Africa Must Boost Investments in Water Sector

Luanda — The African continent needs to reinforce investments and build new water infrastructures to boost its economic development, said on Tuesday, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the African Union (AU) Commissioner, Josefa Correia Sacko .

Josefa Sacko, who heads the AU Department for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DRABE), spoke at the conference on "The challenges of water scarcity in the African continent".

She said that water is necessary to boost productivity of most sectors that depend on this liquid, and drew attention to the need to strengthen trans-boundary water projects and establish effective cooperation agreements for river basins and shared courses.

She stressed, during the event held by video conference, organized by the "Police Center For The New South", that the situation of water scarcity in Africa is aggravated, on the other hand, by the fact that this area is not prioritized in most countries.

The Angolan diplomat, stressed that water is a critical input for most sectors, including agriculture, energy, tourism, health and transport, having recognized the existence of abundant water resources in some countries, such as the second largest freshwater lake in the world (Lake Victoria) and the second deepest lake in the world (Lake Tanganyika).

"The negative effects of climate change, resulting from the considerable increase in temperatures, the extensive part of North and South Africa, with arid regions characterized by deserts, the variability and frequency of the climate, as well as the intense droughts, are factors that aggravate the scarcity of water", said the AU DRABE commissioner.

She also made it known that groundwater represents only 15 percent of Africa's total renewable water resources and yet about 75 percent of its population depends on domestic use of groundwater.

She assured that many countries in Africa are already experiencing "water stress", leading to water scarcity, therefore, affecting the trajectories of their development and, as a consequence, they cannot even attract factories with intensive use of water or embark on large-scale irrigation projects.

Still on the scarcity of water, she said that this factor has hampered the continent's efforts to adapt to climate change, especially small farmers.

"We have communities that have difficulty even washing their hands regularly, to control the coronavirus, due to the scarcity of water. The demand for water also increases and the situation is aggravated by the multiplicity of its use ", she said.

2017 World Bank studies indicate that, globally, 70 percent of fresh water is used for agriculture.

It also stresses that by 2050, feeding a planet of nine billion people will require an estimated 50% increase in agricultural production and a 15% increase in water withdrawal.

African leaders reaffirmed in July 2008, during the meeting of Sharm El-Sheikh, a locality of Egypt, on Water and Sanitation, the promotion of the cooperation and integration among the Member States, with a view to raising the standard of living of the population and the well -being of future generations.

There is also the Water Vision for Africa 2025: "An Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation and the environment".

The AU Commission coordinated the Africa Environment and Security Monitoring Project (MESA), which facilitated Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States in making decisions on climate information, data and water availability policies, through use of Earth Observation by meteorological satellite.

The MESA Project also had a training component and trained more than a thousand specialists.

In conclusion, she reiterated the commitment of the African Union Commission to work with all stakeholders, including partners, in advancing the African Water and Sanitation Agenda to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in the realization of the 2063 Agenda: " The Africa we want ".

Josefa Sacko, who heads the AU Department for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DRABE), spoke at the conference on "The challenges of water scarcity in the African continent".

She said that water is necessary to boost productivity of most sectors that depend on this liquid, and drew attention to the need to strengthen trans-boundary water projects and establish effective cooperation agreements for river basins and shared courses.

She stressed, during the event held by video conference, organized by the "Police Center For The New South", that the situation of water scarcity in Africa is aggravated, on the other hand, by the fact that this area is not prioritized in most countries.

The Angolan diplomat, stressed that water is a critical input for most sectors, including agriculture, energy, tourism, health and transport, having recognized the existence of abundant water resources in some countries, such as the second largest freshwater lake in the world (Lake Victoria) and the second deepest lake in the world (Lake Tanganyika).

"The negative effects of climate change, resulting from the considerable increase in temperatures, the extensive part of North and South Africa, with arid regions characterized by deserts, the variability and frequency of the climate, as well as the intense droughts, are factors that aggravate the scarcity of water", said the AU DRABE commissioner.

She also made it known that groundwater represents only 15 percent of Africa's total renewable water resources and yet about 75 percent of its population depends on domestic use of groundwater.

She assured that many countries in Africa are already experiencing "water stress", leading to water scarcity, therefore, affecting the trajectories of their development and, as a consequence, they cannot even attract factories with intensive use of water or embark on large-scale irrigation projects.

Still on the scarcity of water, she said that this factor has hampered the continent's efforts to adapt to climate change, especially small farmers.

"We have communities that have difficulty even washing their hands regularly, to control the coronavirus, due to the scarcity of water. The demand for water also increases and the situation is aggravated by the multiplicity of its use ", she said.

2017 World Bank studies indicate that, globally, 70 percent of fresh water is used for agriculture.

It also stresses that by 2050, feeding a planet of nine billion people will require an estimated 50% increase in agricultural production and a 15% increase in water withdrawal.

African leaders reaffirmed in July 2008, during the meeting of Sharm El-Sheikh, a locality of Egypt, on Water and Sanitation, the promotion of the cooperation and integration among the Member States, with a view to raising the standard of living of the population and the well -being of future generations.

There is also the Water Vision for Africa 2025: "An Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation and the environment".

The AU Commission coordinated the Africa Environment and Security Monitoring Project (MESA), which facilitated Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States in making decisions on climate information, data and water availability policies, through use of Earth Observation by meteorological satellite.

The MESA Project also had a training component and trained more than a thousand specialists.

In conclusion, she reiterated the commitment of the African Union Commission to work with all stakeholders, including partners, in advancing the African Water and Sanitation Agenda to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in the realization of the 2063 Agenda: " The Africa we want ".

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