New Research Program “Water Security in Africa WASA”

Call for proposals published to support research teams in the initial phase of the WASA program in southern Africa

With the aim of supporting sustainable development more effectively, the German Federal Government has worked on joining forces in coordinated cooperation projects between German Ministries and associated Research Organisations. For this purpose, the so-called Round Table on "Internationalisation of Education, Science and Research" has been set up, with Africa as the first focus. One of the grand challenges addressed by the Round Table was the topic water.

During a first stage of co-design process between African and German ministries as well as key research organizations and water sector experts, the need for a joint program "Water Security in Africa - WASA" was confirmed and initial thematic outlines were set.

Now a call for proposals for the initial phase of the WASA program has been published by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for southern Africa as the first focus region.

The deadline for project proposals is March 31, 2021.

The key objective of the initial WASA-phase Southern Africa is to allow time and resources for a detailed co-design process between African and German stakeholders, researchers and governmental institutions. As an outcome, background studies and detailed project proposals for the first main phase of the WASA program (4 years) are expected.

Three overarching thematic areas are set:

- Sustainable water resources management
- Water infrastructure and water technology
- Hydrological forecasts and predictions

The full German text of the call for proposals is available at:

The English version is available for download.

The following German ministries are involved in the WASA Program:

- Office of Foreign Affairs (AA)
- Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
- Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
- Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
- Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)
- Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)
- Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

The WASA program is also supported by the following research alliance partners in Germany:

- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
- German Science Foundation (DFG)
- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH)
- Fraunhofer Association (FhG)
- Helmholtz Association (HGF)
- Leibniz Association (WGL)
- German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)
- German Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG)
- German Weather Service (DWD)