Volume 15 | May 2021
May 2021 Newsletter
The Water-Energy-Food in Africa Initiative is excited to share with you updates on the current news and events, ways to get involved, and upcoming items to be on the lookout for.
Member Registration and Collaborative Platform

If you have not yet done so, we highly encourage interested participants to join the WEF Nexus in Africa Initiative as a member of our website and the Collaborative Platform.
Featured News
When creativity meets innovation in Africa

Cunene, southern province of Angola, in Western Africa was hit by a severe drought since 2018 and was recognized as a global disaster area, which in turn drew attention from the President of Angola. The president visited the village, Ombala yo Mungu and, on his instruction, the Angolan Ministry of Water contacted several international companies to resolve this water crisis. Owini, a company in the Mitrelli Group, stood up to take this challenge and identified two major problems in its initial field survey. First, the lack of potable water and second, the lack of energy in the electricity grid and also the use of generators for fuel supply extremely problematic. After carrying out number of water tests in the area, Owini employed an innovative water desalination system based entirely on solar energy. This water desalination system can conserve the energy produced during the day and allows continuous operation of pumping and supplying water to the community around the clock.

MENA Regional Innovation Hub (RIH) announces first call for innovation winners

At the end of 2020, more than 135 companies and organizations submitted their applications in response to the MENA RIH’s Call for Innovations. A total of 17 winners was announced by the Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH), primarily funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands. The winners will receive support in the form of grants, technical assistance and/or investment facilitation.

Food Security and COVID-19

Food insecurity has always been a huge problem in large number of countries due to various factors such as natural hazards, climate change, pest and socio economic conditions. COVID-19 has significantly increased these issues and it's impacts were expected to continue through 2021 and into 2022. The World Bank is closely working with government and several international partners to ensure the supply of food systems despite COVID-19 challenges. Several projects have been executed in various Asian and African countries to address the drivers of food insecurity.

Featured Events
Hybrid Conference on Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021(SRI2021)

The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) conference will be held online and onsite at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia, from 12-15 June, 2021. This annual event aims to unite global sustainability leaders, experts, industry and innovators to inspire action and promote a sustainability transformation. Registration is required.

Digital Forum European
Development Days 2021

The 14th edition of European Development Days focuses on the theme "The Green Deal for a Sustainable Future" and will take place digital on June 15 and 16, 2021. This conference will provide a decisive moment for analysis and reflection on the road to the CBD COP15 in Kunming in October and the Glasgow COP26 in November 2021.

Panel series on “Agroecological and Regenerative Solutions for Stronger Communities”

This is a sixth panel series featuring members of the UN Food Systems Champions Network and others moderated by Ruth Richardson and Danielle Nierenberg. The panel event will focus on the theme “Agroecological and Regenerative Solutions for Stronger Communities” and is scheduled for May 19th, 2021. The next panel of the series will take place on June 10 and will focus on “Enriching and Diversifying Diets”.

Featured Publication
The Water-Energy-Food Nexus and COVID-19: Towards a Systematization of Impacts and Responses
By: Al-Saidi Mohammad and Hussein Hussam

This paper examined the impacts of COVID-19 on the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus. Firstly, past literatures focused on single cases of water, energy and, food were collected and combined to get a broader picture of COVID-19 demand and supply side disturbances and immediate effects. Secondly, areas with key long-term impacts such as medicalization, demand fluctuations and, production (re)localization were spotlighted. As a result, priority cross link were identified such as irrigation, water and energy for local food and energy waste water. The analysis reflected varying experiences of adaptations and highlighted the revaluation of a water-food-trade nexus. The COVID- 19 pandemic also revealed a lack of risk based analysis and spatial aspects in the WEF Nexus.

Jobs and Internship Opportunities
Vacancy // Master’s or PhD Assistantship in WEF Nexus research in urban farming systems

The University of the District Columbia (UDC) in Canada is seeking a PhD or Master's student to conduct food-energy-water (FEW) nexus research in urban farming systems, for beginning Summer or Fall 2021. The successful candidate will work on different aspects of a multidisciplinary Water-Energy-Food Nexus research project funded by USDA-NIFA to investigate the production of specialty crops using harvested rainwater and solar energy. 

Vacancy // Research Associate at HARC (HOUSTON ADVANCED RESEARCH CENTER)

The Houston Advanced Research Centre (HARC) in Spring, Texas invites application for the position of research associate to support projects pertaining to climate change, water resources and clean energy transitional impacts. The applicant should have a PhD in engineering, climatology, meteorology, public policy or related discipline with a minimum of one year of experience; Master’s degree in engineering, chemicals or a related discipline with a minimum of 4 plus years experience; or Bachelors with a minimum of 8 years; or equivalent with a demonstrated working knowledge of relevant discipline.

Intern // Aqueduct Platform & Research, Water Program

World Resources Institute (WRI), Washington, DC, is looking for bachelors or master's students to support the Aqueduct team in coordinating with the private sector on topics related to water risk, disclosure, strategies, and stewardship. The successful candidate will also respond to Aqueduct tool user questions, research related to science-based targets for water, and support private sector advisory services. This is a full-time, six-month (24 week) internship with flexible start and end dates (June to November).

For more job, internships, or partnership opportunities visit the
General Notice

Please send relevant news, events, or activities to Kripa Neupane to be published to site or featured in newsletter.
Featured Opportunities
Show & Tell: Your Sustainability Stories: A Photo & Video Storytelling Competition

Tying in with the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021 as declared by the UN General Assembly, UNU-FLORES and the Technische Sammlungen Dresden invites professional and amateur photographers and videographers to submit their best shots in advocacy of the Resource Nexus and sustainability. Photographers and videographers of all levels are welcomed to submit photos and videos accompanied by their respective stories/descriptions (up to 400 words) that relate to the Resource.

Nexus and one or more of the following themes:
• Agriculture
• Forests
• Circular Economy
• Climate Change
• Biodiversity

All submissions will be judged based on the following criteria:
• Relevance to themes (30%)
• Originality and creativity (30%)
• Inspirational power or potential social impact (40%)

Submissions are considered complete with the fulfilment of the following:
• Entry form
• Upload (1 to 4 images/video clips per submission, JPG/MP4 format). Images must be at least 1500px wide. The duration of each video clip must be at least 10 seconds long.
• Entries are to be submitted by 23 May 2021 to: comma_flores@unu.edu. The entry form can be found here.