ambia has launched a program to attract investment in its water and sanitation sectors to become water-secure by 2030.
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said during the Zambia Water Investment Program’s launch on Saturday that African countries should prioritize investment in the water sector for the critical role water plays in development and called for political will by all African leaders to ensure investments in water infrastructure.
Acknowledging that resources are scarce for many African nations, the president said investing in water would create jobs and provide business opportunities across the continent.
The Zambian leader also said the adverse effects of climate change require that water utilization be done sustainably. The current generation is responsible for ensuring sustainable water use for future generations, adding that swamps in some parts of Africa have disappeared due to poor water utilization.
Jakaya Kikwete, chairperson of the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa and Africa Coordination and also former president of Tanzania, said Africa needs to invest about 30 billion U.S. dollars in water and sanitation annually by 2030. Currently, African countries only invest 10 to 19 million dollars in water.
Josefa Sacko, the Africa Union’s commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, pledged support for Zambia’s program.
She called on other African countries to emulate Zambia, saying that African countries should realize that there could be no meaningful development without water.