African cities face an enormous deficit in public and private infrastructure spending, which impacts human health, climate resilience and economic vitality. This session will feature the launch of the African Cities Water Adaptation Fund (ACWA Fund), a pan-African initiative with the aim of channeling $5 billion towards urban water resilience solutions in 100 African cities by 2032, and elevate other innovative financing solutions that are being developed by state and non-state actors to address the gaps in water and sanitation and water resources financing in Africa.

The session will be an opportunity for leaders to discuss the barriers and opportunities to establishing cooperative relationships between emergent funds. We will explore how funds can work together and deliver impactful climate resilient water finance that prioritizes local governments, centers the most vulnerable and ensures a water-resilient future for all. We will bring together these funds and facilities along with city governments in South Africa, Rwanda, and Ethiopia to challenge and discuss how we can connect the dots between initiatives so that the sum of efforts is greater than the parts.

Event MC & Moderator:

  • Wanjira Maathai, Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships, World Resources Institute

Opening Remarks:

  • Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN High Level Champion

Panel Moderator:

  • Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Special Adviser & Africa Director, UN High-Level Climate Champions


  • Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute
  • Hon. Pudence Rubingisa, Mayor City of Kigali (Rwanda)
  • Hon. Thembisile Nkadimeng, Deputy Minister, DCOG, South Africa
  • Mohammed Mussie, General Manager, Dire Dawa Water & Sanitation Utility Company (Ethiopia)
  • Patrick Njoroge, Akiba Mashinani Trust
  • Kobie Brand, ICLEI Africa Regional Director and Deputy Secretary General ICLEI
  • Rogier Van Den Berg, Acting Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Alex Simalabwi, Director Africa (Water) Investment Program (AIP)
  • Shirine Khoury-Haq, CEO Co-op (Corporate partner, Water Unite Impact Fund)
  • Andrea Erickson-Quiroz, Managing Director for Water Security, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Dana Omran, Director for Global Strategy & Africa, Resilient Cities Network


Cover Image by: Kokhanchikov/Shutterstock