JOHANNESBURG – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Development Bank of South Africa today convened a meeting of representatives from Japanese and South African companies, government, development agencies to explore opportunities to increase public and private investment and partnerships in the water sector in Southern Africa. The ‘Water Works’ seminar will focus on knowledge sharing in the areas of water supply, waste water and reuse, acid mine drainage, and improved efficiency.
Shinichi Asazuma, Minister at the Embassy of Japan to the Republic of South Africa, said, “Public-private partnerships play an important role in providing access to safe water and sanitation in Africa, and we are ready to support Japanese firms in investing in infrastructure on the continent.
Our activities in this regard are an important part of Japan’s efforts on private sector participation in development.”
Today, 2.5 billion people globally lack access to sanitation and at least 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Only 62 percent of Africans have access to safe water and 60 percent have access to adequate sanitation, the lowest rates in the world. Global estimates of economic losses from the lack of access to water and sanitation are estimated at $260 billion every year.
Water Works will consider the role PPPs can play in addressing some of the challenges faced by the water sector in Southern Africa. While PPPs present a promising model for collaboration in the sector, with many successful examples and case studies from across the region, their implementation is often hampered by a lack of knowledge sharing between various actors.
Emmanuel B. Nyirinkindi, IFC Senior Manager of Advisory Services in Public Private Partnerships for the Africa region said, ”In Sub-Saharan Africa, rapid urbanization and high population growth mean that national governments are struggling to deliver access to water for their citizens.
Partnerships between the private sector and governments can improve access to safe, affordable water and sanitation in a sustainable manner and help people live healthier and more prosperous lives.”
Following a successful event on PPPs last year, this seminar in partnership with JICA and DBSA included presentations from a range of public and private sector officials and experts. Speakers represented the Embassy of Japan to the Republic of South Africa, South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs, IFC, DBSA, JICA, Bigen Africa Services, WEC Projects, JETRO, eThekwini Municipality, the Water Stewardship Council, Prentec, Mintail, WRP Engineers, Yokogawa, NEC Europe, Suez Environment, Sembcorp and the Nepad Business Foundation.