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UK and UAE firms to develop Africa’s water infrastructure

Metito and British International Investment executives sign agreement to launch Africa Water Infrastructure Development joint venture

Metito Utilities Limited, a UAE-based investor and operator of water, wastewater, and alternative energy management solutions, and British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution, have launched a joint venture to promote private investment in climate-smart water projects across Africa.

Africa Water Infrastructure Development will promote private investment in Africa’s water, sanitation, and hygiene sectors.

It will focus on developing, investing, and operating greenfield water and sanitation projects as well as seek out potential concessions and public-private partnerships (PPPs) with significant operational improvement across the continent.

The new venture will adopt a viable commercial model for water infrastructure and provision in Africa, helping to mobilise long-term investment into the sector. In addition, it will integrate green technologies and alternative energy components to reduce the environmental footprint of water infrastructure projects.

An operational bulk surface water treatment plant in Kigali-Rwanda will be the first asset under the new platform.

The 40,000 cubic meters per day plant is currently providing over 25 percent of the city’s potable water supply, meeting the needs of 500,000 domestic, commercial and industrial consumers. 

The Kigali water treatment plant is a PPP, the first such model in sub-Saharan Africa.

Andrew Mitchell, UK minister for development and Africa, said that the climate emergency has made water insecurity a major development challenge in Africa. 

“The AWID platform signals the UK’s continuing commitment to increase development and climate partnerships and financing to help the most vulnerable people and countries impacted by climate change,” he added.

Rami Ghandour, managing director of Metito, said: “As Africa undergoes rapid urbanisation, there is a pressing demand for water infrastructure. Such projects are particularly capital intensive. 

“An increasing funding gap requires mobilising sustainable investments into the sector. Our partnership with BII will leverage our high-value engineering and use of innovative technologies with access to financial resources and support.”

AWID will show to other investors, governments and operators that private investment can deliver operationally efficient and high-impact water infrastructure projects at a scale that can potentially drive transformative and sustainable impact in Africa, stated Chris Chijiutomi, managing director and head of Africa at BII.