Credit: Jessica Davis

Cooperation in International Waters in Africa: Annual Report FY2018

Results by Project or Basin – Niger


Effective regional and national institutions enable riparian states to manage shared risks and harness net benefits of cooperation.

OUTCOME AREA 2. Financially and institutionally sustainable regional organizations provide effective water management services to countries.

Institutional Development: CIWA’s support to the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) was restructured during the last year in order to facilitate more rapid implementation. The recipient-executed project scope has been reduced, which will enable NBA to pursue project objectives that are more readily attainable. The level of approval for sustainable financing mechanisms has been changed from ministers of member states to the technical level. The restructuring also shifted the focus of component 2 from helping NBA better understand the potential ramifications of the Fomi Dam to understanding transboundary infrastructure more broadly.

The NBA appointed a new executive secretary in March 2018 with experience to guide the team through planned changes and improvements. Strengthening the institutional and organizational systems of the NBA has been ongoing. A complementary CIWA bank-executed institutional analysis started in April 2018, and the results will be presented to the Council of Ministers in Abuja at the end of October 2018. Final results are expected later in the year.

With support from CIWA, the coordination of development partners’ financing projects or programs hosted by the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) has increased. Under World Bank coordination, development partners are joining efforts with the view of establishing a concrete dialogue on ways and means for the NBA to improve its performance, notably with respect to the basin-level public goods it generates. This includes information on the hydrology of the basin, Observatory of the Environment activities, flow forecasts, and the processing of requests by countries to carry out activities with potential transboundary impacts.

Another area of focus of the ongoing dialogue is the synergy between the various projects and programs. Increasing synergy will reduce the demands of implementation and ensure that scarce capacity in the basin is used as productively as possible. Through this dialogue, and in coordination with the Niger Basin climate resilience project pipeline, the scope and focus of institutional support for the NBA may be realigned.


Regionally beneficial investments generate socioeconomic benefits and gender-inclusive poverty reduction.

OUTCOME AREA1. Improved technical and resource mobilization capacity enhances investment quality and advances preparation of regional projects.

Resilience Planning: The Niger Basin Climate Resilience Investment Plan (CRIP) highlights investment needs related to climate change adaptation in the basin to gather support for project financing. Taking a basin-wide approach to climate resilience planning is considered best practice in the field, but the approach is not easily or widely implemented. CIWA supported the countries and the NBA as they developed, vetted, and presented the Niger Basin CRIP at COP 21 in Paris to raise the profile of their climate adaptation needs. The CRIP consists of carefully selected resilience-building investments from key existing regional and national planning documents. It totals 246 investments, amounting to an estimated US$3.1 billion in financing needed. The investments are a sub-selection of the Niger Basin Master Plan, developed in 2008. Each investment included in the plan was examined and vetted by Member States through a comprehensive consultative process with multisectoral participation, strategically coupled with exercises to build local capacity.

Resilient Investments: One program is currently being prepared, which focuses on strengthening NBA’s capacity for coordinated water resources management. It includes the partial implementation of the ongoing CIWA-financed NBA institutional assessment as well as financing selected CRIP investments in individual riparian countries. The first project of the program is to implement the institutional assessment’s recommendations and finance selected CRIP investments in Niger with transboundary benefits. The African Development Bank (AFDB) is also financing some parts of the CRIP with a $230m project under preparation. The French Development Agency (AFD) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) are also likely to invest in the implementation of the CRIP.

Modeling: Advanced modeling of ecosystem services in the Niger Inner Delta will inform upstream development and investment choices. The procurement process for a firm to undertake the assignment was completed in June 2018. Implementation of the model is expected to begin October 2018 with approximate work time of one year. Based on a fairly accurate topography, the modeling exercise will help better correlate the natural and altered flooding pattern and the associated socioeconomic benefits.

OUTCOME AREA 2. Coordinated investment planning and inclusive stakeholder engagement ensures equitable benefit sharing and effective risk management.

Stakeholder Engagement: Scoping work on regional stakeholder engagement will help CIWA identify where future support is needed on this topic. CIWA requires a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of citizen engagement mechanisms in the basin to strategically support them in future projects in the Niger Basin. Stakeholder organizations are actively involved in the development and rollout of the CRIP and in other investments in the basin. An analysis is under way that closely examines the details of regional processes with respect to capacity, functionality, and utility of various organizations. An initial report has helped elucidate a deeper understanding of citizen engagement in the basin that will help teams determine which mechanisms may be usefully employed by planned operations and could inform a trust-funded technical assistance or capacity-building activity to strengthen relevant organizations. This future support will be planned in line with the pipeline CRIP and the CIWA grant to the NBA.