- Annex 66: Mbaziira R., 2021. Volume I: Draft Report on Human Capacity Development priorities in the Water Sector in Africa. ACEWATER2 report JRC123098 (Main deliverable)


As one of the activities under the ACE-Water project, the Water and Marine Resources Unit of the
Institute on Sustainable Resources commissioned a review of available information to prepare a report
on the Human Capacity Development (HCD) priorities in the Water Sector in Africa. The requirement
was to analyse both the information gathered by the European Commission Joint Research Centre; and
information from strategic documents of the project partner institutions and organisations.
The demand for human capacity development in the water sector is defined by the role water plays in
Africa’s ambitions for socio-economic development as espoused by the African Union Agenda 2063. A
key priority area of Agenda 2063 is water security. The report, therefore, employs the UN definition of
water security, which is developing the capacity “… to safeguard sustainable access to adequate
quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic
development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for
preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability” (UN Water, 2013). By this approach,
the continental aspirations for growth and transformation are juxtaposed with the influence of water
access and use on overall economic output. In this perspective, capacity constraints in the water sector
are understood to pose grave implications for the realisation of Africa’s development agenda.
Due cognisance is also given to the strategic directions of the education and training sector to develop
the requisite human capital to sustain the vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa. And it
being that improvement of water wisdom is one of the facets of that undertaking, the ongoing strategic
reforms in the education and training sector provide the framework within which the water sector HCD
priorities are identified.
The review, thus, focused on the following documents:
i) the African Union agenda 2063: “the Africa we want”;
ii) the Africa water vision 2025 and framework for action;
iii) the AfDB human capital strategy for Africa;
iv) the continental education strategy for Africa;
v) the Science, technology and innovation strategy for Africa;
vi) the African space policy and strategy;
vii) the agreement on the African resources management satellite constellation;
viii) the continental strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET);
ix) the AMCOW strategy 2018 – 2030;
x) the AMCOW policies and strategies on mainstreaming the youth and gender in the water and
sanitation sector in Africa;
xi) various decisions and declarations of the policy organs of the African Union and the African
Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW); and,
xii) relevant human capacity development instruments currently under implementation by the East
African Community; the Economic Community of West African States; the Intergovernmental
Authority on Development; the Southern African Development Community and the Union du
Maghreb Arabe.
Four broad categories of priorities are deduced from the derivational linkages between the African Union
clarion call for a revolution to a knowledge-based and productive society; and the vitality of a vibrant
water sector to the advent of sustainable development in Africa. And as such, the water sector HCD
priorities are identified within the framework of the strategic reforms in the education and training sector
as follows:
i) Building critical skills – particularly as relates to sustainable development, utilisation and
management of water and related resources – to enhance economic growth and social
transformation. The strategy is to utilise approaches encouraging technological empowerment, eeducation
and adaptive learning. To this end, the centres of excellence in water sciences and
technology (CoEs) have to be strengthened into a fully functional, Africa-wide knowledge and
excellence network. In turn, the network will play a significant role in fostering opportunities for
development and water knowledge sharing across all AU Member States.
ii) Fostering transformation in the TVET sector to integrate flexibility, adaptability and continuous
learning in education and training supply. For the water and sanitation sector, it is imperative to: a)
develop and institute officially recognised vocations for the water and wastewater sectors; and, b)
raise the level of prestige and attractiveness of sanitation related occupations.
iii) Supporting space science and astronomy research, teaching and outreach. There are numerous
underdeveloped opportunities for the application of space science and technology to effectively
manage resources such as water, land, forests, and marine ecosystems. The use of space technology
is also of vital importance in generating sorely needed information to support decision making for
the sustainable utilisation of the resources.
iv) Recognition of competences from non-formal and informal education and training. The overarching
goal is twofold. First, enable tapping into existing technological preferences, cultural practices, local
values and traditions of community learning to impart life skills. And, secondly, contribute to
mainstreaming indigenous water and pollution management knowledge into lifelong learning
Specific scientific, technical and institutional priorities are defined under each of the above mentioned
broad themed categories. The specific priorities provide entry points for implementing the AMCOW
human capacity development programme to address junior professional and technician level capacity
challenges in Africa.
Outside the AU-NEPAD African network of centres of excellence in water sciences and technology
(CoEs), the key identified institutional partners include: the pan-African University; the African
Scientific, Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC); the African Observatory of Science, Technology
and Innovation (AOSTI); the Africa Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education
(ARCSSTE); the African Association of Remote Sensing and Environment (AARSE); African Centre
of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD); the African Regional Institute for
Geospatial Science and Technology (AfRIGST); the Association for the Development of Education in
Africa (ADEA); the pan-African Institute of Education for Development (IPED); the Forum for African
Women Educationalists (FAWE); the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiatives (GeSCI); the
International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED); the Africa Network
Campaign on Education for All (ANCEFA); and the Pan African Association for Literacy and Adult
Education (PAALAE ).
An implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework is also defined. It delineates roles and
responsibilities for the policy organs of the African Union and AMCOW; the AMCOW Secretariat; the
Commissions of the African Union and the European Union; the EC Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC)
and UNESCO-IHP; the regional networks of the centres of excellence; and the individual centres of
excellence. These span leveraging of political and financial commitment; resources mobilisation;
coordination of funding and implementing partners; periodic planning and reporting; and project
management oversight and accountability for resources and results.



- Annex 67: Mbaziira R., 2021. Volume II: Final Report on Development Priorities of the Water Sector in Africa placed in the context of Agri-Energy sectors. ACEWATER2 report JRC123100 (Main deliverable)


A report providing a review of available information on the development priorities of the water sector in Africa placed in the context of Agri-Energy sectors. The requirement was to analyze both the information gathered by the European Commission Joint Research Centre; and information from strategic documents of the project partner institutions and organisations. This report synthesises the development priorities of the water sector in Africa within the context of the express plans for productive use of water in the sectors of energy and agriculture. They are drawn from a review of the following policy, planning and program documents for assuring water, food, energy and ecosystems security in Africa.
i) the African Union agenda 2063: “the Africa we want”;
ii) the Africa water vision 2025 and framework for action;
iii) reports from the African Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting (WASSMO) System;
iv) the Africa water investment programme;
v) the comprehensive Africa agriculture development programme (CAADP);
vi) the programme for infrastructure development in Africa (PIDA);
vii) the water, climate and development programme (WACDEP);
viii) the African water resources management priority action programme 2016 - 2025 (WRM-PAP);
ix) the AMCOW strategy 2018 – 2030; and,
x) various decisions and declarations of the policy organs of the African Union and the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW).
The key emerging priorities from the analysis can be summarised as follows:
i) Promoting a new narrative on water that recognises the full potential of water in the economy to further Africa’s future development needs. The new narrative should foster an appreciation of the vitality of water in economic growth; job creation; and industrialisation.
ii) Strengthening the business case for water investments, as well as raising the profile of water in national and regional development in Africa. The economies of many countries in Africa are extremely vulnerable to climate variability and climate change as they are largely based on natural resources (water, land, energy, forests/ecosystems). Lack of investments to enhance human and institutional capacities; build infrastructure; and improve information systems to support water management exacerbate the difficulties. To overcome these challenges – and achieve the SDGs – it is imperative for governments, societies and the private sector to fully embrace the concept of environmental security. A paradigm shift in the approach to developing, utilising and managing Africa’s water and related resources is urgently required.
iii) Water infrastructure development should be advocated for and promoted as a means to provide a service – which is water – to the economy in order to enable growth and development to happen. Water sector interventions, especially for such resource management functions as water storage and flood control, should not be designed and marketed from the perspective of ‘water sector development’. Rather, the approach to packaging them for investment should be centred on their eventual utility – from an economic perspective – in terms of providing water for food and energy production. This should be extended to the opportunities for employment and wealth creation: not to mention peace, social security and political stability.
iv) Strategies to improve the investment outlook for water and related resources development will also benefit from the application of the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW)1 principles for valuing water. The principles provide a guideline for determining the real value of proposed investments; the associated costs; and the benefits that can be expected. In essence, they serve the purpose of improving the appreciation of the economics of water in a country, river basin or region. The application of the principles – together with targeted interventions to catalyse change – holds promise for delivering sustainable solutions for assuring water for energy, food and environmental security in Africa.
v) Application of the Water-Energy-Food-and-Ecosystems nexus approach to promote and facilitate investment led transboundary management and governance of water and environmental resources. The aim is to consolidate and capitalise on the achievements to-date of implementing the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management. It is thus important to revitalise implementation of the following ongoing initiatives:
a. establishing economic accounting for water as a discipline to, among others, improve the financing and investment outlook for water resources management in Africa;
b. improving national-level capacities for collecting complete and reliable hydro-meteorological and piezometrical data in all of Africa’s 64 shared river basins;
c. applying nexus perspective solutions to assure water, food and energy security in Africa;
d. improving agricultural water management;
e. implementing the PIDA priority transboundary water and energy projects;
f. enhancing use of wastewater and sludge, as appropriate and acceptable, for nutrient recovery in agriculture and bio-gas energy production;
g. standardising regulatory frameworks for agricultural water management across Africa;
h. developing and adopting legal, policy and institutional frameworks for the collection and treatment of wastewater to a minimum water quality standard before discharge into transboundary water courses and aquifers; and,
i. supporting Member States, R/LBOs and RECs to conduct water resources assessments as well as supporting them to monitor and manage groundwater use.



Mbaziira, R 2020. Report on Development Priorities of the Water Sector in Africa placed in
the context of Agri-Energy sectors: Draft Report. A report prepared for the European
Commission’s Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC). x+20 pp. 

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