Nexus Blog // A Nexus way forward – two projects kick-off their activities in the Niger Basin
The kick-off for two jointly funded projects by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the water-energy-food Nexus approach at their heart took place on March 23, 2021 in Niamey, Niger.
Family photo of the workshop opening ceremony
The Niger River and its basin is home to over 130 million people throughout nine countries. There is a strong need to preserve its ecosystems, natural resources and shared waterways which are under threat due to climate change, urbanization and a growing demand for water and energy. Despite progress in mainstreaming the WEF Nexus approach in long-term regional planning, zones of political instability and environmental vulnerabilities make balanced resource planning among the water, food and energy sectors an ever-present challenge for the Niger Basin.
The project Nexus Regional Dialogue in the Niger Basin, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), continues in its second phase, which aims to mainstream the Nexus approach on a regional and national level and demonstrate the added-value of intersectoral coordination through Nexus demonstration projects. Another strong focus lies in identifying and preparing investment projects that consider and balance the different sectoral needs and trade-offs. The Frexus project, also implemented by GIZ, attempts to better understand how to improve existing or future conflict situations related to the use of natural resources in the region by applying the Nexus approach.
These conflicts are already exacerbated by climate change, where "unfortunately we already know all too well the impacts" - Executive Secretary of the Niger Basin Authority.
As part of the bilateral GIZ project Support to the Niger Basin Authority (NBA), both projects contribute to the vision of the NBA and its member states.
The Kick-off workshop
The hybrid event, chaired by His Excellency, the Executive Secretary of the NBA, Mr. Abderahim Bireme Hamid, welcomed participants from seven of the nine member states as well as the GIZ. The aim was to create a common understanding of the objectives of both projects and to create a trustworthy working environment among the parties.
The importance of water governance processes through strong commitment from National Focal Structures (SFN) and National Coordination of Users of Natural Resources of the Niger Basin (CNU) was highlighted. The Member States were urged to enhance collaboration, since they all are working towards the same objective: the ultimate good of the countries, the basin and the population. The establishment of monitoring committees for the two projects by country of intervention will soon be discussed.
Read this article in French here: Nexus Blog // Atelier regional de demarrage des projects Nexus eau-energie-securite alimentaire et Frexus dans le Bassin du Niger
Keep informed about the activities of the two projects here:
- Nexus Regional Dialogue Programme in the Niger Basin; Factsheet
- Frexus : Improving security and climate resilience in a fragile context through the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus; Factsheet
- Nexus Blog // A study trip to Songhai center of Porto Novo in Benin
- Nexus Blog // Opportunities for mutual learning? The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Fomi dam: transboundary relations and Nexus thinking across the Sahel
- Nexus Blog // Can the Water, Energy and Food Nexus approach prevent conflicts in a fragile context?