At the 9th World Water Forum entitled Water security for peace and development, that took place from 21-26 March 2022 in Diamniadio, near Dakar, Senegal, the international water community and decision makers discussed global water challenges. It was the first time the Forum was hosted in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Water Forum is organised every three years by the World Water Council with a host country.
The Dakar 2022 Forum focused on four priorities: Water Security and Sanitation, Water for Rural Development, Cooperation as well as Means and Tools including the crucial issues of financing, governance, knowledge management and innovation.
At the opening ceremony, UNESCO, on behalf of UN-Water, launched the latest edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report entitled Groundwater: Making the invisible visible. The authors call on states to commit themselves to developing adequate and effective groundwater management and governance policies in order to address current and future water crises throughout the globe.
"More than 2 billion people in the world are currently suffering from water scarcity and this figure is likely to increase with the adverse effects of climate change. We must act now to ensure peace and development for our future generations," said Macky Sall, President of Senegal and current Chairman of the African Union at the opening ceremony.
“This is not just a sectoral conference - because water is about our climate and nature, our energy sources, our health and our food supplies”, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission added. She announced that Team Europe (EU member states and financial institutions) is launching a new flagship initiative on transboundary water management in Africa. Together, Team Europe is making over 400 million euros available for cross-border water projects in Africa.
The participants of the World Water Forum committed to the Dakar Declaration entitled A « blue deal » for water security and sanitation for peace and development. In the Declaration they agreed on “recognizing the urgent need to pay more attention to water issues in the rural world, as a means of reducing inequalities, creating opportunities for youth and women, fostering development, generating employment and optimally tackling the causes of national and international migrations”.
Ines Lechner, editor, Rural 21, DLG-Verlag GmbH, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Read more on World Water Forum website
Read more on World Water Council website
Read the Dakar Declaration
Read the EU Presidents speech
Information on Transboundary Water Management in Africa