2012 Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resources Management in Africa

The «2012 Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resources Management in Africa» is a study to determine progress in Africa towards sustainable management of water resources using integrated approaches. The study was commissioned by AMCOW to collate and analyse data collected from 40 member countries of AMCOW African countries that responded to a detailed survey conducted by UN-Water.

2012.05.14_Status_IWRM_AfricaNew study evaluates integrated approaches to water management in 40 African nations

The study found that 18 countries have integrated water resource management (IWRM) plans under implementation. A similar study conducted in 2008 found that 5 countries, out of the 16 that responded to the survey, had IWRM plans or were in the process of developing them.

Several respondents reported that their improved performance in water resources management provided direct benefits towards their national social and economic objectives. The report asserts that detailed documentation of these benefits, including better and more consistent indicators, could increase government commitment and financing for water management and infrastructure. It recommends that a more rigorous reporting system on progress in water management in Africa is initiated by AMCOW to provide a better basis for informed decision making at the national level.


Improved coordination, institutional capacity and financing needed

The progress reported is not without challenges. A great deal more, in terms of commitment and resources, is required to assure food and energy security, as well as access to safe drinking water and sanitation to a growing population. The report highlights flooding, droughts and pollution as the greatest physical threats to Africa’s water resources, which will most likely become more severe due to climate change and variability. It recommends targeted action to intensify efforts and opportunities for country-to-country knowledge sharing, particularly on disaster preparedness and water risk management as a means to increase resilience to climate change.

The survey responses also highlight financial constraints; institutional capacity gaps; and weaknesses in coordination mechanisms between sectors and government departments as key challenges to integrated water resources management in Africa. The report thus emphasises the need to carry out reforms aimed at strengthening the capacity of relevant institutions for managing transboundary water systems, as well as the capacity of local river basin organisations and national apex bodies.

»Water resources are an essential ingredient in the advent of a green economy in Africa«, says AMCOW Executive Secretary, Bai-Mass Taal. »All nations must create transparent and integrated approaches to prioritise wise and efficient allocation of water. The outcomes of the survey should be utilised as a first step towards the development of a permanent reporting mechanism on each country’s progress towards that goal.«

The report has been produced by the African Union Commission (AUC) and AMCOW, which is the AUC’s Specialised Technical Committee on Water and Sanitation, with support from the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group.


acrobat_icon 2012 Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches to Water Resources Management in Africa


About the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW)

The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) was established by the 2002 Abuja Ministerial Declaration on Water with the aim of promoting regional cooperation, socio-economic development and poverty eradication through coordination of policy interventions relating to the management of water resources and provision of water services. In 2008, at the 11th ordinary session of the Africa Union (AU) Assembly in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Heads of State and Government of the member countries of the AU agreed on commitments to accelerate the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa and mandated AMCOW to develop and follow up an implementation strategy for these commitments.


About the EU Water Initiative African Working Group

The EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group is a joint platform working on water-related development issues that seeks to make an effective joint (Africa – Europe) contribution to the achievement of water and sanitation related Millennium Development Goals. It consists of representatives from the Technical Advisory Committee of the African Ministers’ Council of Water, EU Member States, the European Commission, civil society and the private sector.


About the Africa Water Week

The 2012 Africa Water Week (AWW) is being held in Cairo, Egypt, 14–18 May 2012. The annual event is organised by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) and represents a political commitment at the highest level with over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society, and the media from all over the world, and in particular Africa, meeting to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa's water and sanitation challenges.