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About SADC-GMI

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SADC-GMI Overview

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is subjected to severe climatic variability scenarios which negatively impact on more than 70% of the region’s population, who are dependent on groundwater for their livelihoods. With the challenges of climate change, pollution and rapidly growing water demand in the region, the need to strengthen the management and development of groundwater for social and economic development cannot be overemphasized.

The rationale for the establishment of the SADC-GMI was based on the importance of groundwater in the region and the need to set up a “Centre of Excellence” for groundwater management and groundwater dependent ecosystems in the region, and to have an institution that will serve as an interlocutor with national, regional and international groundwater initiatives and institutions. The institute is hosted by the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa on behalf of, and under the strategic guidance of the SADC Secretariat, Directorate of Infrastructure’s Water Division, in Gaborone, Botswana. SADC-GMI is currently implementing multiple projects in the SADC Region in partnership with key players in the water sector.

The SADC-GMI is established as a section 21 not-for-profit company registered under the South African Companies Act No. 71 of 2008, as amended. The company is run by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the SADC Member States, University of the Free State, an Executive Director and SADC Secretariat’s Water Division as the Chair. It is hosted by the University of the Free State’s Institute for Groundwater Studies in Bloemfontein, South Africa on behalf of, and under the strategic guidance of the SADC Secretariat, Directorate of Infrastructure’s Water Division, in Gaborone, Botswana. As a subsidiary structure of the SADC Secretariat, SADC-GMI draws its mandate from the fourth phase Regional Strategic Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management (RSAP IV: 2016-2020).

To be a Centre of Excellence in promoting equitable and sustainable groundwater management in the SADC Region.

SADC-GMI’s core mandate is to promote sustainable groundwater management and provide solutions to groundwater challenges across the SADC region. Four strategic objectives are key in achieving the SADC-GMI mandate.

Strategic objectives (next 5 years):

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  • Integrity: As an advisory institution, SADC-GMI will act with integrity.
  • Diversity: The diversity of SADC and its people is valued as a strength and will be promoted during decision-making
  • Equity: Groundwater resources are often shared resources and the benefits arising from its use will be equitable
  • Accountability & Transparency: Accountability arises from responsible and transparent behaviour. To act as a trusted advisor for groundwater management in SADC, the SADC-GMI will have transparent communication and decision-making and be accountable to Member States.
  • Excellence: SADC-GMI will demonstrate leadership and excellence in groundwater management in the SADC region
  • Professionalism: SADC-GMI will behave in a professional manner in all interactions.
  • Collaboration & Partnership: SADC-GMI will lead collaborative groundwater initiatives for national and regional groundwater management and will develop strong partnerships with key stakeholders in the sector.

ADC-GMI acknowledges the need to build partnerships in order to deliver to existing and new stakeholders (16 SADC Member States) and also enhance its footprint in the region. In this regard, SADC-GMI has partnered with national, regional and international partners, including United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations – International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), the University of the Free State’s Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS), WaterNet, Africa Groundwater Network (AGW-Net), Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the South African Water Research Commission, Global Water Partnership for Southern Africa (GWP-SA), Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC), International Water Management Institute (IWMI). SADC-GMI will continue to form strategic partnerships with key players in the water sector in order to advance the groundwater agenda in the region.

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World BankGlobal Environmental FacilitySADC SecretariatCooperation in International Waters in AfricaUniversity of the Free StateInstitute for Groundwater Studies