water 1
water sanitation 2

Over 100 million people in Africa still rely on surface water to survive

The population of Africa has increased from 800 million at the turn of the millennium to 1.2 billion today. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include achieving universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, and the provision of adequate sanitation and hygiene, by 2030 – when the continent’s population if projected to reach 1.7 billion.

The Water Challenge

Over 300 million Africans do not have access to clean drinking water, and over 700 million live without access to good sanitation. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation has a major negative impact on poverty reduction and economic development – for example, Sub-Saharan Africa loses 5% of its GDP annually because of a lack of water, contaminated water or poor sanitation. And, each year, 40 billion hours of otherwise productive time is spent just collecting water.

Addressing the Water Challenge

For Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for water and sanitation (universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, and to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene, by 2030) will require consistent investment in water infrastructure, operations and maintenance, efficient management of water resources, and strengthened policy and regulatory frameworks. Current annual investment levels are in the region of US$8-10bn, against annual investment needs of around US$22 billion ($15bn capital expenditure and $7bn for operations and maintenance).

Nexus Report


Nexus trade-offs and strategies for addressing the water, agriculture and energy security nexus in Africa

Building Quality Infrastructure for Africa's Development

Report - 2016

This background paper was commissioned by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in preparation for the Annual Meeting of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), which took place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 21 and 22 November 2016.

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