African Union and High Level Panel launch Water Investment Action Plan at COP28

by | Dec 2, 2023 | High-Level Panel, News, Uncategorized

The African Union Commission (AUC) and International High-Level Panel on Water Investments for Africa have launched the Africa Water Investment Action Plan outlining how the continent countries can mobilise the additional US$30 billion per year they need to ensure water security and sustainable sanitation on the continent. The Plan supports the implementation of the High-Level Panel’s landmark report, Africa’s Rising Investment Tide, and the AIP.

Download the full report in English | Download the executive summary report in English | French

Watch a video introduction to the Investment Action Plan

The Plan was launched at an event convened by the AUC and High-Level Panel at the Africa Pavilion at COP28 on 2nd December.  The event was led by H.E. Moussa Faki, Chair: AUC, represented by H.E. Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE). The event was addressed by H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana, HRH Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Climate Envoy for the Netherlands, representing H.E. Prime Minister Mark Rutte; as well as Hon. Alioune NDOYE, Minister of the Environment, Senegal representing H.E. President Macky Sall. The event was also attended by Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD. 

H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana (c); H.E. Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for  ARBE (c); Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO: AUDA-NEPAD (c-right); Hon. Hani Sewilam, AMCOW President, Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt (c-left);  Hon. Alioune NDOYE, Minister of the Environment, Senegal (3rd left); Saroj Kumar, Global Director, World Bank Group’s Water Global Practice (2nd from right); Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Advisor, Global Center on Adaptation (right); Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Director/Executive Coordinator, UNDP (2nd left); Alex Simalabwi, Executive Director: High Level Panel Secretariat (left)

The Investment Action Plan, published by the AUC with support from the High-Level Panel, proposes five critical actions that will unlock new funding and finance sources to close Africa’s water investment gap.   

Five actions to take now to unlock investment 

The Investment Action Plan proposes five principal actions which will enable African countries to access new funding and finance from government budgets, institutional investors, banks, industry, climate funds, multilateral and development finance institutions, as well as to a lesser extent – official developmental assistance and philanthropy. The five actions are:  

  1. Prioritise continental and country level platforms that match funding sources to investment opportunities that are looking for finance;  
  1. Commit to the long-term strengthening of the enabling environment and bankability of service providers and projects;  
  1. Create the legal and regulatory environment that promotes water stewardship amongst commercial water users;  
  1. Enable African governments to access cheaper capital for water and sanitation; and  
  1. Strengthen data and information systems so we know if we are making progress and where our obstacles are located.   

The plan states that African governments play a pivotal leadership role in influencing the enabling environment for successful implementation of these proposed actions.

H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana; with H.E. Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment; Hon. Alioune NDOYE, Minister of the Environment, Senegal; and Alex Simalabwi, Executive Director: High Level Panel Secretariat. 

Water security is a catalyst for Africa’s growth and prosperity  

Africa, which will be home to close to half of all young people by 2030, must rapidly accelerate investment in water security in order to realise the social and economic growth potential presented by its youthful population. 

Water scarcity already affects 1 in 3 people in the Africa. By 2050, climate change could cost the continent US$50 billion annually through water related hazards and disasters. This is more than 150% of the additional amount needed for water security – the cost of inaction is too high.  

His Royal Highness Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, Climate Envoy for the Netherlands 

Within the power of African leaders  

The Investment Action Plan follows the release of the High-Level Panel’s landmark report, Africa’s Rising Investment Tide, during the UN March 2023 Water Conference.  

The report, which forms part of the UN 2023 Water Action Agenda, called on African Heads of State and global leaders to at least double current water investments on the continent in order the raise the US$30 billion needed annually to achieve SDG 6 in Africa. 

Download the full Investment Action Plan in English here.

Download the executive summary report in English here.

Download the executive summary report in French here.

Headline photo courtesy of UNFCCC.