Joop de Schutter, partner at Water Partner Foundation, is involved as Core Advisor in the multi annual cooperation program for water and development in Bénin, West Africa since 2011. Bénin is one of the "Water OS" countries that are to take advantage of the new international - aid and trade - development cooperation policies of the Netherlands Government. The contract is jointly managed by the Netherlands Water Partnership and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency

The current multi annual cooperation program for water and development (PPEA) started in its first phase in 2007. Emphasis was on water supply and sanitation in both the rural and urban environment. Starting 2011 new areas of attention were added including IWRM (following the coming into place of a new national law on water), Water and Food Security and the collection and treatment of urban fecal sludge. The current PPEA-II program has four main components which are (i) IWRM (including Water and Food Security and development of a new national database and information system), rural WASH, urban WASH and rural basic hygiene and sanitation.

The program is developing new and innovative approaches for IWRM including the development of a Delta Plan for the lower Ouémé river and Lake Nokoué in cooperation with the newly established national water institute (INE), a pilot program for PPP approaches to finance and operate rural water supply systems in cooperation with the World Bank and new ways to deal with fecal sludge collection and treatment in combination with energy production based on recently developed master plans for the major urban areas of the country.

An important role in the development of the "aid and trade' policy in practice is played by the technical communication platform Netherlands Bénin where business opportunities between the two countries are assessed and developed through market studies, feasibility studies, study tours and match making events. The platform is jointly managed by the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and the National Water Partnership (PNE) Bénin in close cooperation with the Netherlands Embassy in Cotonou and the Netherlands African Business Council (NABC). Thanks to the efforts of the platform interest for business development between the countries is growing and the list of participants to the platform is growing.

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