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African Water Ministers adopt Durban Declaration for accelerating SDGs implementation PDF Print E-mail

Arising from the 2017 World Water Day Celebrations and the Global Launch of the UN World Water Development Report 2017 entitled: “Wastewater: The Untapped Resource" which ended yesterday in Durban, the Republic of South Africa, water and sanitation ministers from across Africa have adopted the Durban Political Declaration for accelerating the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The adoption of the political declaration which coincided with the announcement of the “Call for Action” towards the implementation of the SDGs with particular emphasis on Goal-6 (Water and Sanitation) was graced by members of the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), leaders of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), Inter-sectoral Ministers, UNESCO Special Envoy for Water in Africa, UN Agencies, private sector and civil society leaders.

The Durban Political Declaration agreed by all Political leaders mirrors the key principles, pillars and vision of the African Union, AMCOW, and HLPW Action Plan in support of the implementation of the SDGs. The Political Declaration seeks to encourage the acceleration plans and programmes and commit to the rollout of the Action Plan initiative.

In this latest declaration which recalled the African Union Heads of State and Government decision on the implementation of the July 2008 Assembly Declaration on the Sharm El Sheikh Commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa; the eThekwini Declaration on Sanitation and its accompanying actions adopted in South Africa in February 2008; as well as the recent Dar Es Salaam Roadmap for Achieving the N’gor Commitments on Water Security and Sanitation in Africa adopted in Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania 26th July 2016, water, sanitation and inter-sectoral ministers from the five Africa sub-regions resolved and committed themselves to supporting and strengthening the implementation of SDG-6 and related goals by ensuring coherence in the implementation of our policies in line with the HLPW Action Plan.

The ministers also declared their commitment to supporting and sharing the best Practice Models initiatives championed by regional leaders who serve as members of the High Level Panel on Water, notably Presidents of Senegal, South Africa and Mauritius. This, according to the declaration, is in line with the Africa Water Vision 2025 which envisages “an Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation, and the environment”.

Recalling the aspirations and commitments espoused in Africa’s Agenda 2063 which envisions the optimal use of Africa’s resources towards ensuring positive socio-economic transformation; the 2004 Sirte Declaration on integrated development of Agriculture and Water in Africa; and the 2008 Tunis Declaration on Accelerating Water Security for Africa’s Socio-Economic Development; the High Level Political Declaration commits African governments to increasing budgetary allocation to match the central role of water security and sanitation in Agenda 2030 and in line with the Sharm El Sheikh declaration.

To drive this, the ministers urged the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW, African Development Bank (AfDB) and African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with development partners, to convene meetings of Ministers responsible for Water, and Finance to develop and implement appropriate financing policies and models for water and sanitation.

The declaration further requests the African Heads of States and Government through the AUC to prioritize Water and Sanitation as essential ingredients to Africa’s Economic Development and Growth. On this note, the ministers advocated the designation of AMCOW as the Technical Advisory Committee within AU Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment to champion the implementation and monitoring of SDG-6 at the political level.

African ministers and members of the High Level Panel on Water welcomed AMCOW’s launch of the Pan-African web-based monitoring and reporting system for water and sanitation sector which is linked to the global monitoring processes and called for efforts to strengthen and institutionalize harmonised monitoring and reporting system at member states, sub-regional, and basin levels to report on actions taken to implement these High Level Declarations including Political Declaration commitments.

 
Africa goes online with Water Sector and Sanitation Reporting PDF Print E-mail

Ahead of the upcoming 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union holding 30th and 31st January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has activated the online portal of the continent’s water sector and sanitation reporting system.

 

The new Pan African Monitoring and Reporting System serves as a platform to report progress on the implementation of the AU Heads of States and Government Sharm el Sheikh Commitments to accelerate the achievement of the Africa Water Vision 2025, as well as the global high level political commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water and sanitation. Considered as one of the most ambitious attempts at tracking sectoral progress, the system represents Africa’s readiness to learn from past mistakes in monitoring the implementation of the MDGs as well as efforts being made to attain Africa’s Agenda 2063.

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Speaking on the successful activation, the AMCOW President and Minister for Water and Irrigation, Tanzania, Engr. Gerson Lwenge stated “The AMCOW Monitoring and Reporting System helps to address Africa’s longstanding challenges in producing harmonised water and sanitation monitoring data”. Engr. Lwenge recalled that lack of credible national and regional water sector and sanitation monitoring and reporting systems in Africa was widely recognised as a critical constraint to making informed policy and investments decisions on the development and effective use of water resources and sanitation in the continent”.

Commenting, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime said “ongoing actions such as this ensures Africa’s readiness to monitor and report on progress towards achieving the SDGs while providing a great opportunity to establish baselines not just for the global indicator framework, but also for the African commitments for which efforts to monitor progress towards attainment are constrained by the lack of baseline data.”

The System developed by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) working with the Commission of the African Union captures the harmonised monitoring and reporting indicators for the continent and links with other global monitoring and reporting processes. The AMCOW Executive Secretary, Dr Canisius Kanangire believes “the system provides African Member States an opportunity to own and manage the water sector and sanitation data”. Dr Kanangire reiterated that the issue of water sector and sanitation monitoring and reporting gained momentum in July 2008 with the AU Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration requesting AMCOW to report annually on the state of the continent’s water resources and sanitation” to the Summit.

The web-based Reporting system was developed with funding from the African Water Facility (AWF), and supported by the M&E Task Force, the German Cooperation as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and with technical assistance from UNEP-DHI. The highlight of the portal which can be accessed at http://www.africawat-sanreports.org is the 2016 Status Report of 42 African member states submitted using an online reporting framework. It also contains the 2013 and 2014 data submitted by Member States using a temporary paper based template.

The system which serves as database on water and sanitation for Member States in Africa is expected to promote cross-sector learning and knowledge dissemination within the water, sanitation, food, energy and climate nexus while supporting joint sector reviews. The online portal comes with maps and tabular view options which makes it easy to compare progress on various indicators across Member States in Africa.

Launched by AMCOW Ministers during the 2016 World Water Week Africa Focus Day in Stockholm, the online portal supports AMCOW’s efforts in developing regular progress reports for submission to the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit.

 

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