Water-Energy-Food Nexus

RES4Africa Foundation is focusing on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus as one of 2019’s strategic themes to drive Africa’s renewable energy transition.
The WEF Nexus offers an innovative perspective on bridging the energy access gap by considering energy as an enabler for development and by emphasizing the interdependencies between water, energy and food supply systems.
Energy acts as an enabler of increased food security, agricultural productivity and improved access of water resources. The WEF nexus has the transformative power to build new energy access markets, to increase economic productive capacity and set African communities and economies on a path towards to sustainable development and the meeting of the SDGs. Renewables-based WEF Nexus approaches can be instrumental to achieve universal access to energy across the continent.

Here are all the activities we have been carrying out on the theme.



“Africa’s Future Counts” is RES4Africa Foundation’s 2019 Flagship Publication, launched during the 2019 Annual Conference in Addis Ababa and then presented to a European audience during a dedicated event at the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development.

The publication, developed in collaboration with Enel Foundation, looks at the Water-Energy-Food Nexus and how it reveals opportunities to overcome Africa’s energy access gaps. With this publication, RES4Africa Foundation also intends to offer its contribution to the international debate surrounding the United Nation’s 7th Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 7 “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”, SDG 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” and SDG 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Read more



“Applying the WEF Nexus approach to catalyse transformational changes in Africa” is a study carried out by RES4Africa Foundation, in collaboration with OpenEconomics, which looks at the CEFA Onlus’ Ikondo-Matembwe project and its integrated approach to enhance long-lasting impacts.

The Ikondo-Matembwe project, which serves 8 villages in rural Tanzania, integrates a hydro-powered mini-grid, agri-businesses and water supply systems, distributing electricity, water and food services to the surrounding communities. The study quantifies and evaluates what positive development impact a RE-based WEF Nexus project like Ikondo-Matembwe can engender in a local community. The study concluded that this integrated WEF Nexus project has more than twice as much economic impact on local communities than sole energy supply. The model acts as a multiplier effect, and this Nexus approach has known improvements in terms of health, productivity, access to food, water and education.



RE-thinking Access to Energy Business Models” is a study that analysed electrification projects, and integrated and innovative business models, in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. From the analysis of more than 20 projects, of the local regulatory framework and of the financial context, a rich panorama of experiences has emerged.

Integrating investments in renewable energy with investments for the supply of complementary goods and services (such as ice for the preservation of food, electronic devices, technical assistance, and so on), and in closely related sectors (agriculture, breeding, etc.) is strategic to diversify revenue streams, support cash flow and strengthen the socio-economic sustainability of projects. In fact, integrated projects are the ones with better results in the analysis, both financially – with better returns on investments, and in terms of sustainability – with a positive footprint on the community.





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