Written by 9:10 pm EU Investment

5th Cairo Water Week kicks off with climate action as main theme

The fifth edition of Cairo Water Week (CWW 2022) kicked off in Cairo on Sunday 16 October and will last until 19 October, under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, with “Water at the Heart of Climate Action” as this year’s central theme.

Organised by the European Union Delegation to Egypt in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, this year’s event will bring together policymakers, diplomats, representatives of UN agencies and regional organizations, financial institutions and donors, water experts from public and private institutions, and the media to discuss key policies, strategies and plans to counter climate-water challenges, 

Renowned water experts will share latest developments in global water sector trends and exchange innovative ideas and solutions for improving the sustainable management of water resources through various plenary sessions  and high-level events focusing on the five sub-themes of “Water Security and Climate Change,” “Protecting the Deltas,” ”Water-related Adaptations to Climate Change,” “Water, Climate Change and Future Cooperation,” and “Climate Water-related Disasters Preparation and Management.” 

CWW 2022 Expo will also be organized in parallel with the conference activities, allowing public and private institutions in the water sector and related businesses and industries to showcase their products, programs and advanced technologies in desalination, renewable energy, and water conservation.    

The European Union Delegation to Egypt is organizing a number of high-level events at Cairo Water Week 2022 including the second EU-ADB Water Governance and Business Forum on October 16th to promote sustainable water investments in Africa. With the water sector undergoing a transitional phase in many African countries, there is potential for private sector participation to contribute to the ongoing and necessary structural sector reforms; the forum –co-organized by the African Development Bank– will provide a platform for discussion with private sector service providers, investors and international financing institutions to identify means of bridging the financial gap and upgrade service delivery in the water sector. It will also provide an opportunity to share the lessons learned in the development and implementation of large water investment plans and to determine the legal and institutional requirements for sustainable financing mobilization.  

The Fourth Annual European Union (EU)-Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Water Policy Investment Forum will meanwhile, be held on October 17th, providing a dialogue platform for policymakers and stakeholders to further improve water finance and investment policies in Mediterranean countries. The forum also seeks to promote peer learning among UFM member states on means of attracting climate finance in the water sector. It also aims to identify ways to enhance the engagement of public and private financiers in the water and climate agenda as well as share expertise in the development and implementation of large water investment plans and determine regional priorities. Moreover, it will present the current Team Europe initiatives on water and discuss how these initiatives can support the implementation of the UFM water agenda and the UFM financing strategy for water.                                                    

Cairo Water Week takes on added significance this year as it comes in the run up to COP 27 hosted by Egypt in Sharm El-Sheikh on 6-18 November. The recommendations reached at CWW 2022 will be presented in the Water Pavilion at COP27.   

CWW 2022 will also serve as a preparatory event for the UN Conference on the Mid-Term Comprehensive Review of the Water Action Decade to be held in March 2023, with water scarce countries of the South agreeing on the key messages to highlight at the UN conference. 

Furthermore, the EU Delegation to Egypt is organizing a number of competitions for youth participants to showcase their water-related science projects and dissertations. Those include the Best Graduation Project (for university graduates 2021-2022), the Three-Minute Thesis Competition (for Masters Students), and the STEM Young Water Inventors’ Competition (for high school students.) The winners of the three competitions will be recognized at CWW’s Annual Awards Ceremony on 19 October.

The EU has contributed €550m in grants to water projects in Egypt over the period of the last ten years, leveraging concessional funds of nearly Euros 3 billion in the sector with other European Financial institutions. . The existing co-funded programmes extend over 14 Egyptian governorates, providing nearly 20,000 permanent job opportunities and nearly 60,000 short-term job opportunities mainly in rural areas. This will help in improving the quality of life for nearly 18.5 million inhabitants in Egypt by the year 2024, helping reduce poverty in line with the government’s Sustainable Development Strategy- Vision 2030. 

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