ICA Helps Secure Funding for Lake Victoria Basin
14 July 2013
JULY 15 | 2013: The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) co-sponsored the third Lake Victoria Basin Donors Consultative Conference in Entebbe, Uganda – from June17-18, 2013. Twenty two project concepts were presented and the majority of development partners present expressed firm interest in them. It was a big win for a precious environmental resource – and a perfect example of how the ICA works
In his statement during the opening of the Conference, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, expressed concern about the degradation of the natural vegetation in the Lake Victoria Basin region as well as an alarming rise in population density – and the negative impact it has on the Basin. “…These issues have social and economic implication for our people and nations ,,,” he said.
The Minister of Water and Environment of the Republic of Uganda and Chairperson of the Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria Basin, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, thanked development partners for supporting all the projects and programs coordinated by LVBC and added that the Lake Victoria Basin was still in need of more similar initiatives to allow for sustainable eradication of poverty.
“… My appeal, therefore, goes to the Development Partners that have already invested in the ongoing initiatives as well as those who wish to partner with the East African Community states in their struggle of lifting the forty million people of the Lake Victoria Basin out of poverty, to give consideration to the 22 Project Concept Notes presented before you today. It is through such concepts that the Partner States of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will be able to jointly address the key challenges of the Basin …” Hon. Kamuntu said.
Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and arguably the most important inland waterway, an important resource for water supply and sanitation as well as for power production and irrigation for agriculture in the region. However, its full potential as a natural resource providing benefits across sectors and riparian countries is not fully exploited as it suffers from lack of investment. Taking as example, the Lake Victoria Basin region as an inland waterway, it depends on the expensive all-road routes even though lake transport is more economical and environmentally friendlier than congested road routes.
Sustainable development of the Lake Victoria Basin could play a pivotal role in unlocking the economic potential and increasing integration of the EAC partner states – and the main objective of the Lake Victoria Basin Donors Conference in Entebbe was to solidify partnerships with donors and development agencies - to support the implementation of a variety of important social, environmental and infrastructure programs of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission.
The conference in Entebbe was co-sponsored by the governments of Sweden, Finland and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA). Twenty two (22) project concepts were presented to international donors from around the world. These donors included: The World Bank, IFAD, UNEP, JICA, SNV, KFW, AFD, USAID, The European Investment Bank, The Packard Foundation, FAO and DFID. There were also several representatives from the private sector.
The two day conference was, by every measure, a big success. Participants broke into three work groups on (i) Water Supply, Sanitation & Health, (ii) Economic and Infrastructure development and (iii) Climate Change and Environment where they reviewed project concept notes and discussed how to assist further preparation with technical or financial support and to link them to ongoing programs for implementation. The majority of participating development partners and even private sector representatives expressed a firm interest and/or commitment to collaborate with LVBC in the further preparation of the projects.
To support The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), The ICA Secretariat team worked very closely with the LVBC staff to fine tune the project concept notes, develop an agenda for the conference, promote the conference, invite international donors, set up specific match-making and networking sessions between LVBC and donors, facilitate the break-out sessions during the conference and lead the follow-up sessions immediately after the conference. The twenty two project concept notes reflected months of hard work on the part of LVB supported by the ICA.
Executive Secretary, Dr. Canisius Kanagire said in an interview after the conference, “… the support we received from The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) exceeded our expectations … we expected certain resource mobilization services from an organization such as ICA … but we did not expect the hands-on assistance we received in every aspect of this conference … ICA acted as if they were part of the LVBC family … and we hope to continue working with them …“
In his closing remarks at the conference, ICA Coordinator, Mohamed Hassan encouraged the Lake Victoria Basin Commission to keep up the momentum and to follow up with all of the [donor] participants that have expressed a firm interest in investments or project partnerships. , ”… We at the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa are happy to have started you on this journey … we [all] came here because of the need to mobilize resources … we have been successful in this endeavor … we encourage you to keep up the momentum … and to follow-up with the new professional friends and colleagues you have made here. These relationships are valuable … like the Lake Victoria Basin itself, these relationships have tremendous potential …”
The ICA Water Platform is financially supported by the German government (represented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW). With their generous support, the ICA helps identify and mobilize resources for water related infrastructure projects in Africa. In doing so, the ICA Water Platform works with a variety of Regional African Institutions like the Lake Victoria Basin Commission across the continent.
Contact for ICA Water Platform: Sonja Hoess – S.HOESS@afdb.org