The Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) program assists riparian governments in Sub-Saharan Africa in unlocking the potential for sustainable, climate-resilient growth by addressing constraints to cooperative water resources management and development.
Tapping into Africa’s tremendous water resources has the potential to significantly strengthen the region’s water security, improve livelihoods, and fuel economic growth. Improved water management can make a critical contribution to achieving food security, reducing vulnerability to climate change, improving human health and sanitation, and increasing energy generation and industrial expansion.
With 90 percent of water in Africa falling within 63 international river basin catchments crossed by multiple borders, water management in the region is inherently an international and cooperative endeavor.
With Africa’s growing population and industries, demand for water increases, further complicating the political, institutional, economic, and financial challenges that countries face as they manage and develop their transboundary rivers, lakes, and aquifers. Managing water-related hazards and risks – such as flood and drought – is a central challenge in strengthening African resilience to climate change. The urgency to facilitate cooperation around shared waters in Africa increases as competition for the resource grows and climate change intensifies hydrological variability and unpredictability.
Transboundary management presents both opportunities and challenges – countries working together can often reap greater benefits than working alone, but historical tensions, issues of sovereignty, and difficulty in determining reasonable and equitable use must all be overcome.
CIWA as a Response
CIWA funds a variety of organizations – governments, river basin organizations, regional economic communities, civil society organizations, and African regional or national organizations – to address the constraints of cooperative transboundary water management. Managed by the World Bank, CIWA is uniquely poised to provide neutral third-party facilitation, technical support, and critical analysis to better understand transboundary water issues and inform decisions.
CIWA supported activities – which cut across sectors including energy, agriculture, transportation, social issues, and the environment – assist the World Bank’s clients to utilize transboundary resources productively and equitably, protecting people and property from water-related shocks, and ensuring the sustainability of the resource base.
CIWA provides three types of support: 1) sustained engagement, 2) short-term opportunistic engagement, and 3) knowledge generation and management.
Sustained Engagement Projects
CIWA provides support to four priority basins: Niger, Nile, Volta, and Zambezi. Through long-term, sustained engagement with priority basins, CIWA enables steady progress towards cooperation by strengthening foundational elements such as data, agreements, institutions, and investment and operation plans.
Opportunistic Engagement Projects
Shorter-term, opportunistic CIWA engagements explore potentially high-impact opportunities for propelling cooperation in areas outside CIWA’s priority basins through analytical work, capacity building, or technical assistance.
Knowledge Management and Generation
Knowledge management activities strengthen the evidence base for and develop tools that facilitate cooperative development and management of international waters.
Basin Reports and Plans
Last Updated: Nov 07, 2019
The CIWA Partnership Framework summarizes the current state of transboundary water management and development in Africa, the objectives and methods of the CIWA program, and opportunities for partnership. Water management and development play essential roles in development, underpinning the means to lift people out of poverty and reduce vulnerability to climate change. By 2020, the CIWA program aims to influence US$10 billion in investment financing for cooperative management and development of transboundary waters across Sub-Saharan Africa, targeting benefits for 50 million people.
The CIWA program represents a partnership between the World Bank and the governments of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the European Union. Since its inception, development partners have entrusted CIWA with over $72 million in pledges and contributions for fulfilling its mandate. To expand its impact in response to the substantial expressed demand from continental partners, CIWA is planning to deepen its program of support and welcomes interested development partners.
The CIWA Partnership Framework provides development partners with an overview of the CIWA program for consideration of financial support. It is complementary to the CIWA Operational Guidelines that
CIWA's FY19 advances, cumulative progress, and project highlights are detailed in this annual report microsite.
The Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) program assists riparian governments in Sub-Saharan Africa in unlocking the potential for sustainable, climateresilient growth by addressing constraints to cooperative water resources management and development.