Africa regional workshop
“The Nexus is our future; it is the food, water, and energy, which we depend on now and for future generations. We need to think ahead and explore cutting edge infrastructure and technology for securing water, food and energy. And these solutions may already exist in different sectors. This workshop provides an opportunity to share best practices and move from thinking towards applying them across the nexus”. –Ger Bergkamp, Executive Director International Water Association (IWA)
The Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions held its first workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on May 28th and 29th with participants from across the continent and water, energy and food sectors.
The workshop provided an opportunity to identify infrastructure options and solutions to secure water, energy and food for African river basins, especially at a time when there is increasing development of water infrastructure as well as expansion of industry and agriculture.
Participants explored solutions to nexus problems and the steps needed to implement these solutions while ensuring water, energy and food security. Some of the solutions included: strategic water storage; implementation of new technologies; expanding the energy mix to include micro-hydropower, renewable energy, using agricultural waste to produce biogas and so forth.
A number of emergent themes ran through the workshop, these included:
Transition from the traditional Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to a more 'Nexus-Based Approach'
The recognised need to establish a sound evidence base to improve local and regional understanding of the water, energy and food nexus
The need for investment in science and technology for water, energy and food diagnostic decision support systems
Better influencing of institutional arrangements to guide the development of nexus based policies, particularly land use planning according to capability and suitability
The growing need for partnerships designed to solve problems using public, private, funder, and civil society networks, rather than solely relying on conventional institutional arrangements
So what is the next step? Participants from the Nairobi workshop have been encouraged to build new coalitions and partnerships for follow-up action in technology, demonstration, investments in built and natural water infrastructure, and national-level dialogues on policy and implementation. Subsequent workshops in Latin America (September 2013) and Asia (March 2014) will build on the outputs of the Nairobi Nexus workshop.
We also request your feedback on the workshop report, presentation and video, and continued contribution to the Dialogue.