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OECD and WWC announce partnership to advance water security in Africa


 SG Water Press release

OECD Headquarters, Paris, 22 March 2019

Coinciding with the celebration of World Water Day, the OECD and the World Water Council (WWC) announced a new partnership in cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Senegal to advise local and national governments on how to design and implement better policies that can help drive water security in Africa.

The Partnership grew out of the OECD Secretary-General’s receipt of the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize on 21 March 2018, at the 8th World Water Forum under the theme “Working towards greater solidarity and inclusion in order to ensure water security and climate justice”. This recognition, awarded every three years to strategic leaders on water security, acknowledged the OECD’s longstanding leadership, guidance and convening power to raise the profile of water challenges in national policy agendas.

The two-year partnership launched today aims to produce new data, analysis and policy recommendations on water governance, financing and irrigation for African decision-makers to address the increasing pressure on water resources due to population growth, urbanisation and climate change. It will also support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through national and regional assessments of water policy reforms and capacity building workshops.

Loic Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, joined Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, to announce the new collaboration.

 “With 250 million Africans expected to live in water stressed areas by 2030, and 60% of the population expected to live in cities by 2050, now is the time to get water policies right for sustainable development in Africa. We are using the Prize Award as seed money to advance this cause and we need other institutions to join us in this collective effort,” Mr Gurría said.

"No country can ignore that water security is essential for sustainable development. No government can ignore that water is a fundamental human right. No international organisation can ignore that water and climate are intimately linked. For this purpose, we must reach out to all sectors while involving all levels of government." Mr Fauchon said.

M. Abdelkader Amara, Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water of Morocco conveyed his country’s full support to “a promising and ambitious initiative in favour of water security in Africa”. Mr Mansour Faye, Minister of Hydraulics and Sanitation of Senegal, also welcomed the initiative because “progress on universal access to water and sanitation in Africa remains very modest and fragile, and requires mobilising all stakeholders for concrete achievements”. Other institutions supporting the initiative include the International Network of Basin Organisations, Transparency international and the Water Integrity Network.

The OECD and WWC have worked closely on water for over a decade, notably within the OECD Water Governance Initiative and the Roundtable on Water Financing. The first findings from the partnership announced today will be released in the form of OECD reports, capacity development and awareness-raising tools during the 9th World Water Forum, to be held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2021.

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