On 20-21 July, AMCOW convened the first of its 2022 Sub-regional Ministerial Committee meeting – starting with the Technical Experts Committee (TEC) of Western Africa in Abuja, Nigeria. It took place under AMCOW and ECOWAS, bringing together all the Member States in the region. River and Lake Basin Organisations (RLBOs) also attended the event.
AMCOW will continue the rounds of sub-Regional Consultations across the other regions of Eastern Africa, Central Africa, Northern Africa and Southern Africa from August to September 2022.
The objectives of the TEC meeting were:
i. To strengthen the institutional linkages and operational arrangements between AMCOW and Regional Economic Communities. A vital element of this objective was to agree on a mechanism for institutionalising the Sub-regional Ministerial Committee (SMC) meeting on the calendar of joint events between the AMCOW Secretariat and the RECs to facilitate dialogue on the water issues unique to the regions.
ii. To nominate the Member States to represent each of the Regions on the AMCOW Executive Committee and Technical Advisory Committee for 2023 – 2025.
iii. To apprise Member States on:
a. AMCOW’s financial status and challenges encountered; and
b. Ongoing AMCOW continental policy initiatives.
Gracing the Western Africa meeting was the representative of Honourable Engr Suleiman Adamu – Minister for Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Engr Danjuma Madaki and the new Commissioner for Infrastructures, Energy and Digitalisation, ECOWAS, H E Sédiko Douka. Also, from the river and lake basins were the Executive Director, MONO Basin Authority, Mr Nicholas Gnyapaou and the Deputy Executive Director of the Volta Basin Authority, Mr Dibi Millogo.
While addressing the meeting, His Excellency the Commissioner appreciated the Kingdom of Sweden for supporting the organisation of the meeting. In addition, he gave assurances on the readiness of his office to facilitate efforts to improve the synergy and complementarity between the work programmes of the ECOWAS Commission and the AMCOW Secretariat.
Engr Madaki, representing the Hon. Minister for Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria highlighted the role of TECs in raising awareness and facilitating the implementation of AMCOW’s work programmes at the national and regional levels. He stated that subsequent consultations would lead to sub-Regional Ministerial Committee Meetings. He reiterated that the priorities identified by the Member States would be built in as part of West Africa’s Report to the EXCO when the Ministers convene in October 2022.
The sub-regional consultation was a success; there were detailed discussions on the priorities for an improved and more effective synergy, collaboration, and service delivery to the Member States. It was agreed that the AMCOW Secretariat and the ECOWAS Commission would establish a mechanism to work together more closely to benefit the Member States. Also, several actions were agreed upon in section 6 of the Aide Memoire, and all parties committed to ensuring timely delivery of their respective efforts.
This consultation aligns with AMCOW’s Governance Framework. AMCOW’s five sub-regions have a Sub-regional Ministerial Committee (SMC). The mandate is to offer policy guidance in implementing AMCOW’s Work Plan at the sub-regional level and the adoption and implementation at the national level.