Burundi, CAR, Chad, eSwatini, Guinea, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Morocco, DRC, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tunisia, Zambia. 

The AU-AIP Multi-Country GCF Readiness Project will be delivered through a partnership between the African Union Commission, the GCF and the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP). 

“The AU-AIP Multi-Country GCF Readiness Project will help countries build capacity, enhance access to GCF resources, and create an environment where financiers can more readily help countries turn climate ambitions into climate projects. GCF would simplify access, approve and fund projects faster and double down on supporting climate action in the world’s most vulnerable places and populations,” said Ms. Mafalda Duarte, Executive Director of the GCF.

Full address by Mafalda Duarte, Executive Director of the GCF

To date, GCF has approved 101 projects on the continent culminating in a total of USD 5.3 billion of climate finance to African states. In addition to this support, GCF has approved 229 readiness grants worth a total of USD 171.5 million in 54 countries in Africa, and 25 regional direct access entities are accredited to receive funding. Several of GCF’s investments support AU initiatives such as the Great Green Wall, Great Blue Wall, and ClimDev-Africa.

World Bank Regional Climate Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa

During the same event, the World Bank confirmed its support for the AIP and its objective to narrow the water investment gap and contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 targets on water and sanitation and building resilience.

The World Bank is directly supporting the AIP’s operationalisation and implementation via a US$10 million grant to the AUC. Part of this grant will support fora and knowledge sharing on best practices for climate resilient water investments and the development of AIP guidelines for the development of national (and regional) plans for climate resilient water investments. The grant also supports the creation of a platform for crowding-in (climate) financing and the operationalization of the Africa Multi-hazard Early Warning and Early Action System Program, hosted by the AU.

The grant is part of a larger $632 million Regional Climate Resilience Program, that covers five countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, two regional organisations, and the AUC. It aims to increase the resilience to water-related climate shocks in the region.

Watch Laura Bonzanigo, Sr. Water Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank Group, address the event

“We see much value in the African Union AIP Water Investment Program as a platform to promote close collaboration and cooperation and the bundling of resources to promote the integration of efforts across different development partners, for both closing the WASH access gap and promoting water resilient infrastructure,” said Ms. Soma Ghosh Moulik, World Bank Practice Manager for Water.

European Union’s Blue Africa Programme will encourage water investments

The European Union (EU) announced the launch of the EUR11 million Blue Africa Programme – including EUR3 million of direct support to the AUC – to strengthen water governance, improve capacities to mobilize investment in the water sector, as well as to effectively monitor and report progress at pan-African level.

“We are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration with a wider range of water stakeholders in Africa towards greater investment in transboundary water security and thereby showcasing the potential co-benefits for peace and prosperity for all,” said H.E. Javier Niño Perez, EU Ambassador to the AU.

Watch the address given by H.E. Javier Niño Perez, EU Ambassador to the AU

The Blue Africa Programme is the continental-level component of the Team Europe Initiative on Transboundary Water Management in Africa, officially launched at the UN 2023 Water Conference.

“Let me assure, AU Commission’s resolute commitment to work diligently in support of the AIP Panel and in cooperation with the Member States, AUDA NEPAD, Pan-African Organizations and Development Partners – towards realization of the AIP Water Investment Action Plan,” said Jihane El Gaouzi, Head of the AU’s Sustainable Environment Division. Director El Gaouzi was speaking on behalf of H.E. Josefa Correia Sacko, AU Commissioner of the Rural Economy and Agriculture.

H.E. Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner: ARBE

“The AIP provides a valuable umbrella under which Global Water Partnership, via its 5 Africa Regional Water Partnerships, supports multi-country initiatives to access available climate finance for integrated approaches to building resilience, progressing on SDG 6, and strengthening transboundary water cooperation,” Alan AtKisson, Executive Secretary of Global Water Partnership.

Alan AtKisson, Executive Secretary: GWPO

Welcoming the support by GCF, World Bank, and EU, Alex Simalabwi, Executive Secretary: Global Water Partnership Africa Coordination and CEO of the AIP Secretariat commended the AU’s leadership and the over 40 AIP partners for their  support. 

Alex Simalabwi, CEO: AIP High-Level Panel Secretariat

“The leadership of the High-Level Panel has already leveraged over USD$ 7.5 billion in investments towards the USD$ 30 billion required by 2030. This would not have been possible without the leadership of the AU, High Level Panel and AIP partners,” said Mr. Simalabwi.

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