The board of directors of the African Development Bank has approved a new water strategy for 2021 to 2025 to continue working "towards a water-secure Africa". The five-year strategy, approved on 17 November 2021, also aims to foster its sustainable, green and inclusive socio-economic growth and development.
“This is a significant milestone for the Bank in terms of seeing water development and sanitation as key components toward improving the quality of life for the people of Africa,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, the bank’s vice president for agriculture, human and social development.
She said the strategy would help the African Development Bank Group expand its role as the continent’s partner, while promoting integrated development and management of Africa’s water sector. The strategy will guide the bank’s implementation of its policy on water, which it approved
earlier this year.
Strategy aligned to the bank’s ‘High Fives’
The water strategy’s four pillars underscore the importance of water and sanitation for socio-economic development; sustainability, resilience, and inclusivity; food production and nutrition as well as hydropower. The strategy aligns with the bank’s ‘High Fives’, and thus contributes also to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
“Water is a key enabler for many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the Bank considers water to be essential for life, health, dignity, empowerment, environmental sustainability, peace and prosperity,” said Osward Chanda, the bank’s director for water development and sanitation.
More than 100 bank stakeholders provided inputs to develop the strategy, which the bank’s board lauded as exemplary. Since 2010, the African Development Bank has invested an estimated $6.2bn in water supply and sanitation services. At the end of October 2021, the bank’s active water sector portfolio stood at $5.2bn, comprising 104 projects implemented in 40 countries, and five multinational projects.