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Africa: EU Water Initiative

Volume 480: debated on Monday 6 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1167W, on Africa: EU Water Initiative, what steps the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group plans to take to improve coordination between donors, developing country governments and civil society organisations. (223686)

Improved co-ordination is a key aim of the EU Water Initiative Africa Working Group. The Group is an integral part of the EU Water Initiative’s Multi-Stakeholder Forum. The composition of the Group also encourages co-ordination, through its rotating membership.

EU member states, the EC and other donors, such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, participate in Africa Working Group key activities. Meetings are generally programmed as an integral part of major events, such as the recent World Water Week in Stockholm. The membership of the Africa Working Group management “Troika” rotates on a yearly basis between EU member states. This arrangement promotes a wide range of active involvement in the Group. For example, the UK co-Chairs the Group this year with the African Ministers Council for Water representative from Congo-Brazzaville and next year Austria will co-Chair with a South African representative. Country governments are involved in the Africa Working Group activities. For example, Ethiopia is a leader in the Group’s country dialogue process which develops a strategic planning and financing framework for the water sector. Civil society, such as the Women for Water Partnership and the African Water Network, participate in regular events such as Africa Working Group meetings and the Multi-Stakeholder Forum.

Co-ordination will also be improved through the new communications strategy which we have funded through our support to the Africa Working Group “Troika”. This strategy takes a comprehensive longer-term look at the Group’s requirement.