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Akiça Bahri

Coordinator, African Water facility, African development bank, Tunisia

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background

Akissa Bahri joined the African Water Facility (AWF), an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water administered by the African Development Bank, as Coordinator in June 2010, a position she holds until now.

She holds a degree in agricultural engineering from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie de Toulouse (France), a Doctor-Engineer degree from the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse (France) and a PhD in Water Resources Engineering from the Institute of Science and Technology of Lund University (Sweden).

She has over 30 years of experience in research in the areas of development and management of water resources, agricultural use of marginal water (brackish and waste water), biosolids and their impacts on the environment. Her experience in research and water management extends across Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

She worked for the National Research Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Water, and Forestry as Director of Research in her home country Tunisia, where she was responsible for managing research in the field of agricultural water use. She has been involved in policy issues and regulations regarding water reuse and land application of biosolids. Based in Ghana from September 2005 to May 2010, Akissa was the Director for Africa at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a research institute supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

She has worked in the areas of water, development and the environment in collaboration with many international, regional and national institutions. She has achieved substantial results in research, capacity building, research management, as well as in putting knowledge into action. She has authored numerous publications and has also directly contributed and was involved in editing scientific books.

Akissa is a recipient of the Grand Prize of Scientific Merit for Development from the Guinness Foundation, the International Foundation for Science/King Baudouin Award, the Kuwait Prize in the Field of Waste Recycling from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, and the Prof. C.N.R. Rao Prize for Scientific Research awarded by the World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries. She is a member of the International Water Academy, the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), and of various scientific committees.

ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?

To present innovative approaches implemented by the African Water Facility to enhance water security and promote investments resilient to climate change in Africa

LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

Across the African continent.

IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?

AWF supports the implementation of the Africa Water Vision for 2025 that will lead to an equitable and sustainable development and management of water resources in Africa to reduce poverty, promote economic development, regional cooperation, preserve the environment and develop resilience to water-related disasters and climate change.

Since 2006, AWF has funded a total of 90 national and regional projects in 51 countries, including most of the most vulnerable African states. Since then, the AWF has mobilized more than 950 million as a result of its project preparation activities, which constitute 70% of its portfolio. On average, every euro invested by the AWF attracted 30 euros in additional investments.

QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you

Think outside the box and try to turn dreams into reality.