What do we require from water biotechnologies in Africa?

When discussing water and sanitation issues, technology is often seen as the key element by many stakeholders. Within a multinational project, the opportunity was taken to analyse the experiences with the existing water infrastructure to look behind this assumption and - if not working satisfactory - to identify the key requirements that obviously have not been met. Following this, it should be possible to prepare a set of requirements to learn from this. A three stage questionnaire for different stakeholder level (authorities, operators and end users) has been launched in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia. Some main obstacles towards sustainable biological wastewater treatment could then be identified. The reader expecting specific technical suggestions might be disappointed but the key messages that are relevant for all the different conditions of the four North African and the three Sub Saharan countries are presented. The given requirements tackle issues that are unfortunately not only of technical nature and are (almost) all linked to each other.