Identifying Priorities for Achieving Water-secure African Cities: City Blueprint Approach

Georgina Mukwirimba, Ibrahima Abdoulahi, Steven Hendrik Andreas Koop, Kees van Leeuwen, Gwladis Ovenga, Vanessa Grekonzy, Humphrey Ozoani, Tariro Marekwa, Jan Hofman, Maud Berthelot

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Africa’s population growth rate more than doubles the global average. Most growth will occur in urban areas, posing water security challenges in sub-Saharan African Cities (sSAC). This study aims to identify capacity-development priorities for strengthening urban water security in sSAC by enhancing and empowering the abilities of young professionals to achieve measurable and sustainable results through integrated assessment and policy-dialogues. Based on the assessment of five sSAC conducted by local young water professionals. The results indicate that economic and social pressures such as GDP, high burden of disease and limited female participation in paid jobs, form less favourable conditions for water management performances. Water management improvement priorities have been observed with respect to access to potable drinking water and improved sanitation. Observations show that access to improved sanitation has to go together with wastewater treatment in order to prevent largescale water pollution and related spread of vector-borne diseases. In addition, solid waste management as well as access to drinking water require upfront investments but also longterm operational financial planning that includes a reasonable salary and professional training of personnel. These water management priorities may provide important foci that enable a more sustainable transformation of sSAC. The assessment approach has demonstrated to support well-informed decision-making through independent, interactive, empirically based and city-specific assessments. Finally, by putting young water professionals in the driving seat, they become the water professionals of the future that have the necessary skills to think across organisational boundaries, political mandates and scientific disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYouth and water security in Africa
EditorsHillary I. Inyang
ISBN (Electronic)978-92-3-100522-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Urban water management
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • City Blueprint Framework
  • Water Security
  • urban transformation


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