On the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Tenerrdis energy cluster (France) and Cluster TWEED (Belgium) presented the European project AEWEN, Africa Europe Water & Energy Network, during a conference entitled “North-South cooperation for water and energy projects”.
Organised for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa, this forum aimed to provide answers and concrete actions for the integrated management of water and sanitation. Governments and public bodies, NGOs, universities, civil society organisations and the private sector gathered to discuss 4 priority concerns: water security and sanitation, cooperation, water for rural development, tools and resources.
If water was at the core of the discussion, energy was also on the agenda. These two resources go hand in hand, whether in the use of water for energy production or use of energy in the pumping, sanitation and distribution of water. They are also essential in many applicative markets, such as in the health sector, the agriculture or the textile industry, among others.
Cooperating to meet the challenges
In order to face the challenges related to water and energy, cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation is crucial. The AEWEN project is working towards this goal by creating a network of companies, businesses and innovation networks, research and innovation centres and economic development organisations in Africa and Europe. By bringing together various stakeholders, organising missions and B2B meetings, the project aims to foster the emergence of innovative and concrete solutions to meet water and energy demand and thus support the Sustainable Development Goals.
Conclusion of three cooperation agreements in Dakar
The AEWEN network is currently developing in three African countries: Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. Relationships have been established between the consortium members and local partners in these three countries.
While in Dakar, the cluster Tenerrdis met several local partners: Chambre de Commerce Italo-Sénégalaise et Afrique de l’Ouest (CISAO, chamber of commerce), Conseil Patronal des Energies Renouvelables du Sénégal (COPERES, network organisation) and Partenariat National de l’Eau du Sénégal (PNES, network organisation). The exchanges led to the signature of three cooperation agreements which will allow to establish strong links between Europe and Senegal and to develop joint activities.