Vector Center is proud to take part in Stanford University Water Data Dialogues, with the submission: “Digital Africa: Understanding the Next Steps in Water Governance“. With support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and in Partnership with the Internet of Water, the program on Water, Health, and Development at Stanford organized a series of online dialogues by water sector and data management experts.
The dialogues are intended to help develop a thorough, descriptive understanding of existing water data ecosystems, their users and uses, and identify opportunities for water data ecosystem investment that have high payoff potential, both for the Foundation and for other key constituencies. Vector Center’s submission explored key digital water markets in Africa, with a series of suggestions to improved the space. Read the introduction to the Digital Africa piece below, or download the entire paper.
Rapid urbanization, climate change, foreign direct investment, and demographic and population changes have reshaped the African continent over the last half century. At the core of these changes has been water. While abundant in some regions, water is often scarce or mismanaged across the continent. In order to better understand future water management on the continent, we have examined the intersection between water, government, and data via four case studies on: Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt. Urbanization, the digital economy, agriculture, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are all examined.
While water risk is heterogeneous, it is amplifying and spreading across the world, and in particular along equatorial regions where climate change is most pronounced. Given the particularly chronic nature of water risk in Africa, a deeper understanding and greater level detail of the hydrologic and associated socioeconomic conditions is necessary and urgent. In addition, understanding the intersection between water, governance, and data in Africa, and where investments in water can have the most impact and chances of success is vital. Future advancements in water management will require better data and good governance, by focusing on digital trends in addition to traditional metrics are water management, we can better identify inflection points where interventions and/or investments can better amplify existing on-the-ground resources.