African water services must raise billions of dollars from the private sector annually to meet rising demand and U.N. development goals as the global financial crisis threatens investment, experts said.
[...] At a meeting [Financing Water for Growth in Africa, Dakar, 26-27 November 2008, organised by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA)] [...] experts acknowledged the impact the global financial crisis could have on funding.
“It’s going to be more difficult to raise all kinds of … commercial and private sector finance, and it may even be more difficult to raise aid in future,” water sector and development specialist James Winpenny said.
[...] “We’re hearing encouraging noises from the donor side, saying they’re going to maintain funding,” said Alex Rugamba from the African Development Bank.
“Certainly in the short run we may see a dip (in private funding). The cost of borrowing will go up.”
[Nevertheless], “if present policies prevail, by 2030 another billion people will live in areas without enough water,” said an OECD statement.
Africa needed around $2.5 billion a year to improve water and sanitation services [some of which] could be found through better management of existing African resources, including by reducing losses from water pipes, which at around 35 percent are nearly twice the international standard.
[...] Over half a dozen water companies from across Africa met in Dakar earlier this week and received “shadow credit ratings”.
Source: Alistair Thomson, Reuters, 26 Nov 2008