From 28 to 31 March 2012, a conference was held in Réduit, Mauritius, called 'Water Management Issues in Africa'. The Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), the Academy and Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, organised this successful conference at which a total of 85 African researchers and policymakers came together to discuss in detail specific African subjects relating to water management.
Academies in Africa had never previously brought together African researchers and African policymakers at a conference for joint discussions. Together with eight African researchers, Prof. Pieter van der Zaag and Prof. Meine Pieter van Dijk (UNESCO-IHE) made up the organising committee. Approximately ten Dutch water researchers from a number of universities and institutes were involved in various ways in the conference.
Since 2008, the Academy and the NASAC have been reinforcing the role of research in developing countries in Africa, which resulted in July 2010 in a three-year collaboration plan. The conference was one of the activities resulting from the collaboration plan between the Academy and the NASAC. Representatives from as many as eighteen African countries were present at the conference, which underlined the need for pan-African collaboration. Moreover, the conference attracted a great deal of attention from the local press, partly due to the presence of Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius, who opened and welcomed everyone to the conference.