WaterNet is a subsidiary institution for Capacity building in Integrated Water Resources Management of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and is registered as a Trust in Gaborone, Botswana. WaterNet is a network of universities that works toward a future in which the SADC region has the institutional and human capacity to educate its own water managers, capable to contribute to the equitable sharing and sustainable utilisation of water resources for poverty alleviation, economic development and environmental security. This is done through training, education, and research by harnessing the complementary strengths of the institutions in the network. Members of Waternet cover a very broad representation of Sub-Saharan Africa Academic institution. Currently Waternet consists of 63 such members, including most of South Africa NEPAD centres of excellence
A central activity of WaterNet has been the establishment of a Masters Degree Programme in Integrated Water Resources Management offered jointly by different universities in the network.
WaterNet is playing a leading role in the professional training domain by complementing academic training with professional courses meeting the demands of River Basin Organisations, Country Water Partnerships, practicing water professionals and those in key related sectors. WaterNet convenes every year a symposium where water professionals, practitioners and policy-makers share state-of-the-art knowledge in IWRM (last one organized in Malawi with more than 300 delegates attend the symposium).
Role in AfriAlliance
WaterNet is leader of Work Package 3, due to its experience as a knowledge hub for the water sector on a regional scale. Waternet also has a role in WP2, where the project will bring in the research experience of the network in the research needs identification process. In addition, Waternet will contribute to WP5, given its outreach capabilities in the SADC region (Waternet convenes annually a symposium that brings together 250-300 delegates to promote interaction among policymakers, academics, practitioners from water and related sectors, and cooperating partners) as well as WP3 where the project will benefit from the knowledge sharing experience in the implementation of the IWRM programmes of the network.
Dr Jean-Marie Kileshye Onema (m) is the WaterNet Manager. Over the past five years, He has been coordinating the implementation of collaborative and transdisciplinary research projects that focus amongst others on innovation and governance of water for agriculture and food for poverty alleviation, Improved Drought Early Warning and Forecasting for adaptation and preparedness in Africa, transboundary water resources management in the Zambezi Basin and Climate change.
Dr Jean-Marie Kileshye Onema obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (Distinction) from the University of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and his Masters in Water Resources Engineering and Management (WREM) from the University of Zimbabwe. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the School of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.