Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Centres of excellence as a response to the problem of access to water in Africa


The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), held a Water Access workshop between 9 and 12 May. The aim of the event, bringing together specialists from Africa and France, was to set up a network of African Centres of Excellence in Water Science and Technology. It was supported by the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD). An action plan is to be put forward to decision makers anxious to meet the many challenges that face efforts to provide access to water resources and their management on the African continent.

African leaders have identified the scarcity of water as one of the main obstacles to development in Africa.

The Johannesburg Sustainable Development Summit of 2002 resulted in a number of fixed objectives to be met by 2015. Crucial among these: a halving of the numbers of people devoid of access to drinking water.

"Today, about 300 million people in Africa, making up over one third of Africa’s population, have no access to drinking water. And 400 million, nearly 50% of the population, have no access to water treatment services. Insanitary water and the fragile state of sanitation systems are the source of many diseases which ravage Africa. Such factors explain the alarming child mortality rates. In most African countries, women and young girls often spend hours on end fetching and carrying water. They have to go many kilometres to find any. This chore is one of the main causes of the low school attendance of girls in rural areas. " (Omar and Camdessus, Le Monde, 11 April 2005).

Sustainable access to drinking water and shared management of water resources at national and regional levels are therefore among the priorities of NEPAD’s action programme.

In order to meet the set objectives, African leaders are putting their faith in investments in science and technology. The task of the Nairobi workshop is to identify the specific difficulties and possible solutions to water-related problems in Africa and to propose projects of research and technological innovation that should be conducted by the African countries. The meeting should also put forward to African political decision-makers recommendations for setting up a network of centres of excellence calling on water science and technology to conduct concrete projects.

Water resources assessment, water quality and treatment, water management, and academic and professional training feature among the subject areas covered.

The workshop takes place at Unep’s offices. Financial backing has been provided by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The IRD takes the role of coordinator for all the French research that is being conducted.

Hélène Deval | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>