With demand for water in Africa set to increase dramatically as populations, cities and economies expand, a report published in August 2017 highlights how the management of water is fundamental to sustainable development across the continent.
Commissioned by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, Africa’s WatershedMoment: How better water management can underpin Africa’s development calls on decision-makers to prioritise better management of water – and the rivers, lakes and wetlands from which it is sourced – in order to lay the necessary foundation for inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The report focuses on four key themes – sustained growth requires water investment; feeding a billion more people; rural water vulnerability, poverty and migration; and cities as the engine of water-resilient development – and calls on decision-makers to act.
The authors recommend that economic planners should catalyse development by investing in water management. Moreover business leaders should increase investment in water management to reduce their water risks, advocate with governments, and inspire collective action.
Another recommendation is that investors should explore mechanisms to finance water development that underpins sustainable and inclusive economic growth. City managers ought to ensure coherent planning between urban and rural areas. And development agencies should promote water-resilient development, with a focus on the livelihoods of the most marginal people in the least developed economies.