By Dipo Olowookere
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved €1.925 million for the administrative budget of African Water Facility (AWF) out of the Special Water Fund for 2017 activities.
A statement issued by the African lender said the board also okayed the 2016 annual report and 2017 work plan and budget of the AWF.
It was disclosed that the €1.925 million approved by the board of the AfDB will contribute to meeting the challenges of the activities in 2017, including: Resource mobilization; Operations; Strategic review; Documenting and disseminating results and knowledge emanating from AWF operations.
The activities also comprise, Human resources; Enhancing communications, visibility and outreach through greater use of social media tools, and participation in key international water events.
The AWF will also continue to fully engage with AMCOW and other development partners to better coordinate and harmonise its activities.
Board members also underscored progress made by the AWF in spite of the funding challenges, urging other facilities facing similar contests to learn from it.
The annual report provides an account of activities undertaken and results achieved by the facility for the year under review.
The reporting is made against the priorities established in the AWF Strategic Plan 2012-2016 and its Results-Based Logical Framework (RBLF).
At its annual meeting in December 2016 in Abidjan, the AWF Governing Council approved the long-term strategy 2017 to 2025. But the Facility continues to face human resources and core funding challenges.
Also, the level of funding in the Water Fund has now reached critical levels, with the AWF unable to ensure continuity of operations beyond 2017.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with pledged funding from Canada and ongoing discussions with Austria, NDF and BMGF to replenish their funding to the AWF Special Fund.
The Vice-President in charge of agriculture, human & social development, Jennifer Blanke, remarked that AWF has achieved a great work in preparing to finance projects and increasing the delivery capacity of implementing agencies in member countries.
“The AWF has the framework to increase our delivery capacity in water related operations beyond what we are doing currently. We will need the Bank’s continued financial support to make this leap in the AWF operations,” she said.
For his part, the Bank Group Senior Vice-President, Charles Boamah who chaired the Board meeting expressed support for the idea of cost recovery mechanism being introduced in AWF’s new strategy and recommended closer collaboration with African Legal Resource Facility which has made some progress on the same issue.
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