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Prof. Dr Hani Sewilam, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, the Arab Republic of Egypt.

While water is indeed getting scarcer in many places, there is enough water to provide 'water security' for all - but only if we improve the way we manage and develop it.

Prof Dr Hani Sewilam photo

Prof Dr Hani Sewilam

AMCOW President

Africa’s water crisis is caused primarily/mainly by deficiencies in governance and poor management. While water is indeed getting scarcer in many places, there is enough water to provide ‘water security’ for all – but only if we improve the way we manage and develop it. Population growth and increased use of water are exacerbating water scarcity and creating intense competition for water. Ongoing climate change heightens the water crisis, which is starkly evident in Africa. These challenges could jeopardize the fulfilment of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and prevent the realization of Africa water vision 2025 and African Agenda 2063, since water is a prerequisite for each of the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), especially those related to food security, healthy lives, energy, sustainable cities and climate action., and preventing.
Therefore, raising awareness of the value of water, as the most precious resource for life, and ways to conserve it, both among decision makers and beneficiaries, is one of the most important tools for integrated water resources management.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Egypt as well, as a part of Africa , and as a water scarce country is threatened by enormous challenges related to its water security reaching a state where the quantity of water available is imposing limits on its livelihoods in addition to limitations to national economic development, due to limited water resources and annual increase of water demands and vulnerability to climate change especially the impact of sea level rise on the coastal zone of the Nile Delta, and uncertainty in Nile flows affecting not only water resources for sustaining life but also other economic activities including agriculture affecting food security, in addition to tourism and human settlements as well.
Therefore, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), in coordination with all ministries concerned with the management and use of water, has prepared a National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) which looks as far ahead as 2037, and is based on the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Moreover, the gap between the needs and availability of water is currently fulfilled by drainage and wastewater reuse.

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is against this background that AMCOW plays a crucial role on providing political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems through well-structured programmes and ambition initiatives. Moreover, AMCOW plays a leading role in strengthening water supply and safely managed sanitation as a prerequisite for inclusive socio-economic development.
I truly believe in the ability of African countries to turn challenges into opportunities through inclusive cooperation, experience exchange, and increased financing in the water sector. Moreover, addressing lack of information& data, as well as capacity gaps in the water sector is a critical building block for improved water resources management.

Investments in innovative policies and practices is also crucial since research and technology development & transfer would enable further improvements and resilience in water resources management, water use efficiency and crop productivity especially in the face of climate change.
In this regard, Egypt in cooperation with many international partners launched a very ambitious initiative on “Action on Water Adaptation and Resilience” known as AWARe During COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

AWARe will catalyze inclusive cooperation to address water as a key to climate change adaptation and resilience including partnerships for early warning systems and early action. It aims at offering transitional adaptation solutions for the planet and people, starting with the world`s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems, in the African region as a first step. We are calling for your support to promote and work together to position AWARe as a starting point for taking action and implementing projects on the ground in the field of Water Climate Adaptation, with a special focus on the African continent.
Moreover, Egypt is planning to establish a Pan-African Center for training and capacity-building under AWARe umbrella which will become an important platform to channel international and regional funding and technical assistance for training technical cadres from brotherly African countries to raise and build capacities in climate-related fields.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Egypt expresses its sincere will to cooperate with all AMCOW member states to start working on developing an action framework for the post 2025 Africa Water Vision, guided by the aspirations to achieve the goals of 2063 agenda, and closely linked to the outcomes of UN Water Conference 2023.
On the other hand, Egypt supports Dakar Stockholders’ Declaration” A Blue Deal for Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development”, whose recommendations state the importance to guarantee the right to water and sanitation for all, ensure availability of the water resources and building Resilience, ensure adequate funding, and inclusive water governance & cooperation, as the Africa’s inputs to the Mid-Term Review of International Water Decade, “Water for Sustainable Development” in March 2023.
There will be many issues competing for attention at the UN 2023 Water Conference. It is, therefore, important to bring the importance of Africa’s water issues into sharp focus of the world’s leaders, and to ensure that an integrated and agreed messages that reflect the African continent’s issues are adopted in presenting Africa’s inputs to the conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As I assume the position of the AMCOW President, I would like to emphasize that we are looking forward to cooperate with all African countries to promote economic integration and ensure prosperity, security and peace & stability in our continent.
Finally, please allow me once again, on my behalf and on behalf of all African Ministers on Water to sincerely thank Honorable Minister Carl Hermann Gustave Schlettwein Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia for his excellent leadership, wise vision and tremendous efforts to lead the African Continent towards achieving Africa Water Vision 2025 and Africa Agenda 2063, the Africa we want.

Thank you