The Portuguese Water Partnership (PWP) has continued to promote the international platform “Building Bridges and Partnerships across Portuguese-Speaking Countries” (P3LP, its Portuguese acronym).
The scope of this lusophone institutional and business platform covers five African Portuguese-speaking countries, including Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Principe. The P3LP platform focuses on sharing experiences and knowledge on water issues between public and private entities. This sharing promotes partnerships between government agencies, water utilities and enterprises under the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Technical Visits to Portugal
An example of a core initiative undertaken since the project’s start in 2016 is technical visits to Portugal. Delegations of key decision makers and water sector managers from these five African countries are able to visit different locations in Portugal. Typically lasting one week, these initiatives have multiple opportunities to meet and interact directly with representatives from the Portuguese government, private sector and research institutions. These interactions stimulate future institutional, commercial and technical partnerships.
So far, the feedback from the invited delegates from Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe, Cabo Verde and Angola have been overwhelmingly positive. Feedback has also been positive from the Portuguese participants in multiple initiatives such as public seminars, thematic workshops, business round tables, technical visits and institutional contacts.
Throughout the project, the multiple seminars and public sessions that have been organized have engaged several hundred participants. This engagement has broadly disseminated project outputs and the reinforced networking links within the Portuguese-speaking water sector professional community. Some of the specialized studies undertaken by the project include a detailed examination of European Development Fund opportunities in the African water sector (EuropeAid), and a detailed diagnosis of capacitation gaps and investment priorities in several water utilities operating in these countries.
According to Ms. Alexandra Serra, President of the Portuguese Water Partnership, “P3LP is an initiative that will equally strengthen the internationalization of the Portuguese water sector by developing mechanisms to facilitate the business matching between these countries and the Portuguese professional water community.” Following the latest technical mission to Portugal by a delegation from Angola in June 2017, the next steps on P3LP’s roadmap include the Lusophone Water Resource Symposium in Oporto in September 2017 and a similar visit by a Mozambican delegation in November 2017.