High Level African Dialogue on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus, Nairobi

Dialogue // High Level African Dialogue on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus, Nairobi

The African Union and the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) are convening a High-level African Dialogue on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Nairobi, Kenya on November 29, 2012.

The High-Level Dialogue will bring together representatives from governments, businesses, civil society and academia to discuss a way forward for realizing the nexus in Africa.


Nairobi Nexus Dialogue

is intended to serve several purposes:

- On initiative by UNSGAB, the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, the Dialogue should offer an opportunity for the exchange of experiences with and solutions for nexus challenges in the East African Regional context.

- It will be an opportunity for discussing concrete project examples from the region with a wide range of representatives, thus facilitating future collaboration. At the same time, the dialogue should also lead to better political uptake of the nexus concept in East Africa and beyond.

- Through the presence of UNSGAB and AU/AMCOW the dialogue will ensure that the nexus approach finds consideration at the highest level, ideally throughout the continent and that the African perspective is well represented in international processes.

The nexus dialogue takes place as part of UNSGAB's 19th meeting held 27-29 November.

The dialogue is convened by UNSGAB and the African Union in cooperation with and support of the Ministry of Water and Irrigation of Kenya and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ).



Welcome and Opening Speeches

-Facilitation: Dr. Uschi Eid, UNSGAB Vice Chair

-His Royal Highness, the Prince of Orange, UNSGAB Chair

-Hon. Dr. Mohamed Bahaa El-Din, Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt & AMCOW President 2012-2014 (tbc)

-Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat

-Hon. Charity Kaluki Ngilu, Minister of Water and Irrigation, Kenya

Introductory Presentation:

The Nexus Dialogues — Implementing the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus on a regional basis

-Franz-Birger Marré, Head of Division Water, Energy, Urban Development, Geosciences Sector, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany


Foreign investment in the agriculture / agri-food chain: risk or opportunity for the water, energy and food security?

Guiding questions: Increasing foreign investments in the agriculture / agri-food chain in Africa is an opportunity to mobilize international capacities and finances for developing African economies. However, this could lead to a trade-off between export-oriented production and domestic needs since water, energy and land resources are limited. How private investments in the agriculture and food sector in Africa can contribute to water, energy and food security? Is there a need for adapting sector policies to this new challenge?

Facilitation: Dr. Uschi Eid, UNSGAB Vice Chair



-Ibrahim Thiaw (Director, Division of Environment Policy Implementation, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)): Applying ecoystem-based adaptation to climate change in addressing water and food security

-Dr. Timothy O. Williams (Director, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Africa): Foreign investment in land vs. poor farmers?

Is there room for both investment models in Africa? If yes, what policies are needed to create the conditions for foreign investments in land related to biofuels and exportoriented food production to coexist, complement and support investment in small-scale agricultural water solutions to improve incomes and food security of poor farmers and ecosystem services?

-Richard Fox (Finlays Horticulture Kenya Ltd): Private — Public sector engagement in resources management — case study from the Lake Naivasha

In the Lake Naivasha Basin, private investors are participating in a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure sustainable use of water resources. An example of locally crafted solution includes the formation of a multi-stakeholder management board and payment for ecosystem services (PES) by downstream companies to upstream smallholders, in order to improve land-use practices, restore the natural environment and lay a foundation for long term sustainable development.


Tea break

-Prof. Elijah Phiri (Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)): Private investments for Sustainable Water and Land Management

The framework developed under the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) seeks to extend area under sustainable land management and water control systems through (i) the promotion of coalition-building amongst key stakeholders, (ii) empowerment of national and regional stakeholders, (iii) improvement of collection, management and dissemination of knowledge, (iv) identification, mobilization and harmonization of investment funds and (v) scaling up of investments. The CAADP Initiative on Land and Water Management (SLWM) is an important

development for making private investments work for water, energy and food security in Africa.

-Dr. Franz-Josef Batz (GIZ - Africa Department Competence Centre, Cooperation with the Private Sector): The "Water Futures Initiative" - New approaches towards working with the private sector

-Dr Alassane Baba-Moussa (Water and Sanitation Expert, Benin): Drinking water as a priority use of water in the context of international investments in agriculture — the case of Savé, Benin

Panel discussion with

-Hon. Minister Ngilu, Kenya

-Hon. Deputy Minister Mahenge, Tanzania

-Prof. Eric Odada, UNSGAB

-Prof. Elijah Phiri, CAADP

-Dr. Timothy O. Williams, IWMI

-Richard Fox, Finalys Horticulture Kenya Ltd.


Lunch break


The water energy food security Nexus at regional level: Towards the African single market in a Green Economy perspective

Guiding questions: Improving water, energy and food security needs regional approaches for addressing trade-offs and improving synergies. Regional approaches are increasingly important in the different sectors, for example for tackling transboundary water resources issues, interconnecting electricity networks, exploiting hydropower potential and integrating food markets. Transferring the sector silos from national to regional level would lead to significant burdens and risks, in particular for private investors. How regional organizations and national governments can set up a regional framework enabling private investors to contribute to water, energy and food security?

Facilitation: Dr. Axel Klaphake, GIZ Uganda

-Dr Callist Tindimugaya (Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda): Water-food-energy nexus in Africa: experiences from Uganda

-Dr Canisius Kanangire, Lake Victoria Basin Commission/East African Community

-Emmanuel Olet, Nile Basin Initiative

-Jasper Oduor, Eastern Africa Power Pool

-Dr Vincent Kitio (UN-Habitat): Energy and water supply — case studies and lessons learned for regional approaches

Panel discussion with

-Hon. Minister Kamuntu, Uganda

-Hon. Minister Nkomo, Zimbabwe

-Dr. Canisius Kanangire, LVBC/EAC

-Emmanuel Olet, NBI

-JB Collier, World Bank

-Mounkaila Goumandakoye, Regional Director for Africa, UNEP


Tea break


Synthesis and commitments


- Franz-Birger Marré, Head of Division Water, Energy, Urban Development, Geosciences Sector, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany


-Dr. Rashid Mbaziira, African Union & Bai-Mass Taal, AMCOW

-UNSGAB Your Action — Our Action

-"East African Nexus Process" (tbc)


Close of meeting

-HRH the Prince of Orange


The High-Level Dialogue follows up on the 2011 Bonn Conference on the Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus - Solutions for a Green Economy, which highlighted the need for taking a systemic view on these three interconnected resources in order to address the challenges that we face today and in future due to population growth, urbanization and climate change. The conference provided guidance on how to move forward with realizing the nexus perspective through promoting policy coherence, a strong focus on pro poor approaches, education and learning, minimizing waste and increasing efficiencies.

These strategies now call for implementation, specifically in the African context, where multiple challenges with regards to water-energy and food security exist.

Specifically, the Dialogue seeks to address the role private investments can play in improving water, energy and food security. Taking into consideration the inter-linkages between the three sectors is crucial, in particular for the following reasons.

-Often, investments opportunities can only be realized by using synergies between the sectors (e.g. investments in sanitation coupled with fertilizer production).

-Investments in one sector could lead to negative impacts on other sectors, if the right framework is not in place (e.g. agriculture intensification can lead to over-exploitation of water resources).

-Investments in one sector are crucially dependent on the functioning of others (e.g. increased water requirements for increased energy production).

A better understanding of the interlinkages between water, energy and land will lead to increased and better private investment into water, energy and food security. How can it be reached, how can we remove hindrances? How do we create those frameworks that help secure access to water, energy and food for all?

The Dialogue will contribute to a better understanding of possible future pathways in this regard and the roles different actors can play in order to realize the nexus for Africa.


{documents/events/2012/unsgab/unsgab_hl_dialogue_nexus_121127.pdf|Programme (PDF, #s)}


Participation in the High-level dialogue is by invitation only. For further information and if you are interested in participating please contact:


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