Leading lawyers from Shepherd and Wedderburn’s water regulation practice are to join forces with Edinburgh University’s Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI) and the Royal African Society to host a  Scottish Business in Africa Forum (SBIAF) breakfast briefing and evening lecture which will act as a platform for exploring the issues of securing water sector investment in Africa.

With growing water scarcity and the demands of increasing populations, it is imperative that sustainable funding and financing solutions are found in order to deliver water and sewerage services vital for social and economic development in Africa. The expert panel of speakers will offer their unique insights into the challenges of implementing new strategies to achieve this, from both a regulatory and economic perspective.

The panel of eminent speakers includes Prince Mleta (Deputy Director of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Government of Malawi);  Anton Earle (Director of Stockholm International Water Institute’s Africa Regional Centre and the recently launched Africa-EU Water Partnership Project); and Fiona Parker, Senior Associate at Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Fiona has long experience in advising on regulation and investment in the water and other sectors across the UK and in Malawi.   As a member of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s  water regulation practice, she will discuss the firm’s role in the development and implementation of regulatory frameworks for ensuring the efficient operation of the water industry, highlighting common challenges and possible solutions across countries. She said: “Of course, the particular political and economic situation can vary enormously from country to country, but we are increasingly seeing common themes in what makes delivery of water and sanitation services effective, not least the levels of political trust and the need for regulatory frameworks which deliver stability and value for money. Scotland has a relatively unique answer to those challenges, which has delivered huge benefits over recent years. We are delighted to be involved with this event, which comes in the context of the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation Programme. It offers a fantastic opportunity for those of us with expertise and capability here in Scotland to engage with those also working to meet the challenges in Africa and to discuss specific options for continuing the collaboration in the future.”

The evening lecture takes place on Thursday 6 October from 6pm at the University of Edinburgh, details and registration are available here