February 14, 2011
On February 11, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) to cooperate on projects in the water and sanitation sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. The signing took place in Lusaka, Zambia, between Mr. Shinya Ejima, Director General of JICA's Global Environment Department, and Mr. Andreas Proksch, Director General of GTZ's Africa Department.
The MOU was the result of a meeting between JICA President Ogata and then-GTZ Managing Director Schmitt held in Berlin in April 2005 in which an agreement was made to strengthen cooperation between the two organizations.
Japan is among the top donors in providing assistance to the water and sanitation sector. In 2007-2008, Japan was the top donor in the world, providing 31 percent of the total aid in that sector from all developed nations. Nevertheless, this is not adequate to meet the expanding needs in the sector, and therefore a priority must be given to providing cooperation to countries where the need is most urgent such as those nations in Africa with low water supply rates. In order to provide efficient and effective aid, it is critical that JICA coordinate and cooperate with other donors to spread the effectiveness of assistance.
GIZ is supporting the water and sanitation sector in 22 African countries, playing the role of a lead donor for that sector in many of those countries. JICA has been cooperating with GIZ (formerly GTZ) in the past years, co-sponsoring a seminar on non-revenue water reduction measures in Kenya, mutually cooperating on water and sewer infrastructure in Zambia as well as other projects. With the conclusion of this MOU, the relationship between the two organizations will be strengthened through the sharing of knowledge and expertise regarding capacity building for human resources on water supply and improving access to water, and lead to the spread of effectiveness by cooperation among the projects of the two organizations. Currently, cooperation among projects in the water and sanitation sector is being considered for Tanzania and Burkina Faso. Through such efforts, it is hoped that the stability of water supply and sanitation services will be effectively improved toward achieving development goals like the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.
JICA provides assistance mainly in rural areas of Africa through the construction of water supply facilities, as well as human resource aspects such as the operation, management and maintenance of those facilities. Using this partnership as an opportunity, JICA plans to further strengthen their regional water supply assistance along with GIZ, and while assisting the peri-urban areas, located between large cities and rural areas, that tend to be left out of such assistance.