UAE-based Metito Utilities and UK’s British International Investment (BII) have launched a new platform to develop climate-smart water projects to increase water security across Africa.
Africa Water Infrastructure Development (AWID) will finance water and wastewater management treatment plants, as well as develop and construct facilities, which will help to increase access to sustainable, safe and reliable water with a clear focus on countries that are most vulnerable to the climate crisis, the companies said in a joint statement.
The new platform will establish a viable commercial model for water infrastructure and provision in Africa, helping to mobilise long-term investment into the sector. AWID investments will integrate green technologies and alternative energy components that will help to reduce the environmental footprint of water infrastructure projects.
The first asset under the new platform is an operational bulk surface water treatment plant in Kigali, Rwanda.
The 40,000 cubic metres per day plant currently provides over 25 percent of the city’s potable water supply, meeting the needs of 500,000 domestic, commercial, and industrial consumers.
The Kigali water treatment plant is a public-private partnership (PPP), which is the first of its type under this business model in sub-Saharan Africa, the statement added.
Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister for Development and Africa said: “The climate emergency has made water insecurity a major development challenge in Africa. BII’s partnership with Metito to launch the AWID platform, signals the UK’s continuing commitment to increase development and climate partnerships and financing to help the most vulnerable people and countries impacted by climate change.”
Rami Ghandour, Managing Director of Metito said: “As Africa undergoes rapid urbanisation, there is a pressing demand for water infrastructure. Such projects are particularly capital intensive. An increasing funding gap requires mobilising sustainable investments into the sector. Our partnership with BII will leverage our high-value engineering and use of innovative technologies with access to unrivalled financial resources and support.”
Chris Chijiutomi, MD and Head of Africa at BII added: “Our partnership with Metito is part of BII’s strategy to improve development outcomes by investing in water, sanitation and hygiene. AWID will demonstrate to other investors, governments and operators that private investment can deliver operationally efficient and high-impact water infrastructure projects at scale, that have the potential to drive transformative and sustainable impact in Africa.”
Morgan Landy, Global Director for Infrastructure at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said: “Investing in water infrastructure is a strategic priority for IFC in Africa and we are working with the private sector to close the funding gap in this critical sector. As a long-standing Metito shareholder, IFC is proud to witness the launch of this new Africa-focused platform that will invest in climate-smart water projects, further promoting economic growth and building a more water-secure Africa.”
AWID will help to contribute to the UN's Sustainable Goals (SDG 3) on Good Health and Well-being, (SDG5) on Gender Equality, (SDG 6) on Clean Water and Sanitation and (SG13) on Climate Action.
(Writing by D Madhura; Editing by Anoop Menon)