5th African regional Conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Marrakech, Morocco. 21 – 27 November 2021

5th African regional Conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Marrakech, Morocco. 21 – 27 November 2021

The African Union Commission participated actively in the ICID Conference, Marrakech, Morocco 24-27th November 2021. Dr Mure Agbonlahor  AU SAFGRAD, Ouagadougou, represented the AU Commission and made a Plenary presentation of the AU’ Framework for Irrigation Development and Agricultural Water Management (IDAWM) as the strategic blueprint to drive agricultural intensification in the Continent. His presentation focused on the development pathways to increase crop production per drop of water, per unit of energy use and per land area.

In fact, access to water resources is key to achieving sustainable livelihoods in the continent. This is so as access to water is critical to furnishing resilient livelihoods, enhancing food and energy security, improving household’s welfare as well as their health and sanitation outcomes. The Africa Union’ Framework for Irrigation development and agricultural water management (IDAWM) was endorsed by the 3rd STC on Agriculture Rural Development Water and Environment (ARDWE) in October 2019. The executive council mandate AU-SAFGRAD to promote the domestication of the framework and report accordingly on its implementation progress. The framework since its endorsement has been presented in many fora targeting irrigation Actors from Member States and RECs as well among irrigation and agricultural intensification experts. The focus of the IDAWM framework is to produce more food per drop of water, unit of energy and unit of land.

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) organizes regional conferences at four regions of the world – African Region, European Region, Asian Region, and Pan- American Region. The African Regional Conference (ARC) series was started with the first one held on Drainage in 2004 in Cairo, Egypt. The Second African Regional Conference took place in November 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The third ARC on irrigation and drainage was organized in Bamako, Mali in December 2011. The 4th conference on irrigation and drainage was held in Aswan, Egypt in April 2016.

The 5th African regional Conference of the international Commission of Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) with the theme “Sustainable Irrigation for an improved resilience of Agriculture in Africa” offers such opportunity for publicizing the framework. The Conference offers opportunity for expert participants from different African countries and beyond to exchange experiences and approaches in the field of agricultural water management for improved resilience in African. The Conference organizers invited AUC to make the presentation of the framework at Plenary after the official opening ceremony. The purpose was to intimate the global Participants with the AU strategic initiative to facilitate access to irrigation and agricultural water management for sustainable intensification. The focus of the IDAWM framework is to produce more food per drop of water, unit of energy and unit of land.

The objective of participating in the 5th African regional conference was to make a presentation of the framework detailing the approaches and pathways suggested for agricultural water management for intensification proposed. The Conference also offered the opportunity to discuss with the ICID executives on future collaborations with AUC to promote access to irrigation agriculture in the continent.

Specifically, the Conference provided the platform to:

  1. Present and popularize the IDAWM framework to the global Irrigation and drainage experts
  2. Share knowledge, drawn from different stakeholders, on challenges, experiences and lessons learnt for sustainable use of irrigation and agricultural water management.
  3. Promote cooperation with the agricultural water institutions with the focus to produce more food per drop of water, unit of energy and unit of land.
  4. Promote cooperation and joint projects implementations between AUC and ICID African Secretariat.