Water innovation for Africa

In March 2020, the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy proposed the basis for a new strategy with Africa. The Joint Communication sets out proposals to intensify cooperation through partnerships in five key areas, one of which is the green transition. Europe will engage in discussions with African partners towards the development of a new joint strategy to be endorsed at the European Union–African Union Summit in October 2020.

The CORDIS Results Pack showcases some of the cutting-edge projects in research and innovation that address water-related challenges in Africa, with a view to feedback on this and other, related joint European/African initiatives.

In general, in low-income countries, and in some countries in Africa in particular, sustainable water supply and sanitation which are vital for food security, health, survival, societal well-being and economic growth are not a given. Without water, there is no life. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), water scarcity affects one in three people in Africa. This situation is further aggravated by population growth, challenges to economic development, urbanisation, demographic shifts and climate change.

On top of this, contaminated water and poor sanitary conditions result in vulnerability to waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid. This can carry grave human and economic costs and may potentially affect peace and security in the African region.