AU Framework on Irrigation Development and Agricultural Water Management (IDAWM) validated in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


The Framework document for Irrigation Development and Agricultural Water Management in Africa was validated during a workshop held on July 10-11 in Ouagadougou in the capital city of Burkina Faso.

 The Validation of this important document took place after a two-day workshop that brought together some thirty participants from several Member States as well as sub-regional and international institutions. The workshop was a follow up to the experts’ review meeting that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in December 2018.

The AU IDAWM framework provides a suite of development options with the associated interventions needed to stimulate irrigation and agricultural water management in the Continent. The suite of options cover the entire spectrum from improved management under rain fed system to full/large scale irrigation structure. The workshop was organized as part of AU-SAFGRAD’s program on facilitating agricultural research and transfer of technologies and innovations to mitigate the challenges of agricultural development in the continent.

The meeting facilitated by the African Union SAFGRAD, the Office of the African Union Commission in charge of Agricultural Research and Development in the Semi-Arid Zones of Africa, was opened the day before by a representative of the Government from Burkina Faso with Dr. Paul Orengo, Representative of the African Council of Ministers in charge of Water (AMCOW) and Dr. Ahmed ELMEKASS, Coordinator of AU SAFGRAD.

In his opening speech the Secretary General, the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Burkina Faso, Dr. Lamourdia THIOMBIANO, who represented the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, BF welcome Participants to the workshop and expressed thanks to AU through AU-SAFGRAD for the development projects initiated in African agricultural transformation. He, affirmed the importance of a continental framework to support irrigation development and water management for agriculture at regional and national levels. According to him, African agriculture faces many development challenges that only a functional and sustainable agricultural sector can help mitigate. The AU has responded to these challenges by, implementing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth for Africa shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.

These programs and statements highlight the importance of irrigation and water management for agriculture to stimulate intensification and productivity gains in African agriculture. “For example, the 2014 Malabo Declaration explicitly stated that reliable access to water is essential to increase agricultural production and mitigate drought in Africa” said the Burkinabe government representative, adding that “to improve water management for agriculture to support smallholders’ agricultural production is therefore a top priority for realizing Agenda 2063’s vision of a peaceful and prosperous Africa.” In conclusion, he expressed the hope that with the validation of the document, Africa will have “a truly continental framework that will serve as a real model for Member States to formulate and implement their comprehensive Irrigation Development and Water Management Plans for the future Agriculture “.

In the meantime, the AU Coordinator SAFGRAD, in his welcome remarks, emphasized the great interest that African policy makers have always shown for the development and practices of irrigation as a catalyst for rural economic development. . “At the continental level, the African Union, through a number of decisions and declarations of Heads of State and Government, has always placed water resources management and irrigation at the forefront of its development agenda. Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS said before citing CAADP, the 2004 Sirte Declaration, the Abuja Summit on Food Security in Africa 2006, the commitments of AU Heads of State and Government. taken in Sharm El Sheikh in 2008, the 2009 Sirte Declaration, the 2014 Malabo Declaration and Agenda 2063 and its ten-year action plan to move towards “the Africa we want” … all things that bring emphasizes irrigation as a “key element in achieving modern agriculture for increased production, productivity and value added“.

Dr. Paul ORENGO from AMCOW recognized that the framework is well aligned to AMCOW’s priority strategic areas as outlined in their Strategic Plan 2018-2030. “We believe this framework will support includes knowledge management and information sharing, improved water use efficiency, effective transboundary water management as related AWM, among others”, he said before adding that : “AMCOW believes that this is an important first step in promoting multi-sectorial planning and coordination as relates water resources, and agricultural management”.

The validated framework at the Stakeholders’ review workshop will be submitted to the next DREA STS (ARDWE) for Ministerial endorsement.

Group pic

  Group Picture at the openning ceremony

Presidium Final

 Openning Ceremony chaired by the Host Country (Burkina Faso)

Participants final

 A view of the Participants during the validation workshop


 Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS at the openning ceremony

SG Min Agr BF

  Dr. Lamourdia THIOMBIANO, Representing Hon. Minister of Agriculture of Burkina Faso


Dr. Paul ORENGO, AMCOW Representative


An Article published by l’OBSERVATEUR PAALGA, One of the most popular newspapers in Burkina Faso