Volume 13 | March 2021
March 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
The WEF Nexus in Africa Initiative joins webinar series

In collaboration with FAO, SEI, and KTH, we are co-hosting a series of webinars over the course of the year related to WEF nexus issues. In addition to ones already scheduled, on April 13 we will host a session on "The WEF Nexus in practice: multi-scalar case studies and a WEF Nexus Index" with speakers Janez Susnik (IHE Delft), Sara Masia, (IHE Delft), and Gareth Simpson (Jones and Wagener). This webinar will discuss WEF nexus model development, an ongoing WEF-Tools project, and a globally applicable WEF Nexus Index.  

Project AWESOME: mAnaging Water, Ecosystems, and food across sectors and Scales in the South Mediterranean

AWESOME in collaboration with Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) is breaking down a project to mAnage Water, Ecosystems, and food across sectors & Scales in the sOuth Mediterranean using Nexus models. The main objective of AWESOME is developing a decision-analytic platform based on a multi-level, integrated WEF model to better understand multi-sectoral WEF tradeoffs and to capitalize on potential synergies, also exploring the interdependencies and feedbacks across a hierarchy of spatial scales, from the macroeconomic development of the Mediterranean region and national scale to regional planning at the river basin scale, down to the single farm. The project includes advisors from
the World Bank, Group UC Berkeley, University of Oxford, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), FAO, and African Development Bank.

Five key actions to plan effectively for water, energy, and food security

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with SEI and the Royal Institute of Technology organized five webinar series to discuss the importance of the water-energy-food nexus and provide examples of current efforts and best practices in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region and beyond. The first and second webinar series discovered five important key actions so far, to ensure water, food, and security for all; i.e., (1) ensuring coherence between water, food, and energy policies, (2) collaborating across sectors to ensure buy-in for nexus solutions, (3) recognizing uncertainties and consider them in crafting policy, (4) understanding the trade-offs and synergies of a nexus approach, and (5) incorporating local knowledge into planning to build resiliency.

Featured Events
Nexus webinar series: FAO-SEI-KTH WEF Nexus webinar series: Session five

This FAO series — organized in collaboration with SEI and KTH Royal Institute of Technology — introduces nexus concepts and gives examples of current efforts and best practices in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region and beyond. Webinar session five is scheduled for March 30th. Registration is required.

Call for Abstract: International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) 2021

The call for abstract is now open for the Ninth Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), scheduled to be held on 20-21 September 2021 virtually. The 2021 conference theme is "Research for Impact: An Inclusive and Sustainable Planet", which aims to bring together persons involved in research, policy, practice, and business. Participants will share practical solutions for achieving the SDGs at local and national levels. Abstracts are due May 1st, 2021, and registration will open in April 2021. Check here to find out more about the submission process and abstract timeline!

In addition, Dr. Bassel Daher and Dr. Rabi H. Mohtar from WEF Nexus Africa team will lead the session "Water-Energy-Food Nexus Research Impact and Stakeholder Engagement" at the International Conference for Sustainable Development 2021. More information is available here!

International Water Resource Association (IWRA) Online Conference

The IWRA has announced its upcoming 2021 online conference on " One Water, One Health: Water, Food and Public Health in a Changing World" (7-9 June 2021).

6th Nile Basin Development Forum (NBDF)

The 6th NBDF virtual webinars, commenced from March 9 - April 29, will focus on assessing whether NBI Member States have been implementing water resources investments at a speed and scale commensurate with the growing demand for food, water and energy across the Basin. Registration is required.

Featured Publication
Solar or diesel? Unlocking groundwater’s potential in sub-Saharan Africa
Authors: Dr. Claudia Ringler and Dr. Hua Xie

The authors discussed the possibilities along with merits and complications (in terms of need, climate and market prices) of solar- powered ground water irrigation over diesel-powered pumps in increasing the agricultural development and countering the growing, mitigating adverse impacts on productivity of climate change, conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic across sub-Saharan Africa.

Read full publication here!
Jobs and Internship Opportunities
PhD Opportunity at Uppsala University, Sweden to be a part of NEXOGENESIS Research Project
The PhD student position is located in Uppsala within the research program Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. This is a part of two EU Horizon 2020 projects: PONDERFUL (POND Ecosystems for Resilient FUture Landscapes in a changing climate) and NEXOGENESIS (Facilitating the next generation of effective and intelligent water-related policies utilizing artificial intelligence and reinforcement learning to assess the water-energy-food-ecosystem WEFE nexus). The successful candidate will focus on analyzing policy context at multiple governance levels (from EU to local sites in different countries) to identify enabling factors and barriers for implementing Pondscape NBS (PONDERFUL) and water-related policies into a WEFE nexus (NEXOGENESIS).

Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) 2021 Spring/Summer Virtual Internship

The Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge (WE4F) USAID Secretariat is seeking motivated undergraduate and graduate students for Spring/Summer 2021 Virtual Internship, that provides valuable, real-world experience and the opportunity to contribute to a program that impacts the lives of millions in developing countries and emerging economies. The application submission closes on March 19th.

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
Postdoctoral Opportunity

Applications are sought for a Postdoctoral Scholar position in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Penn State University to work on issues relating to the water-food-energy nexus with Assistant Professor Caitlin Grady (www.fewslab.org).

The job duties of this position include: 
  • Perform modeling or fieldwork depending on expertise
  • Interact daily with graduate and undergraduate students
  • Write papers and participate in research projects
  • Learn about lab management through assisting Dr. Grady with management tasks
  • Build her/his/their own expertise
  • Prepare for their/her/his future career

This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from the date of hire with a possibility of renewal. Review of applications will begin February 19, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is negotiable but expected to be around August 2021. Please direct any questions to Dr. Grady at cgrady@psu.edu.