Posted on 13 January 2016
A network of African-European water-related organisations initiated the AfriAlliance to prepare Africa for future climate change challenges by having African and European stakeholders work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development.
The project is financed by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme. The commission recently announced the grant together with 17 other new projects in the areas of raw materials, climate action, water and earth observation.
The AfriAlliance project will be coordinated by water education institute Unesco-IHE, and will run from 2016 to 2021.
African partners include the African network of basin organizations (ANBO), African water association (AFWA) and the West African science service center on climate change and adapted land use (WASCAL) and water expertise network Waternet.
European partners include French international office for water OIEau, European water technology platform Wsstp, specialised foundation on open source internet and mobile services AKVO, Faculty of geo-information science and earth observation (ITC) of the University of Twente and non-governmental organisation Both ends.
African-European innovation platform
Rather than creating new networks, the 16 EU and African partners in this project will consolidate existing ones, consisting of scientists, decision makers, practitioners, citizens and other key stakeholders, into an effective, problem-focused knowledge sharing mechanism.
This will be coordinated by means of an innovation platform: the Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate.
AfriAlliance will support the existing networks in identifying appropriate social innovation and technological solutions for key water and climate change challenges.
Boosting sustainable markets
Africa-EU cooperation will be taken to a practical level by sharing (non-)technological solutions for local challenges, thus also identifying and boosting sustainable market and investment opportunities.
Demand-driven, problem-focused action groups will share knowledge between the identified stakeholders and networks at all levels to identify and address vulnerabilities effectively.
Technology transfer also within Africa
Dr. Uta Wehn from Unesco-IHE and project director of AfriAlliance: "I am very happy that this proposal was awarded. Africa is one of the regions most in need of innovative solutions for tackling water and climate change-related challenges; yet many parts of Africa are also suffering from the lack of water-related skills and capacity as well as wide-spread institutional fragmentation."
"AfriAlliance will capitalise on the knowledge and innovation base and potential in Africa and in the EU", Wehn further explains. "It will support effective means of knowledge sharing and technology transfer within Africa and between Africa and the EU. All with the aim of increasing African preparedness to address the vulnerability of water and climate change-related challenges."
This news item was originally published on the website of Unesco-IHE.
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