Bringing the Water-Food-Energy Security Nexus to Africa
Shutterstock/Sue Robinson
News

Side Event at the Africa Water Week // Bringing the Water-Food-Energy Security Nexus to Africa

"The nexus is an important process which has been started at the Bonn conference and needs to be continued by committed people at all levels in order to effect change". <<--->> [i]by Nicole Kranz[/i]

Moderated by Dr. Albert Butare, former Minister for Water and Energy of the Republic of Rwanda, the session brought together policy makers and practitioners from the African continent to discuss the specific relevance of the water-food and energy nexus in the African context.

Bai-Mass Taal, Executive Secretary of AMCOW and host of the Africa Water Week highlighted the need for creating linkages between the three sectors, particularly by overcoming the disconnect between the relevant sector ministries, highlighting his own experience as Minister for Water Resources in the Gambia. He welcomed the Nexus as an important process which had been started at the Bonn conference and needs to be continued by committed people at all levels in order to effect change and profound growth impulses for the African continent.

Dr. Abu-Zeid, former Egyptian Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation and current member of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation illustrated the range of issues relevant for the nexus by highlighting the importance of waste water management, when considering the water-food-energy nexus. He also advocated that now after the nexus has been well-established at the international level, there is a need to focus on country-level processes, much analogous to the South African conference held in April 2012. Dr. Abu-Zeid also stressed that many dimensions of the Nexus that we encounter in national contexts have not yet been sufficiently explored. He alluded to the competition between biofuels and food production and called for a substantive change in the production of energy plants. In addition, he outlined the implications of progressing desalination, particularly in order to assure water supply for growing cities in the MENA region and the intricate balance with regards to energy usage.

The more encompassing policy statements were supplemented by practitioners' statements by two representatives from river basin organizations.

Dr Canisius Kanagire, Ecexutive Secretary of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission under the East African Community highlighted the relevance of the Nexus concepts for practitioners, since implementation of water policies currently is very sector-focussed. Whether dams are built for energy generation or water needs to be available for fish production, there issues are not really integrated and harnessed in order to achieve a sustainable environment. Dr. Kanangire furthermore advocated that sectoral integration should be realized from the planning to the implementation phase. To this purpose the nexus has been taken up in the strategic paper, which defines the responsibilities of the Lake Victoria Basin Organization. He also highlighted a further dimension of water as a curse, currently encountered in the region, as in the rainy season, water is often destroying food sources. In the future, main efforts of the LVBC will be focused on infrastructure development targeted at 'harnessing water to make sure enough food is produced in order to sustain regional needs'. IWRM is one approach, which however also needs to take into consideration the issue of climate change.

Major General Collins Ihekire, Executive Secretary of the Niger Basin Authority used the opportunity to highlight the on-going initiatives in the context of the Mekong2Rio conference, which sought to showcase the relevance of the nexus for transboundary basins. He then proceeded to present activities in the Niger Basin under the Sustainable Development Action Plan. One of the actions is targeted at improving river flow in order to improve food security in the Niger basin. He also introduced the principle of benefit-sharing as a key approach for addressing the nexus challenge.

› back

News

WEF Nexus in Latin America // Innovative Communication Tools and Practices for fostering Multisectoral Cooperation and Learning

The GIZ- sponsored Environmental Management and Rural Development Network in Latin America and the Caribbean (GADER-ALC) organized a regional meeting on Digitalization from May 7th to May 9th. The 2019 Nexus Workstream - coordinated by Bolivia and Chile - was awarded EUR 5000 from an Innovation Fund to carry out knowledge cafés for a regional exchange on the WEF Nexus approach as well as for a regional Nexus Forum to be held in La Paz, Bolivia, in September this year.

// more
Urban Nexus

Urban Nexus // The Nexus Regional Dialogue in the MENA Region participates in the Ninth Regional Workshop on “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus”

By Dr. Nisreen Lahham. The Nexus Regional Dialogue in the MENA region participated in the final workshop of the “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus” project, held in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 22nd - May 23rd. This project, implemented by GIZ in partnership with UN-ESCAP and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), organized its final workshop, commemorating the...

// more
SDGs

WEFE Nexus Publication // European Commission Position Paper on the WEFE Nexus and the SDGs

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) and European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) have recently launched a Position Paper on the Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Highlighting the key outcomes of exchanges with experts held in 2018, the Paper aims to launch a dialogue on how to operationalise the WEFE Nexus.

// more