Ahead of the 5th Africa Water Week (aww-5) in Dakar, Senegal, from 26 – 31 May 2014, ECDPM spoke with Professor Mike Muller, Commissioner at the South African National Planning Commission about his views on a recently published ECDPM Discussion Paper about regional food security and water in SADC. The discussions in Dakar will amongst others address issues of strengthened cooperation across countries with shared water resources as well as integrating water security and climate resilience in development planning and decision-making processes.
Mike talks about the importance of the trade sector for linking water and agriculture for improved food security in Southern African Development Community (SADC). He also highlights that in order to practically make these linkages in SADC, integrating considerations of the political economy of its Member States is necessary for better use of water for agriculture in planning and regional cooperation frameworks. He points out that making these linkages across trade, agriculture and water sectors will also support improved agricultural production in the region, sustainable livelihoods for its populations and climate resilience. He says the discussions at the aww-5 need to make clearer linkages with the trade and agriculture sectors to address the bottlenecks for better use of water to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth at national and regional levels.