April 11th 2013 - The European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has expressed the potential of addressing the water, food and energy nexus in the new European Union development policy under consideration. Speaking when he received the AMCOW President and Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr Mohamed Bahaa el-Din Saad, in his office Wednesday April 10th 2013, Commissioner Piebalgs reiterated the importance of the nexus in the overall development framework.
AMCOW President Dr Bahaa Saad had briefed Commissioner Piebalgs, also a member of the UN High Level Panel on post-MDG agenda over the Africa consultations on water in the post 2015 development agenda. He sought the support of the Commissioner and that of the European Commission (EC) in pushing the importance of having water as a stand-alone goal in the post-MDG agenda as well as placing priority on the resource in the EU Africa relations and development agenda for the next five years.
The AMCOW President was accompanied by the Executive Secretary, Bai Mass Taal and Technical Advisory Committee Chair/Co-Chair of the European Union Water Initiative Africa Working Group, Engr. Nehal Adel Mohammed. Dr Saad informed the Commissioner that with the designation of AMCOW as a Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union, AMCOW Secretariat has continued to witness an expansion of its role and activities. He therefore called on the EC to consider supporting the strengthening of the AMCOW Secretariat’s capacity to enable AMCOW fulfil its growing mandate.
Commissioner Piebalgs expressed the expectation that the Commission will continue its cooperation with AMCOW within the planned new Africa-EU relations framework. He however stated that for water to be considered a top priority in the framework requires that African Governments accord such top level consideration to water issues in their bilateral negotiations with the EU. He equally emphasized that the potential for greater engagement in water-related activities in the regional context required strengthened commitment by relevant regional organisations.
The AMCOW President had presented the EC Commissioner with two AMCOW publications “Africa Water Atlas” and “Water Resources Management in Africa” published with financial support from the EU.