SADC Holds Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Water-Energy-Food Nexus
UN Photo/Evan Schneider
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With support from the EU, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) hosted a two-day dialogue to promote resource-use efficiency in water, land and energy planning.

The dialogue supported governments' and stakeholders' use of balanced decision-making that considers the interdependencies of water resource management, agriculture, and energy generation.

22 November 2017: Supported by the EU Water-Energy-Food Nexus Dialogue Program, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) hosted a two-day meeting to promote resource-use efficiency in water, land and energy planning. The meeting, which took place from 21-22 November, in Johannesburg, South Africa, sought to support governments’ and stakeholders’ use of balanced decision-making considering the inter-dependencies of water resource management, agriculture and energy generation. Participants highlighted the possibilities for regional value chains, for example, in agro-processing, to be further developed through a nexus approach.

The SADC hosts the multi-stakeholder water dialogue every two years. The 2017 dialogue was the 8th such event to take place. South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) organized the event on behalf of the SADC, on the theme, ‘Water Development in SADC – Fostering Regional Value Chains and Job Creation through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Approaches.’ The dialogue served as a platform for policy makers and practitioners to discuss governance considerations, project implementation, job creation, and strengthening of regional value chains through nexus approaches.

Participants highlighted the possibilities for regional value chains, for example, in agro-processing, to be further developed through a nexus approach.

Lindiwe Lusenga, Deputy Director-General, DWS South Africa, called for ensuring benefits to women, youth and “ordinary people”. Remmy Makumbe, Director of Infrastructure and Services, SADC, noted that nexus approaches could apply to mining, energy generation, agro-processing, pharmaceutical and automotive value chains in the region. Martin Muchero, technical coordinator on regional agricultural policy at SADC, stressed that the nexus dialogue should drive and facilitate the development of bankable project proposals.

Dialogue participants called for a programme approach that incorporates financing mechanisms, addresses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensures inclusivity.

SADC is an intergovernmental organization that aims to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth and socioeconomic development through cooperation among its 15 member States in the Southern African region. The EU Water-Energy-Food Nexus Dialogue Program is active in five regions: the Andean region in Latin America; the Mekong region in Asia; the Aral Sea region in Central Asia; the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); and Niger and the SADC on the African continent. The Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA) implements the programme in the Southern African region on behalf of the SADC Secretariat.

The SADC and GWPSA previously explored the water-energy-food nexus in 2013 at the 6th Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue in Lusaka, Zambia. [DWS Press Release, 22 November] [DWS Press Release, 23 November] [GWP Press Release] [Visual Presentation and Quotes from Dialogue Event] [SADC Website] [IISD-RS Story on 6th Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue]

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