Report: Africa must rise & resist water privatization

A deep dive into the threats of the water industry taking over systems across Africa and the ways that people have successfully fought back.




The Africa Week of Action Against Water Privatisation (11-15 October 2021) was put together by the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and water justice advocates across Africa on the platform of the Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition to build resistance of civil society and labour to threats of water privatisation in several countries across the continent.


The PPP and other water privatization models marketed by the World Bank has failed in Ghana, Jakarta, Manila, Nagpur, Tanzania and elsewhere. It does not need to happen in Lagos or anywhere else in Africa for us to know how . Africa should not be dumping ground for failed development models


Private water giants like Veolia and Suez have been systematically capturing Africa’s water systems for decades with the backing of institutions like the World Bank, undermining African governments’ efforts to ensure universal water access for our people. Right now, the World Bank, one of the largest drivers of water privatisation in Africa, is holding its annual meetings. The World Bank has particularly been at the fore of promotion of the failed Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the water sector.



Reject all forms of corporate control of water and privatisation of water services, including through so-called “public-private partnerships”


Fulfil their obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil the human right to water for all people by prioritising robust public investment in the water sector


Respect and protect the livelihood of workers by ensuring safe working conditions, protection from retribution for raising complaints or whistleblowing, and investment in salaries and pensions reflective of the public service these workers undertake every day


Resist pressure from international financial institutions, private water corporations, and other financial actors to commercialise the water sector and, instead, ensure universal access to safe water regardless of the ability to pay.


African governments should explore regional bodies like the African Union, Economic Community of West African States, Economic Community of Central African States, East African Community, and Southern African Development Community to foster regional solidarity and collaboration by supporting Public-Public Partnerships in the water sector and other essential services.



  • Deepen push back actions against water privatization through partnership of labour and civil society to launch campaigns to prevent water privatisation on the African continent.
  • Bolster the movement for the human right to water in Africa by identifying and deepening connections between struggles in 10 African countries and amplifying a collective vision for water justice.
  • Deepen our collective support for African countries at risk of a range of water privatisation schemes, including across West, East, Central, and Southern Africa.

Campaign Model

Shoulder to shoulder civil actions by labour and civil society in-country activists, as part of a regional movement to challenge water privatisation.

System Engagement

  1. Research-based advocacy
  2. Rallies/Resistance match/ protests
  3. Engagement with reps (incl. presentation of position papers)
  4. Engagement with in country executives
  5. Engagement with CSO/Union/stakeholders

Community Consultation Sensitization

  1. Community Forum/Engagements (Women, Religious, CSO, CBOs).
  2. Consultative meetings
  3. Townhall engagements
  4. Roundtable discussions

Media Action

  1. Press conference
  2. Print media- Press statement, Opinion editorial, Articles
  3. Electronic media (TV, Radio)
  4. Digital media engagements

Digital Media Messaging

  1. Water is a Human Right, not a business venture
  2. Suez, hands off our water!
  3. Veolia, hands off Africa’s Water!
  4. Africa says NO to water privatisation
  5. Privatisation of water = modern colonialism
  6. Water sustains life, privatisation deprives us of life
  7. When corporations control water, they control the people.

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