Water Security in Africa I

09:30-11:00 UTC | 11:30-13:00 Central Africa Time (UTC+2) | 04:30-06:00 US Eastern Time (UTC-5) | 17:30-19:00 Beijing Time (UTC+8)
Tuesday, 15 December 2020


Global water security challenges are the greatest in the African continent.  With still 70% of the sub-Saharan population without access to safely managed drinking water services, and 80% without access to safely managed sanitation , with underexploited potential in energy, the important role of irrigation, the rise of industry in a context of vulnerability to natural phenomena and climate change – building a way towards water security is urgently needed for social and economic growth as well as environmental well-being.

Hydro-environment engineering, practice, knowledge and capacity building is an essential enabler to achieve water for sustainable development.

This session explores the challenges through perspectives of water leaders, experts and examples. It seeks to identify those areas where leadership, science, practice and capacity can join to bring practical progress to the African continent in the Hydro-Environment sector.


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Seleshi Bekele

Jörg Imberger

Xun Wu

Obolokile Obed Thothi Obakeng


David Stephenson


Tom Soo


I. Introduction (3 mins)

  • David Stephenson, IAHR Chair of Africa Division; University of Botswana, Botswana

II. Welcome by the President (2 mins)

  • Joseph Lee, IAHR President; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

III. Keynote Address (15 mins)

  • Harnessing Africa's Hydro/Hydraulic Resources 
    Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation, and Energy, Ethiopia

IV. Special Address (10 mins)

  • Botswana Water Supply Options in the Face of Shortage
    Obolokile Obakeng, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Water, Botswana

V. Q&A (10 mins)

VI. Keynote Lecture (30 mins)

  • Improving Water Security by Connecting with Nature, Part 1. Averting the Extinction of the World’s Freshwater Aquatic Fauna and Flora
    Jorg Imberger, University College London, UK; University of Miami, US

VII. Keynote Speech (15 mins)

  • The Role of Water Policy in the Water Resources Management of the Nile River
    Xun Wu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

VIII. Open Q&A (10 mins)

IX. Session Chair: closes the session

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