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  • African Water Facility focuses on French-speaking Africa

    Representatives of 11 French-speaking African countries and several regional institutions gathered in Tunis October 6 for an African Water Facility (AWF) workshop on water project implementation review.

    AWF, an initiative led by the African Ministers' Council on Water, was created in 2004 to promote development of Africa's water sector and to mobilize financial resources to implement its activities. (HNN 9/24/07) AWF has invested 33 million euros (US$45 million) in projects through the support of various international donors.

    The weeklong workshop, for French-speaking regional member countries, was convened in response to difficulties and challenges encountered by project management staff. Difficulties have included inadequate knowledge of rules of procedure of the African Development Bank for administrative and financial management of projects, or poor interpretation and application of rules for procurement of goods and services, AWF Coordinator Freddie Kwesiga said.

    The 40 project managers attending are to discuss issues of procurement, disbursement, and financial management, as well as general aspects of AWF project activities.

    "Lessons will be drawn and scaled up to fulfill AWF and bank mandates as well as play a more significant role in mobilizing additional resources for RMCs (regional member countries) to meet targets set by the African Water Vision and the MDG (Millennium Development Goals)," Kwesiga said.

    AWF has received more than 90 requests for project financing from member countries and organizations. So far, 36 approved projects are at various stages of implementation in 23 countries and within six basin institutions.

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