By Wallace Mawire
Events (IBE) on 26 to 27 October 2016 in Botswana, in collaboration
with the 17th WaterNet Symposium, according to the AfriAlliance team.
The team says that the IBE aims to match universities, research
organisations, science councils and industrial companies showcasing
innovations in water and climate change with potential
collaborators, funders and investors to facilitate commercialisation
of the innovations.
AfriAlliance partner WaterNet is the lead organizer, working closely
with the University of Botswana – Okavango Research Institute.
The first IBE will be composed of two elements, water and climate
change innovation exhibition on 26 October under the theme, “Building
Climate-Resilience in Agriculture and Water Sector”.
The focus of the exhibition will be on both soft and hard
technologies, technologies for farmers to cope better with drought for
example new drought resistant crop varieties, making better use of
scarce water, as with systems of drip irrigation, water retention and
rainfall harvesting techniques.
A plenary session will be organized on 27 October under the theme,
“Bridging the gap between innovators, industry, funding partners &
The event will include policy dialogues, and plenary discussions.
The discussions will focus on Innovations & Technology in water and
climate change, the challenges faced by innovators, industry, funding
partners & policy makers, and possible solutions to these problems.
There will also be an opportunity for one-on-one meetings. Finally, a
combined focus group discussion to map the way forward will be
AfriAlliance will organize a total of five Innovation Bridge Events
during the course of the 5 year project, in different regions.
The International Network of Basin Organisations (ANBO) recently issued a
call for proposals for the creation of an AfriAlliance Action Group
also commonly referred to as a working group or community of practice
that will provide seed money to bring together relevant stakeholders,
both African and European, experts and decision makers to jointly
demonstrate innovative ideas, engage in pilot activities and share
knowledge on specific issues on Africa’s development.
According to a statement sent to partners by the Global Water
Partnership-Southern Africa (GWP-SA), some of the themes to be
addressed by the proposed alliance will include integrated water
resource management, food security and agriculture, human capacity
development, climate change adaptation and mitigation including water
and climate data monitoring collection, forecasting and analysis.
It is reported that Africa is going to be one of the regions most in
need of innovative solutions for tackling water and climate change
related challenges.It is further added that the successful interaction
among relevant stakeholders from both Africa and Europe, in water
management is of principal importance when trying to generate,
increase and exchange knowledge and innovations that address the
demands for solutions that have noticeable and high impact.
It is added that the lack of appropriate water related skills and
capacity in some parts of Africa and the widespread institutional
fragmentation within Africa as well as between Africa and Europe is a
major obstacle to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and
addressing water crises, many with severe climate change implications.
The lack of effective interactions between policy, research and
entrepreneurs in Africa means that current mechanisms to successfully
transfer relevant EU knowledge and technologies to African economies
or vice versa are not enough to accomplish market uptake and provide
solutions for pressing local water problems in Africa.
The main objective of the Afri-Alliance project, funded by the
European Commissions Horizon 2020 programme is for African and
European stakeholders to work together in the areas of water
innovation, research, policy and capacity development to prepare
Africa for future climate change challenges.
The Afri-Alliance project will reinforce water and climate change
research and social innovation and cooperation between Africa and
Europe through a mix of forward looking and bottom up innovation and
road mapping techniques.
Some of the areas the initiative will focus on will include integrated
water resource management, food security and agriculture and human
capacity development, just to mention a few.
It is reported that for the first call for action groups, the total
funding available is Euro 77 500 for five action groups each expected
to receive seed funding of Euro 15 500s.