Huge Potential for Private Firms to Invest in Africa’s Water Sector

Water is a huge problem for most African countries. Outdated and overstretched infrastructure, often managed by floundering public companies, has led to costly and unreliable water access in many cities across the continent.

According to the World Bank, one in three people face water scarcity in Africa and “bold action” must be taken to address the water crisis. Along with addressing water shortages in drought and climate disaster areas, this also includes rolling out a higher standard of water access in cities.

Little engagement

But the private sector has historically had very little engagement with water across the continent. African governments have typically taken full control of the sector, managing the resource as a public good. Rami Ghandour, managing director of Metito, a UAE-based water company with operations in Africa, argues that public utilities have largely had an overall negative effect on the sector. He says that this is holding back crucial investment in the industry.


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