Nigerien social entrepreneur Abdou Maman wins the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize (US$ 100,000)

    13 April 2015

    Today, at the Grand Opening Ceremony of the 7th World Water Forum, in presence of a range of Heads of State and delegations coming from 160 countries, the Kingdom of Morocco and the World Water Council have awarded the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the water sector, to Mr Abdou Maman, Director Tech Innov Niger, for an integrated and innovative solution for remote operation of irrigation.
    The Tech Innov Niger solution for remote irrigation is a technology process that lets farmers manage their farm irrigation system remotely, using their mobile phone and solar panels. This solution enables farmers to save time and energy, expand the area under irrigation, increase their production and income, and streamline the management of irrigation water. This remote irrigation system is composed of a small solar station, a solar pump, a water distribution network, and a simple mobile telephone.
    By providing a concrete solution for issues in the food, energy and water nexus, remote irrigation serves to reduce poverty in rural populations. Social entrepreneur Abdou Maman favours taking a holistic approach to these issues. He enables implementation of his solutions while also supporting communities in accessing technology and finance via crowdfunding, participatory online funding, micro-credit, etc.
    The King Hassan II Great World Water Prize rewards excellence pertaining to “Cooperation and solidarity in the areas of management and development of water resources”. From a micro-economic perspective, the Kingdom of Morocco wishes to highlight Abdou Maman's efforts and commitment to a dynamic local economy.
    “This King Hassan II Great World Water Prize honors the work of Mr Maman, who is the perfect example of social entrepreneurship; he serves his community and is at the heart of a dynamic local economy. The Tech Innov Niger solution is innovative and combines sustainable development and technology in the fight against poverty. It corresponds perfectly to the values of the Kingdom of Morocco in terms of the protection and sustainable management of water resources”, declares Charafat El Yedri Afailal, Deputy Minister for Water at the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment.
    “The relationship between the World Water Council and the Kingdom of Morocco is particularly dear to us. Our first World Water Forum was held in Marrakech in 1997. And it is there, in the Declaration of Marrakech, that the World Water Council received its mandate to develop the World Water Vision for Life and Environment for the 21st century”, recalls Benedito Braga, President of the World Water Council. “I am proud of the commitment of the Kingdom of Morocco to each Forum and to this very Great Prize.”
    In accordance with the dual nomination process, Mr Abdou Maman was sponsored by Nicolas Biron, Water Initiative Programme Specialist, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie OIF/BRAO, Togo, and Adamou Mahaman Moustapha, Head of the Department of Rural, Water and Forest Engineering at Abdou Moumouni University, Niger.
    This Prize honours the memory of His Majesty King Hassan II and his strategic and enlightened vision for secure access to water and sustainable management of water resources. Since its creation in 2003, at the 3rd World Water Forum, a permanent committee comprising representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco and members of the World Water Council has supervised the organization and promotion of the Prize.