Africa Regional Centre serves as SIWI’s primary channel for operations and presence in the African continent.

The Africa Regional Centre is based in Pretoria, South Africa and is also permanently present in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The team works to promote and develop programmes and partnerships across the continent, with the aim to improve water resource management, water supply, sanitation, and transboundary water management.

The Africa Regional Centre’s work revolves around two main, mutually reinforcing, areas: attracting financial investment in the regional water sector in Africa, and strengthening national frameworks for integrated water resource management. With its deep local and regional knowledge and experience, the team also supports other SIWI departments’ projects and activities across Africa.

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The Africa Regional Centre team are experts in water governance and integrated water management. As the African continent faces growing pressure on its water resources from rising populations as well as climate change, this knowledge is of fundamental importance.

The team’s focus is on inclusive water governance. To maximize economic and social development without jeopardizing sustainability and vital ecosystems, actors such as communities, public institutions, and the private sector, must all be part of the solution.

In most African countries, the wide range of urgent development needs put enormous pressure on the national budget. And while a healthy water infrastructure is key to sustainable development, the sector usually finds itself in constant competition for national funding with other crucial areas, such as education and healthcare.

This has created a water infrastructure backlog that can only be addressed by attracting additional financial investment in regional water infrastructure. Africa Regional Centre is deeply involved in making this happen, particularly by supporting investment in rainfed agriculture in southern Africa. One such involvement concerns the Zambezi watercourse where the aim is to increase the availability of water for smallholder farmers and improve rainfed agriculture practices. This will, in the long term, help increasing food security, improving climate resilience, creating sustainable livelihoods, and contributing to growth and development.

Africa Regional Centre also works to improve water security by strengthening water governance in Africa, with Ethiopia being the most prominent engagement. This is done by supporting and coordinating efforts and capacities across a broad range of sectors, as part of an integrated water resource management approach.

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Africa Regional Centre - Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Block A, GWP, Hatfield Gardens, 333 Grosvenor St Pretoria, 0083 South Africa

Pretoria skyline (Photo by Checco2 / Shutterstock)