Idrica Water Security Day Africa

Idrica Water Security Day Africa

Water is a strategic resource for a country, and is essential for the well-being of the population. Water security is a growing concern in Africa, and the current situation is an additional challenge for the region.

In this online forum, a group of renowned speakers discussed the situation in the region, possible solutions to current problems and the role that technology can play.

The meeting, which was moderated by the African journalist Daniel Makokera, took place on June 23, 2020, with the participation of the following leaders:

  • Dr. Greg Mills, Director of The Brenthurst Foundation and an international specialist in African conflicts.
  • Sylvain Usher, Executive Director of the African Water Association (AfWA).
  • Prof. Hamanth Kasan, Chairman of the African Water Association Program Committee.
  • Chema Nebot, Head of Business Development at Idrica and a water technology expert.

Expert Talks

According to Greg Mills, water is an essential requirement in any type of infrastructure. However, Africa has not invested efficiently in this resource and current infrastructures do not meet the needs of the population.

Chema Nebot argues that technology is the best driver to create efficient water utilities, and that it should focus on increasing ROI in companies.

In their interviews with Daniel Makokera, both experts reflected on the following aspects:

  • How can utilities benefit from innovation?
  • What are the challenges for digital transformation in Africa?
  • How can African conflicts be solved?
  • Are macrotrends interacting with the coronavirus crisis?
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Idrica Water Security Day: Resources

What are the challenges facing Africa in the post-COVID scenario? Check out the presentations given at the event by the world’s leading experts on water security.

  • «Water security and Africa», Dr. Greg Mills.
  • «The related effects on water and sanitation operators in Africa», Sylvian Usher.
  • «Water Security for Africa», Prof. Hamanth Kasan.
  • «Water security and technology in a crisis context», Chema Nebot.

You ask the questions

How can water security be achieved in Africa? Can poor public services lead to social turmoil? Is Africa ready for digital transformation? The experts answered participants’ questions during the event.

Watch the video

During Idrica Water Security Day Africa, four leading water experts shared their views on how to combat post-pandemic risks.

Watch the video to hear the growing concerns of opinion leaders about these risks

About the speakers

Dr. Greg Mills

  • Director of The Brenthurst Foundation, based in Johannesburg. Mills was educated at the Universities of Cape Town (BA and BA Hons) and Lancaster (MA and PhD), and has taught at the Universities of Western Cape and Cape Town. He was THE Director of Studies at the South African Institute of International Affairs and the SAIIA.
  • He has directed numerous reform projects in African governments (Ghana, Lagos State, Mozambique, SE Nigeria, Kenya, Lesotho, Somaliland and SA), and sat on the Danish Africa Commission and the African Development Bank’s High-Level Panel on Fragile States.
  • Dr. Mills has been deployed on four occaions to Afghanistan with the British Army, acting as an adviser to the commander in chief.
  • In 2008 he became a Strategy Advisor to the President of Rwanda. He has directed the Secretariat of the Presidential International Advisory Board in Mozambique and the Presidential Economic Advisory Commission of Malawi.
  • In 2006, he was the head of the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Prism strategic analysis group, both in Kandahar and Kabul.
  • He has published on international affairs, development and security, and is a regular columnist for South African and international newspapers. He is the author of the books “Why Africa is Poor – and what Africans can do about it” (2010), “Why States Recover” (2014) and, together with Jeffrey Herbst (President of the Newseum, Washington DC), “Africa’s Third Liberation” (2012) and “How South Africa works – and must improve” (2015).
  • Based on his peacebuilding experiences, he edited with General Sir David Richards, “Victory among People: Lessons from Countering Insurgencies and Establishing Fragile States” (2011), and in 2013 he published “Somalia–Fixing Africa’s Most Failed State” with Peter Pham and Dr. David Kilcullen.
  • He has been a visiting fellow at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cambridge and a senior visiting researcher at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. In 2013 he was appointed to the AFDB’s High Level Panel on Fragile States. He is on the visiting faculty of the NATO Defense College, the Royal College of Defense Studies in London and the SA National Defense College.
  • In 2015 he completed the study “A Great Perhaps? Colombia: Conflict and Convergence” on the post-conflict governance experience with Dr. Kilcullen, Dr. David Spencer and General Dickie Davis.
  • In 2017, together with Dr. Herbst, General Davis and Olusegun Obasanjo, the President of the Foundation, he published “Making Africa Work: A Handbook for Economic Success”.
  • In 2018 he completed a second stint as a visiting fellow at Cambridge University, writing a book on African democracy: “Democracy Works (2019)”. He has followed this in 2020 with “The Asian Aspiration: Why and How Africa Should Emulate Asia”.
  • See profile

Sylvain Usher

  • Sylvain Usher is an Electrical Engineer (University of Quebec, Canada). In 1999 he joined the Saudi National Water Company and entered the African Water Association (AfWA) as Deputy Secretary General. Since then he has developed his international career as a water specialist, organizing capacity-building programs for African water utilities.
  • Since 2004 Mr. Usher has been the Executive Director of the African Water Association. He has carried out several studies for institutions such as the EU, the African Development Bank and the World Bank, and leads workshops and sessions during international conferences.
  • He has facilitated dialogue with the African Development Bank on scaling up water and sanitation services, with the participation of experts and water utility CEOs. He carried out a World Bank study on Africa’s rapid urban development, and the challenges faced by water and sanitation utilities.
  • He is a member of several international water institutions and co-author of the African Water Association book  “L’Afrique et L’Eau” (2014) on water and sanitation issues in the African continent.
  • See profile

Prof. Hamanth Kasan

  • Prof. Hasan has over 30 years of experience in the water and sanitation sectors, locally, continentally and globally. His qualifications include a PhD in Applied Microbiology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Water and Environmental Engineering and a Postgraduate Diploma in Company Direction. He is also a certified neuro-semantic coach.
  • He is an expert and opinion leader in multi-disciplinary education, science, engineering, management, leadership, corporate governance and coaching.
  • Prof. Kasan has widespread experience as an academic, practitioner and director, and has presented innovative approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals in different forums around the world.
  • He has held various positions, such as IWA Vice-President, IWA  Chairman (South Africa and ESAR International), Advisory Member of the Singapore International Water Week’s Program Committee and Board Chairperson of the Water Research Commission in South Africa. He has also been an advisor to water ministers in South Africa.
  • He has worked as an international task team member in drawing up the new ISO 30500:2018 standard for innovative non-sewage sanitation, led by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • He successfully led the merger between IWSA: Eastern and Southern African Region (ESAR) and the African Water Association (AfWA).
  • He is the Vice-President of AfWA, a board member of IWA and AfWA, and Chairman of the AfWA Program Committee, focusing on the acquisition of donor funds for water and sanitation development projects in Africa. He is a fellow of the IWA and the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA) and a member of the International Advisory Group UN Habitat (GWOPA program).
  • He is the General Manager of Scientific Services and Chairperson of the Task Group at Rand Water, which serves drinking water to 16M people.
  • He was an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and is currently an Honorary Professor at the Institute for Water and Wastewater Research (Durban University of Technology, South Africa). He is a member of the South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) Scientific Forum.
  • He has published “The Gift”, on how to empower young water professionals, and has received local, continental and global awards for leadership in the water industry.
  • See profile

Chema Nebot

  • Nebot is a Telecommunications Engineer graduate from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) and has a Master’s degree in radio communications, from the École Supérieure d’Electricité (SUPELEC) in Paris.
  • He has always been involved in the technology sector, as head of business development for different telecom multinationals such as EXFO, Astellia and Ingenia Telecom.
  • He is currently Head of Business Development at Idrica, leading the sales, marketing, tenders and documentation divisions.

Moderator: Daniel Makokera

  • Mr. Makokera is a well-known face across Africa and has worked as journalist, television anchor, producer and conference presenter for over 20 years.
  • Throughout his career as presenter and anchor, he has travelled widely across the continent and held exclusive interviews with some of Africa’s most important leaders, such as Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Muammar Gaddafi.
  • Guests on his shows have also included numerous top officials from the African Union, as well as other government ministers, top business leaders and experts on Africa from across the globe.
  • Over the years, he has moderated a large number of high-level discussions for various organizations and governments related to politics and diplomacy.
  • Daniel worked for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) for 7 years, becoming the main presenter on its international channel, SABC Africa.
  • He started Pamuzinda in 2003 with the TV series Eye on Africa with Daniel (DSTV channel Africa Magic).
  • He trained as a journalist, and holds a diploma in both electronic and print media. He also holds a BA in international studies and diplomacy. He was born in Zimbabwe and is a South African citizen.
  • See profile

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Climate change, pollution and population growth challenge the availability and quality of water worldwide. In this context, which is magnified by the current situation, innovative technologies such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can play a very important role.

In the Idrica Water Security Series, internationally renowned experts discuss the future of technology and water security around the world.