H2O Maghreb in Mali to meet and exchange with African water professionals on best vocational training practices
Africa is facing a growing crisis of water scarcity. Phenomena such as climate change, sustained demographic growth, rapid urbanization and industrialization all place pressure on governments to adopt more sustainable water management practices and plans.
On February 12-16th, the H20 Maghreb team attended the African Water Association’s (AfWA) 19th Congress in Bamako to present and promote the new project, a public-private partnership initiative implemented by the United Nations industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and supported by FESTO Didactic, EON Reality, The Moroccan National Office for Drinking Water and Electricity (ONEE), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that aims to improve industrial and municipal waste water management practices in Morocco and the rest of the Maghreb region.
The H2O Maghreb team joined about 1,000 delegates from more than 20 countries for this one-week Forum, which aimed at discussing developments in Africa’s water, sanitation and health (WASH) sector. Forum participants included public officials, academics, public and private water companies, and donors. As part of the project’s efforts to emulate a “Community of Practice” on the African continent and exchange best practices in sustainable water management training programs, a delegation formed by staff from Morocco’s ONEE and UNIDO presented the H2O Maghreb project to a selected panel of professionals. The presentation, which was attended by representatives from AfWA as well as national water and sanitation service providers from a several African countries, was positively received. Participants were particularly interested in the project’s modular training approach and its potential for replication.
“The H20 Maghreb project was very well received at our Congress. We think that the PPDP concept and the innovative modular training approach could serve as an inspiration for similar projects in other African countries. Therefore, we have already agreed with UNIDO to work on ideas for replication” noted Mr. Simeon Kenfack, Programme Director at AfWA, on this occasion.
The H2O Maghreb team received a great deal of interest from other Forum participants to explore possible forms of collaboration. In addition, bilateral discussions were held with various delegations, including Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Guinea and Uganda. The positive interaction and strong collaboration initiatives established during the Forum provides a firm step towards establishing a “Community of Practice” on sustainable water management and training. A similar event will be organized in Morocco in April 2018.
The H2O Maghreb project will be implemented over a period of two years by UNIDO andlinked to UNIDO’s global knowledge sharing platform, the Learning and Knowledge Development Facility (LKDF). H20 Maghreb aims to address some of the key factors hindering sustainable water management practices in the region, such as lack of up-to-date training in the latest technologies and slow job growth in the wastewater sector, through the development of a new curricula for water management-related skills that uses highly innovative technology, and the establishment of a demonstration and training hub in Rabat, Morocco.
For further information, please contact:
Industrial Development Officer/H2O Project Coordinator
UNIDO Agro-Industries Technology Division