About the 9th World Water Forum

9th World Water Forum

The 9th World Water Forum will take place in Dakar from 22 to 27 March 2021. The ambition of Senegal and the World Water Council is to organize a different Forum, at the social, political and economic levels, a Forum that is a catalyst for action to accelerate universal access to water and sanitation, a Forum that is connected and linked to global agendas and commitments relating to SDGs, the Sendai agreement on natural risks and disasters, the Paris agreement on climate, Africa's 2063 agenda, etc.

The Forum will also be an opportunity for Senegal and the World Water Council to exchange views on the future of water and sanitation, and a contextualized, global and community-based Forum anchored on key water challenges in Africa and around the world.

Thus, it is important to underline that previous editions of the World Water Forum included three major processes: thematic, political and regional. However, the 9th Forum  is centred on an integrated preparation based on quality, multi-actor exchanges around a limited number of priorities integrating the previous tools of the processes: thematic, political, regional, citizen. 

The "Dakar 2021" Forum will focus on four priorities, namely:

  1. Water Security and Sanition
  2. Water for rural development
  3. Cooperation
  4. Means and Tools including the crucial issues of financing, governance, knowledge management and innovation; four axes that constitute priorities for Africa, but also for the world as a whole.

The process will be led by specialized working groups structured around the 4 priorities. Each working group will be led by Senegal and the World Water Council, and supported by strategic partners (governments, intergovernmental, bilateral and multilateral organizations, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations). The strategic partners should play a leading role from the preparatory process to the organization of the Forum.


The Action Framework of the 9th World Water Forum is structured around the four priorities that were discussed during several preparatory meetings, including the kick-off meeting organized on 20 and 21 June 2019 in Dakar. It has enabled to identify the major challenges that underpinned them, in relation to the SDGs (indicated in brackets).

Water Security and Sanitation
  • Implement the Right to Water and Sanitation and provide access to safe water and sanitation in emergency situations (6.1, 6.2,1.4, 11.1)
  • Improve water quality and waste management (6.3 11.6 12.4, 12.5)
  • Reduce water-related illness and deaths (3.9, 3.3, 3.2)
  • Protect and restore ecosystems and forests, including coastal and marine impacts, and combat desertification (6.6 14.1, 14.2, 15.1, 15.3)
  • Halt the loss of aquatic biodiversity and invasive species in water ecosystems (15.5 15.8, 15.9)
  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change and natural disasters (13.1, 11.5, 1.5, 11.B, 13.3)
Water for Rural Development
  • Ensure universal access to water (in rural areas) (6.1, 1.4)
  • Ensure universal access to sanitation and hygiene (in rural areas) (6.2, 1.4)
  • Provide public water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (schools, healthcare facilities, etc.) (4.A 5.1, 4.5, 3.3,3.9, 6.1)
  • Ensure sustainable agricultural practices, including water productivity and efficiency, reduction of diffuse pollution, and decreased food losses (2.3, 2.4, 12.3, 6.3, 6.4, 6.6, 14.1, 14.2)
  • Engage and empower rural communities to be the drivers of social-economic development through water (8.2, 5.4, 5.A, 1.4, 2.A)
  • Harmonize the rural-urban divide to curb migration (11.A, 10.7, 11.3)
  • Implement IWRM at all levels (6.5)
  • Implement transboundary cooperation to foster peace and prevent conflicts (6.5, 6.A)
  • Expand international cooperation, including ODA, and capacity building to foster peace (6.A,17.2, 16A, 10.B)
  • Enhance cooperation on multipurpose infrastructure, including hydropower (7.A, 7.B, 1.A, 9.1, 9.4, 9.A)
  • Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation on data and information sharing, and capacity building (17.6,  12.8, 16.10,  17.9, 17.18)
  • Enhance multi-stakeholder dialogue and partnerships, including with outside sectors (17.16, 17.17)
Means & Tools (Transversal theme that relates to all other priorities)
  • Mobilize additional financial resources and promote innovative funding (17.3, 2.A)
  • Implement the principles of good water governance, including participatory decision-making (6.5, 6.B, 16.7, 5.5, 17.18)
  • Foster a water-sensitive approach to legislation and regulation (10.3, 5.C)
  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and promote integrity (10.6, 16.6, 17.15)
  • Increase water efficiency and sustainable management through science, technology, innovation and education (6.4, 12.2, 8.4, 17.7, 17.8, 5.B, 4.3, 9.5, 12.A)