Women, Water, and Youth: Roundtable with Dr. Susan Mboya, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation

Across Africa, water is a vital resource for the development of healthy and prosperous communities. Too often, however, communities find that safe water for drinking, sanitation, and hygiene is either too scarce or too expensive to access, a burden which disproportionately affects women and youth.

On May 21, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in cooperation with the US Water Partnership, hosted a presentation by Dr. Susan Mboya, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

After a welcome by Africa Center Director Dr. J. Peter Pham and opening remarks from Tom Harvey, Chairman of the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF) and Co-Chair of the US Water Partnership, Mboya gave an overview of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s goals for contributing to sustainable and equitable communities throughout Africa. The Foundation’s initiatives include “5by20,” which aims to empower five million female entrepreneurs across Coca-Cola’s value chain by 2020; the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which will improve access to clean water for more than two million Africans by the end of this year; and Youth Empowered for Success (YES!), which will reach more than 25,000 youth with skills trainings and mentorship opportunities by 2017. These projects reflect the Foundation’s focus on building networks among women entrepreneurs and youth, the demographics which Mboya believes will “unlock” Africa’s economic potential.

Pham moderated the ensuing discussion, which featured a number of US Water Partnership members implementing water-related projects across Africa as well as representatives of the US government and the private sector.

At the conclusion of the event, on behalf of Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe, Pham announced that the Atlantic Council is pleased to be joining the US Water Partnership as the one hundredth member.

Image: From left to right: Tom Harvey, Dr. Susan Mboya, and Dr. J. Peter Pham.