Africa, like other continents, must face the challenges of sound and sustainable water management, in a context of climate change.
At the end of the 1st edition of the “One Planet Summit” (12 December 2017 in Paris), the President of the French Republic made the commitment to ensure the development in a few years of “100 Water and Climate projects for Africa”. The management of this initiative has been assigned to the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)*, Secretariat of the Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAfWaC). To date, INBO has already helped 20 projects in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Madagascar, Morocco and Senegal, with the support of the 6 French Water Agencies.
Let's find out more about #100ProjectsForAfrica with Eric Tardieu, INBO Secretary General and Director General of the International Office for Water.
Could you present us in a few words the initiative and its principle of incubating projects?
The initiative # 100ProjectsForAfrica was born from the observation of a persistent gap to be bridged between: on the one hand, potential project leaders, who have difficulty accessing the complexity of "water and climate funds" and, on the other, donors, who deplore the lack of good projects. Significant financial resources exist, but remain insufficiently mobilized, due to the lack of support to local stakeholders to get them through the first stages of describing a project and formalizing a request for funding. The concept of project incubation therefore involves a double mobilization: that of advanced technical expertise, intended to formalize a first basic idea and transform it into a project, and that of bilateral or international donor networks, which have various projects preparation processes. The aim of the initiative is to supply these networks with projects that they can take over in more precise feasibility studies.
In your opinion, what are the major challenges to be met by this initiative?
The initiative is part of the priority to adapt to climate change, of methods and tools for managing water resources. In an original way, it concentrates on soft and not infrastructural investments, necessary to organize heavier planning strategies, on the scale of a country or a river basin in particular. This concerns projects for structuring water information or monitoring systems, for a given area (country, river basin), specific structures (dam, river in town, wastewater treatment plant, etc.). or strategic thinking in terms of planning or governance. The incubation ultimately aims at an ambitious 1 to 100 leverage effect: e.g. a support of up to €50k should be able to highlight a project of several million euros, sufficiently well described to integrate the funding circuits of the interested donors.
How is INBO participating in this initiative?
INBO has wished to respond to the demand from both local stakeholders and donors by facilitating, accelerating and multiplying the emergence of useful projects in terms of adaptation to climate change in water resources management. Our network of members and partners from all continents allows us to detect many field ideas, which are just waiting to be usefully transformed into projects, but also having the experts’ knowledge needed for incubating these projects (information systems, hydrology, local governance, adaptation strategies, planning, etc.).
To find out more about the initiative, click here!
* The International Office for Water provides INBO’s permanent secretariat.