Connecting Waterpeople

Osward Mulenga Chanda appointed Director of the AFDB's Water and Sanitation Department

  • Osward Mulenga Chanda appointed Director of the AFDB's Water and Sanitation Department
  • Mr. Chanda brings nearly 30 years’ work experience in policy dialogue and investment programming.

About the entity

African Development Bank Group
Established to promote economic and social development efforts on the continent, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group comprises three entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB) the African Development Fund (ADF) & the Nigeria Trust Fund
Analytical Technology (ATi)

The African Development Bank Group has appointed Mr. Osward Mulenga Chanda as Director, Water Development and Sanitation, with effect from 1 December 2021.

Mr. Osward Mulenga Chanda, a Zambian national, joined the African Development Bank in 2009 as Chief Water and Sanitation Engineer. He was then appointed as Division Manager, Water Security and Sanitation, in the Water Development and Sanitation Department, where he managed a portfolio of over $4.5 billion across the continent.

Mr. Chanda brings nearly 30 years’ work experience in policy dialogue and investment programming, of which 20 have been at managerial level in water and sanitation investment project design,  portfolio management, development finance, utility regulation, institutional reform, policy, and strategy development, for both public and private sector operations. He has vast experience in resource mobilization for development, having raised over $170 million (2020) from concessional environment and climate change funds and more than a billion dollars through co-financing.

Mr. Chanda has led the design and implementation of transformational projects at the Bank. They include the Egypt Sustainable Abu-Rawash Wastewater Treatment Project valued at $150 million for the treatment of 500,000m3 per day of wastewater, preventing pollution of irrigation canals and promoting reuse; the Thwake Multipurpose Development Project (Kenya), worth $362 million, for dam construction to generate 20 MW power, supply water to benefit over 700,000 people and an irrigation scheme of 44,000ha; Water Provision in Marrakech Region (Morocco), worth $178 million to serve over 2 million people; and the Ethiopia One WASH program valued at $133 million, a sector-wide program  serving over five million people. Mr. Chanda has also led projects in Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tunisia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal. He also provided leadership in the preparation of the Bank Policy on Water (May 2021) and the Bank Group Water Strategy (2021-2025). He also provided oversight over the first-ever annual water sector lending in 2016, which exceeded $1 billion.

He championed institutional reforms that led to a new policy, legal framework, and corporatized water and sanitation services in urban areas in Zambia

Before joining the African Development Bank, Mr. Chanda garnered extensive managerial and leadership experience as Director of the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, Zambia’s autonomous water utility regulatory agency. He championed institutional reforms that led to a new policy, legal framework, and corporatized water and sanitation services in urban areas in Zambia. He is a thought leader in the water sector, which has been recognized in his appointment as an International Water Association Fellow. He served on the World Water Council governing board for two terms, where he led the Regional Commission leading to the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil in 2018.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Chanda said: “I am grateful for this opportunity. I will use this trust to work with the water team in forging stronger partnerships critical in securing water security for all, contributing to the socio-economic transformation of the continent."

Mr. Chanda holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Melbourne University, Australia (1994) and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Zambia, (1989).

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said: “Osward is a seasoned water and sanitation expert who will lead the team and drive the Bank’s water development and sanitation work programs, in line with the Bank’s ongoing support to Africa’s economic transformation, through the identification and promotion of sustainable and integrated solutions across the water value chain and sanitation.”

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