• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

African Ministers make a call “Water for Africa” ahead of COP22

water-glass

More than 20 Foreign Ministers including 18 from Africa and representatives from the World Bank and other multilateral institutions participated in the launch of the call, “Water for Africa”,on July 12th in Rabat during the International Conference on Water and Climate.
The launch of the initiative was presided by CharafatAfailal, Morocco’s Minister in Charge of Water and Aziz Mekouar, COP22 Ambassador for Multilateral Negotiations.
“Water for Africa “ is a call that highlights the need for and commitment from the African community to mobilize around the pressing and alarming water issues on the continent and their link to climate change The collective call seeks to ensure a stronger integration of water in the climate and sustainable development agendas ahead of the COP22 UN Climate Change Conference this November in Marrakech.
During her opening remarks Minister Afailal painted a vivid picture of the current water situation in Africa by pointing out that,  “40 percent of the African population lives under water stress and that the figure will increase to 64 percent by 2025 if nothing is done.”  In addition she highlighted that, “300 million Africans are suffering today from water scarcity. “
The High-Level Ministerial Roundtable “Water for Africa” during the International Water and Climate Conference allowed for the launch of a formal call for action, which includes: Considering water as a priority in adaptation policies and discussions; Creating political momentum for adoption of a priority action plan for water in Africa; Putting in place a mechanism to monitor commitments made in the areas of water and climate change; Opening up more climate funds to projects targeting water management, capacity building and infrastructure; Mobilizing the necessary funding to support Africa in developing effective water adaptation contributions
Ambassador Mekouar addressed the climate finance aspect by reminding the Ministers that “50% of the approximately $10 billion dollar Green Climate Fund is dedicated to adaptation projects.”The Ambassador stressed the importance of locating and mobilizing financing and reminded participants of the Fast Track “one-stop shop” Climate Finance Initiative that Morocco is seeking to develop and rollout during COP22.
During the roundtable, participants commented on the water situation in their respective countries and collectively hammered home the need for the African community to collectively work together with the assistance of the international community to address the issue.
The representative from Senegal underscored his country’s mobilization on the issue at the highest international levels.  He said,  “As Non-Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, Senegal continues to raise awareness to fellow council members on the critical issue of water and climate change”

 

Modestus Anaesoronye