The African Development Bank has announced that it is going to invest $500 million into citywide sanitation in urban communities in sub-Sahara Africa.
The bank made the announcement on Tuesday in a statement, adding that its Africa Urban Sanitation Investment Fund Programme, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would fund the initiative designed to focus on the poor.
This is coming as the Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, unveiled a new initiative at the Reinvented Toilet Expo that began in Beijing on Tuesday.
At the Reinvented Toilet Expo, private and public sectors leaders came together to make a push for faster adoption of innovative, pro-poor sanitation technologies in the world’s developing regions.
In the statement, the Director of the Bank’s Water Development and Sanitation Department, Wambui Gichuri said: “The potential impact of this new initiative – created to address urban sanitation in a comprehensive way, ensuring that the poor are also sustainably catered for, is long over-due.
“Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation enhances the Fund’s ability to address sanitation in urban areas for greater outcomes, including in health, nutrition, environment, and employment.”
According to the bank, the African Water Facility Urban Sanitation programme (2018-2022) is expected to establish the first African Urban Sanitation Investment Fund.
The programme, which builds on the partnership between the Gates Foundation, the African Water Facility and the African Development Bank started in 2011.
The bank further stated that it was committed to raising at least $500m in new city-wide inclusive sanitation investments for the AUSIF from public and private sources alongside African Water Facility, with at least 30 per cent of those resources to finance non-sewered sanitation innovation that directly served low-income communities, it said.
The AfDB also said that the partnership enabled the African Water Facility, an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water hosted by the bank, to structure the AUSIF to leverage public and private sector investment.
It further disclosed that the partnership would also enable the fund to build a pipeline of projects under a new set of sanitation investment principles called City Wide Inclusive Sanitation.