Africa_Learning_Week_2018

Like Water, Knowledge That Flows Stay Fresh

Regional teams from 2030 WRG in Africa and the World Bank Water Global Practice gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for its Africa Learning Week event in May, 2018. The goal was to share knowledge and lay the foundations of collaboration necessary to deliver on the promise of sustainability at scale.

The joint-learning event— hosted by the Water GP—marked the first time that regional practitioners from both 2030 WRG and the Water GP convened since 2030 WRG’s transition from IFC to the Water GP in January 2018. For 2030 WRG’s Africa team, the event was an opportunity to introduce Water GP colleagues to its ongoing engagements in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania. The event also allowed the team to showcase Africa 2030 WRG’s capacity to convene diverse partners necessary to co-develop effective public-private solutions.

“The threats of water scarcity are urgent and real. For the people who have dedicated themselves to delivering on the goal of global water security, the scale of the task at hand can be daunting. Events like this give them the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. Perhaps more importantly, such events also give them the opportunity to witness the momentum and drive behind their shared vision,” said Karin Krchnak, 2030 WRG’s Program Manager.

Throughout the week, participants identified numerous areas of potential collaboration that hold promise for delivering outsized impact. Ideas that surfaced during the event include piloting innovative technologies—through existing water stewardship platforms established by 2030 WRG— to address enforcement challenges, scaling up farmer-led irrigation initiatives, and leveraging partnerships for the delivery of new catchment and watershed management initiatives.

Kenya 2030 WRG’s experience in crowding-in private sector participation in farmer-led irrigation featured prominently in several sessions on private sector participation in irrigation development. Kenya 2030 WRG’s convening power will no doubt open doors to greater cooperation in this area.

In her keynote presentation on Water GP’s Africa Strategy, Director Jennifer Sara recognized the instrumentality of 2030 WRG in shaping the evolution of the World Bank Group’s water agenda going forward. Her message spoke directly to the focus of 2030 WRG’s leadership on leveraging partnerships to develop commercial financing solutions that not only reach the poor effectively, but are also environmentally and socially inclusive and sustainable.

Africa 2030 WRG teams returned from the event eager to build on their freshly-acquired knowledge, as well as the spirit of collaboration forged during the week to harness partnership opportunities for greater scale and impact.