Water for Growth and Development in Africa

The World Water Council has released a new publication: «Water for Growth and Development in Africa». The report wishes to convey a global message to those working both inside and outside the international water community: Wise investments in managing and developing Africa’s water resources are integral to the future growth and prosperity of the continent. The questions of what, where and how to invest are at the heart of this report.



acrobat_icon Water for growth and development in Africa


Without reliable access to water, communities all over the world are condemned to a subsistence lifestyle, vulnerable to the impacts of global changes. Industry cannot be established without reliable water and related electricity. Entire populations suffer from water-borne diseases due to poor levels of sanitation and hygiene. Levels of education are negatively impacted (especially for girls), as children are often charged with collecting and carrying water, sometimes over large distances on a daily basis. Furthermore, as recently seen yet again in the Horn of Africa, crops can fail due to a combination of factors including drought or flood conditions, turning entire communities into refugees in often already politically unstable and environmentally stressed regions.

But what does this mean for policy makers trying to decide where to invest public funds to bring about sustainable development in a continent as large, diverse and complicated as Africa – a continent faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and yet at the same time so full of potential? This report argues that an effective investment framework must be able to adapt to different levels and contexts. In addition, within a strong development narrative, a framework that integrates the contributions that water can make to growth and development as a whole provides a useful basis for discussion and engagement between policy makers, water and other stakeholders and investors across Africa. By developing such a framework, this report aims to encourage a positive transformation for Africa’s future through the establishment of the most appropriate investment patterns at the most impactful levels. The shared nature of Africa’s water will, of course, be a central element of the discussion.