Safe access to sustainable water sources and protection against water-related natural hazards or diseases are an essential element in improving living conditions in Africa. Compared with other areas of the world, the population of Sub-Saharan Africa currently has by far the lowest level of access to safely managed water supplies (only 24% compared with 94% in Europe and North America, according to the UN SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018). The dynamic economic and population growth in many countries in the region also entails an increase in water demand. At the same time, the region is severely affected by the impacts of climate change. Joint action using innovative approaches based on the analysis of changing conditions and previous barriers to implementation is urgently needed in order to support economic development and political stability. In this context, research and education can play a substantial role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 6 – Water and Sanitation).
The overarching objective of this funding measure is to make a lasting contribution to improving water supply and wastewater management systems in Africa. The funding measure will support the joint measures that were developed within the scope of the Federal Government’s Round Table on the Internationalization of Education, Science and Research in cooperation with African partners and participating federal ministries (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Federal Foreign Office, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy).
The guiding principle behind this funding measure is to support African and German partners to develop projects together from the very beginning, to enable a synergetic and integrated approach through the involvement of different ministries and political representatives as well as to pursue the development of a long-term approach based on the intended utilization process that leads from knowledge generation to demonstration and implementation to transfer into practice and long-term adoption.
Funding will be awarded in multiple phases which run consecutively:
- Initial phase (fifteen months)
- Main phase (up to four years), separate funding regulations will be announced for this phase
A decision will be made in due course regarding the additional establishment of a second main phase in consideration of the results achieved by that time.
This call for proposals governs the initial phase of the funding measure on water security in Africa in southern Africa. The specific aim of the initial phase is to work together with African partners to develop regional strategies for implementing the main phase and to clarify medium-term opportunities for additional funding and supplies from African and German partners.
The purpose of this funding is to carry out investigations into improving water security in southern Africa, including the necessary events and networking activities, as well as to prepare and submit the abovementioned strategy for the main phase.
Innovative regional solutions for improving water security in Africa are to be developed and demonstrated within the scope of the WASA funding measure. The measure aims to develop new processes, products and services in the following fields:
- Sustainable water resources management
- Water infrastructure and water technology
- Hydrological forecasting and projections
In the initial phase, funding will be awarded to research work that serves to develop concepts and prepare for the main phase. Among others, the following activities are eligible for funding:
- Background studies on local need for action and the demand for research and development in the selected field
- Documentation of lessons learned from previous activities in the water sector
- Exploratory on-site investigations
- Trips and events that contribute towards establishing consortia for the main phase
- Identification of key African stakeholders and institutions mandated for implementation activities, relevance for their current strategies and their interest in the selected topic
- Clarification of synergies with the activities and strategies of German federal ministries in southern Africa
- Capacity development measures (e.g. research stays)
- Preparation of an implementation plan for the main phase including time schedule and participation options for African partners, German federal ministries or their executive agencies
The funding measure is part of the BMBF strategy “Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA) and contributes to the successful implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and its Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024). At a broader level, it is also expected to result in significant contributions to realizing the UN Agenda 2030 (Sustainable Development Goals), national climate goals (NDCs) and national adaptation plans and strategies.
The BMBF has entrusted the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA) – Water Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the DLR Project Management Agency (DLR-PT), European and International Cooperation with implementing the funding measure.
The application procedure consists of two phases.In the first phase, project outlines are to be submitted electronically by 31 March 2021 at the latest.
Further information can be found in the full text announcement on the website of the International Bureau.
Please note that the German text of this call for proposals is the legally binding version.