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NEPAD African Network of Centres of Excellence on Water Science and Technology (phase II)

NEPAD African Network of Centres of Excellence on Water Science and Technology (ACEWATER phase II)

Within the framework of the project "NEPAD African Centres of Excellence (CoEs) on Water Sciences and Technology (ACEWATER phaseII)", UNESCO implements activities to support the establishment of a human capacity development programme in the water sector in Africa. The NEPAD Water Centres of Excellence (NEPAD Water CoE) are African Networks of Higher Education and Research institutions who conduct high-end scientific research on water and related sectors, in order to provide policy guidelines to governments. The initiative is funded by the European Union.


The Focus of the Project is on: 1. Establishing National Human Capacity Development Programmes addressing junior and senior professional and technician level human capacity and skills challenges in all the NEPAD CoE Countries; 2. Implementing the Human Capacity Development Programmes the CoE countries in the NEPAD CoE Regions in Africa, in collaboration with Governement Authorities and relevant Higher Education and Technical Vocational institutions in each country to build capacity for sustainable development.

Geographical scope: three Regions: Southern Africa, Western Africa, Central/East Africa.

Overview of activities: Supporting the CoEs at national level in identifying needs and defining priorities in the water sector with national governments through a multi-stakeholder participative approach. This will involved studies on stakeholders mapping and sector needs including consultation with national partners and stakeholders at all levels. National Dialogues with be organized and implemented around capacity building in the water sector with all stakeholders and partners in order to: define priorities from the needs assessments, design and validate a National Frameworkfor human capacity building in the water sectorand then to implement the National Frameworks with partners and stakeholders.this will involved the design and implementation of new trainings and courses addressing junior and senior professionals and technicians a Regional Student and Staff.


2016 - 2019

80% Complete





NEPAD African Network of Centres of Excellence on Water Science and Technology (ACEWATER phase II) contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

• SDG5 : Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

• SDG 6 : Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all



This project is funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG-DEVCO)

Implementation Partners:

The United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation within UNESCO’s Water Division: The Water Division, which forms part of UNESCO Science, has a long experience and presence in Africa implementing water-related programmes and human capacity development. European Commission's Directorate General Joint Research and Centre (DG JRC): The JRC employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy including sharing know-how with EU countries, the scientific community and international partners.

The NEPAD Water Centres of Excellence: The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) was established in 2010 as an outcome of the integration of NEPAD into AU structures and processes. The NEPAD Agency is the implementing agency of the African Union that facilitates and coordinates the development of continent-wide programmes and projects, mobilizes resources and engages the global community, regional economic communities and member states in the implementation of these programmes and projects. One of their Core Areas of Work are Human Capital Development (Skills, Youth, Employment and Women Empowerment).


Additional Resources:

VIDEO: UNESCO work on Capacity Development in Africa

AMCOW Resolution - 2013 EXCO/11/2013/CAIRO/17: EXCO (Executive Committee) notes the growing human resources shortages to achieve water and sanitation goals in Africa and directs the Secretariat to work with the AUC and NEPAD Centres of Excellence to develop a Human Capacity Development Programme aimed at addressing junior professional and technician level capacity challenges in the water sector. (Decision of the 11th AMCOW Executive Committee of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) on 6th June 2013 in Cairo, Egypt)