Why Invest in Water

Delivery of water infrastructure across Africa remains below targets required to meet the water needs of the continent.

At least an additional $30 billion is required annually to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6. Only $10-$19 billion/year

is invested in water infrastructure.2

Water connects public health, food security, livable cities, energy for all, environmental wellbeing, and climate action. Increased investments in water security are urgently required to meet current and future needs of the continent.

Over 300 million Africans do not have access to clean drinking water and over 700 million live without access to good sanitation

Presently, investments in water infrastructure and support services falls short of what is needed to meet the continent’s economic and social needs. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation has a major negative impact on poverty reduction and economic development. Water, sanitation and hygiene also hold significant potential for jobs, economic growth and health.

Sub-Saharan Africa loses 5% of its GDP annually because of a lack of water, contaminated water or poor sanitation.

The African Development Bank estimates that every year, 40 billion hours of otherwise productive time is spent just collecting water.

The impact of climate change on water resources is urgent and continues to increase.

Climate change risks and hazards such as droughts and floods compounds the challenge by increasing water insecurity across the continent. Accelerating investments in climate resilient water infrastructure, information, institutions including nature-based solutions is the only sustainable and long-term route to secure water resources.

By 2030, the African population will reach 1.6 billion and the continent will need to produce at least 50% more food.

Africa will also need at least ten times more water for energy production to support modernisation of economies.

Three out of four jobs are water dependent1 and Africa needs to create more job opportunities, especially for its youth population.

Africa’s young people would have increased by 42% by 2030, and with youth comes the opportunity to industrialise, innovate and transform Africa’s economy towards prosperity and peace. On the flipside, youth unemployment and lack of productive youth engagement has potential to cause large scale revolt and impact social-political stability and peace.

[1] African Water Facility

[2] World Bank, 2013 World Development Report African Water Facility