African Ministers' Council on Water
AMCOW President Opens Africa Focus Day at World Water Week PDF Print E-mail

Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Partners, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Africa Focus Day at the 2012 World Water Week. I also bring felicitations from my immediate predecessor and immediate past President of the African Ministers Council on Water, Dr Hesham Kandil, now the Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. He sends his warmest regards to colleague Ministers and recalls with nostalgia the meeting together of the AMCOW Ministers at the last General Assembly and Africa Water Week in Cairo in May 2012.

Being new on the saddle I am equally delighted that this meeting provides me the opportunity to meet and interact with the AMCOW regional Vice Presidents and colleague Ministers for the first time. I hope that our interactions will be most fruitful in moving AMCOW forward.

Over the years, it has become a time-honoured tradition at the World Water Week to accord Africa a voice and space through the Africa Focus Day to express ourselves on the challenges that confront us in water resources management. It is gratifying to note that this year’s Africa Focus is organized around two seminars of four sessions. The first seminar explores the theme “Water Security: Opportunities for the 21st Century” while the second examines the theme “Managing Africa’s Water Resources: Challenges and Opportunities. Both themes are relevant given that water is life, and remains at the core of human existence, survival and well being. As I emphasized at the opening plenary, the availability of water in sufficient quantity and acceptable quality remains vital for improved health, livelihoods, agricultural uses and other economic activities as well as for environmental protection in a world challenged by increasing adverse changes in our climatic conditions. I spoke of the imperativeness that we respond to these challenges which we face in providing enough water for human use in the continent.

If we therefore fail to place water as the engine for growth and at the heart of development planning, on-going efforts to develop our continent will remain a mirage. We must therefore begin to also raise the priority given to water for food and water for energy production, in such proportion and levels of intensity of effort and political will that we currently place on providing access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. It is in this regard that the themes that guide our discourse today remain germane and very opportune.

At the last Africa Water Week held in Cairo, Egypt, AMCOW adopted ‘Water for Growth in Africa’ as the driving force for our work over the next ten years as part of our renewed vigour to achieve the 2025 Africa Water Vision. Our deliberations during the Water Week enabled AMCOW to pay a renewed and devoted attention to water for growth, building again on our commitments from the 2008 1st Africa Water Week: “Towards Water for Social and Economic Development.” For AMCOW our goal is clear and unambiguous which is that Water for Growth – in all of its important and significant connections – should henceforth be elevated to the level of political attention and implementation priority that has been accorded to drinking water and sanitation over the last ten years.

Why is this emphasis necessary? It is necessary because without achieving sustainable economic growth and development, our commitment to providing safe drinking water and sanitation will also remain elusive. Water for Growth therefore represents Africa’s overarching and driving framework for the development, management and utilization of water resources and for our aspirations for poverty reduction; sustainable socio-economic development; as well as equitable and all-inclusive growth. When we fail to do so, we consign our people to donor dependence.

However, while we cherish the support we get from our development partners, it is equally evident that donor support does not have the capacity to tackle the challenges we face and continued dependence on that is no longer sustainable in a world riddled with unstable economies. We must therefore rise to harness our resources especially water in a more coordinated and efficient manner that will engender economic growth and prosperity.

I intend to pursue an agenda that promotes a high degree of collaboration and engagement between the Africa water ministries and the ministries responsible for driving social and economic development such as ministries of finance, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, natural resources, and trade, alongside other stakeholders with wide institutional representation. For AMCOW, that is the way to go because water is at the center of development and we need to flush away poverty in Africa and flow in prosperity.

Permit me to assure our development partners and other stakeholders that AMCOW takes the issue of implementing past declarations and commitments especially the Sharm el Sheikh AU Heads of State and Government mandate on integrated water resources management seriously. We recognize that only by so doing can we advance the well-being of Africa’s people, economy and environment. We will continue to focus on the many challenges that remain and the absolute urgency required in intensifying and scaling up efforts on the ground. We as AMCOW Ministers commit to bringing solutions that add value and we pledge that these commitments will be honoured. We pledge to work together with you to achieve the targets we set for ourselves.

Having said that, it is my singular pleasure to declare the Africa Focus Day open. Thank you.

 
2012 World Water Week Africa Focus Day PDF Print E-mail
AMCOW President and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr Mohamed Bahaa El-Din opened the Africa Focus Day at the World Water Week with an emphasis on the need to sustain AMCOW’s goal to utilize water resources for growth and development in the continent. At the event held Tuesday August 28th 2012 in Stockholm, Dr El Din said “Water for Growth – in all of its important and significant connections – should henceforth be elevated to the level of political attention and implementation priority that has been accorded to drinking water and sanitation over the last ten years.” Read the full speech.
This year’s Africa Focus Day attracted over two hundred and fifty participants including AMCOW Ministers, water experts, development partners, civil society and AMCOW friends. Ministers who graced the occasion included the AMCOW President, Dr Bahaa El-Din of Egypt, Dr Salem Mohamed Rashrash, Minister, General Water Resources Authority, Libya / AMCOW Vice President, North Africa, Dr Laurent G. Sedogo, Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Burkina Faso, Hon Seifdeen Abdallah, Minister for Water, Sudan, and Hon Julien Reboza, Minister of Water, Madagascar. Others were Hon. Betty Bigombe, Minister of State for Water, Uganda, Hon Gersh Kebede, Minister of State, Ministry of Water and Energy, Ethiopia, Hon. Rejoice-Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, and Hon Charles Zulu, Deputy Minister for Water, Zambia.
The Africa Focus seminars explored the themes “Water Security: Opportunities for the 21st Century” and “Managing Africa’s Water Resources: Challenges an d Opportunities.” At seminar 1, AMCOW Executive Secretary, Bai Mass Taal made a presentation on “Key Messages From Marseille - Cairo- Rio +20” setting the stage for a high powered discussion panel featuring Prof. A Szollosi-Nagy, Rector, UNESCO-IHE Institute, Delphi, Mr. Hama Arba Diallo, Chair of GWP Regional Chairs, and Akissa Bahri, Co-ordinator of Africa Water Facility.
A presentation on “2012 Africa Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches in Water Resources Management” introduced another lively panel discussion featuring Dr. Khalil M Timamy, (AUC) Maarten Gischler, DGIS, Netherlands, Gustavo Saltiel, (CIWA), Dr. Themba Gumbo (Cap-Net), Mr Andre Fourie, Head: Sustainability, South African Breweries (WEF-WRG), Dr Ahmed Wagdy (Advisor to AMCOW President), and Dr Stephen Donkor, Snr Regional Adviser, WRDM, UNECA.
Africa in 2040- Water as a Catalyst for Pan African Integration and Development” and “Water and Sanitation Delivery in Africa: Beyond 2015.” Presentations during the session include:
Seminar 2 featured two sessions: “
Two panel discussion panels moderated by Alex Simalabwi (GWP) and Nelson Gomonda (WaterAid) followed with Bai Mass Taal, AMCOW Executive Secretary, Phera Ramoeli (SADC), Akissa Bahri, Coordinator, Africa Water Facility (AfDB) Baker Yiga, (ANEW), Heather Skilling, (USAID), Bethlehem Mengistu (WaterAid), Sylvain Usher (AfWA), and Sanjay Wijesekera (UNICEF) participating.
The day was rounded off with a High Level Ministerial Panel. The Deputy Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, Hon. Rejoice-Mabudafhasi presented the outcomes of the Africa Youth Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 2nd to the 6th July 2012 under the banner of AMCOW. Download report
1. Our efforts to improve governance of the water sector should focus on improving the effectiveness of the institutional linkages between AUC, AMCOW, RECs, R/LBOs and member states.
2. It is important to place water as an engine of growth. Without that most of on-going efforts for development in Africa may not deliver the desired outcomes.
3. Without shifting focus from water supply and sanitation, it is vital to also raise the priority given to water for food, energy and industrial production.
4. It goes without saying that the achievements of AMCOW in the last decade could not have been possible without the immense support of AMCOW’s development cooperation and funding partners.
5. The immeasurable financial commitment of AMCOW’s partners need to be matched by the contributions of AMCOW member states. Domestic funding solutions to development programmes ensure ownership and provide better sustainability.
6. Governments are advised revise their intentions for endorsing new commitments until previous commitments are met or at least reasons for delays have been identified and analysed especially regarding MDGs. Feasible alternatives for reaching the sanitation goals have to be specified to overcome the existing huge African in-equalities. Furthermore, mobilizing the political will is a pre – requisite to achieve commitments.
7. Establishing a functional Enabling Environment is a pre-requisite to sustainable development, as identified several years before, we need to continue creating such an enabling environment for harnessing water resources for growth and development.
8. Continue building capacities within the water sector. 300% more capacities are required. A proper mechanism for capacity building has to be in effect. This has to be driven by governments.
- Enhance technology transfer and capacities for Africa
- Local Centres of Excellence are much needed and could be supported by Peer to Peer cooperation.
9. Horizontal integration across the water sector is much needed. Decisions have to be streamlined between water, agriculture, environment, energy, and finance sectors.
10. Need to tie national visions to African Vision.
11. Promote Regional and Basin wide IWRM as one package and link it to National IWRM Plans.
12. Water should be treated as a business opportunity rather than a risk opportunity, while recognising water as a social commodity; several examples exist to support this.
13. Water is a UNITING FACTOR.
14. Sustainability of water sector projects is the key to attract private investments.
15. Identify explicitly the requirements for good bankable project, to gain a higher opportunity for funding when submitted to development partners (with positive and sustainable Social and Environment impacts, and pertaining to achievement of the African Vision 2025 and AMCOW’s WORK PLAN, national and regional policies and strategies). A well-established mechanism to help nations in making their proposals bankable is needed. In this regard we acknowledge the efforts by AWF, PIDA and ICA.
16. Proper M&E systems are required for effective follow up and reporting on progress. We acknowledge the efforts by AMCOW and its partners to achieve such goals.
17. Data management in all of its prospects need to be enhanced. Starting at the national level, data collection, processing, sharing, and support for decision making have to be further developed.
18. Promote moving towards green cities paradigm
 

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 129

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 135

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 129

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 135

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 129

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 135

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 129

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 135

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 129

Warning: Illegal string offset 'active' in /home/amcowo6/public_html/templates/gk_finance_com/html/pagination.php on line 135


Page 4 of 5

Contact Us

11 T. Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro District, FCT-Abuja, Nigeria
Telephone: +234 9096074166

secretariat@amcow-online.org or info@amcow-online.org

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow Us On ::