Zimbabwe and the other developing countries attending the 5thChina-Africa Water Forum have been challenged to increase investments and efforts in water research and development in line with the vision to ensuring universal access to safe and affordable water.

Zimbabwe is hosting the 5thChina-Africa Water Forum which seeks to, among other things, come up with strategies aimed at enhancing management and sustainable water resources management as well as promotion of closer collaboration between Africa and the Asian economic powerhouse China in water management.

In his official opening address Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo challenged the continent and the other developing countries to increase investment in water research and development.

Professor Moyo said it is a matter of national concern that Bulawayo’s industrial base has been threatened by lack of reliable water supply and challenged tertiary institutions to play a critical role in industrialisation and modernisation of Zimbabwe.

University of Western Cape senior professor of hydrogeology of earth science, Professor YongxinXu said Africa should optimise utilisation of water for food security and strengthen international collaborations.

The China-Africa Water Forum is set to reinforce south-south collaborations on water issues, assist African and Chinese experts with understanding of water resources management and establish a think tank to take the mutual interest further.