AMCOW is making concerted effort to advance the adoption of the post-2025 Africa Water Vision at the forthcoming African Union Summit in February 2026. As a result, the Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira embarked on a diplomatic mission across several member states, including Gambia, Sao Tome, Eswatini, and Burkina Faso. The purpose of these visits, held in July-August 2023, was to raise awareness and foster engagement among member states on critical water and sanitation issues and priorities.
Focusing on Water and Sanitation for Africa’s Development
During these diplomatic visits, the AMCOW Executive Secretary emphasised the critical role of water and sanitation in driving socio-economic development throughout the continent. He stressed water’s vitality across multiple sectors, spanning extraction, production, finance, insurance, real estate, public administration, ICT, transportation, and trade. He also demonstrated how effective water management, coupled with the provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene services, exerts a profound impact on economic growth, job creation, labour productivity, prosperity, general wellbeing, peace, and security.
Dr Rashid highlighted how data from the Africa Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring (WASSMO) system reveal substantial gaps in the pursuit of water and sanitation goals across Africa. He went forward to explain how these gaps hold direct implications for Africa’s overarching agenda, aiming at fostering economic growth and prosperity for all.
The Post-2025 Africa Water Vision
With less than three years remaining before the final milestone of the Africa Water Vision 2025 (AWV2025), meticulous preparations are already underway to transition into the post-2025 era. AMCOW Executive Secretary presented the principal goal of securing the adoption of the post-2025 Africa Water Vision by the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU-HoSG), while also ensuring its alignment with AU Agenda 2063. In line with this, there has been a proposal to adopt ‘Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development’ as the theme for the African Union in 2026.
AfricaSan7 Conference and Commitments to Sanitation
Another critical aspect of the engagements with member states was to underscore the significance of active participation in the forthcoming 7th edition of the Africa Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan7) Conference, scheduled to take place from November 6-11, 2026. Dr Mbaziira stressed that the conference will facilitate the assessment of progress by member states in meeting their sanitation and hygiene commitments, as outlined in the 2023 AfricaSan Ngor report. He further explained that the conference will consider the recommendations from the Dakar Declaration of the 9th World Water Forum and commitments arising from the UN 2023 Water Conference.
Enhancing Data for Informed Decision-Making
The visits discussed efforts to mobilise member states’ contribution to the preparation of the 2023 WASSMO report. He demonstrated that the report will be the foundational framework for crafting technical proposals for the post-2025 Africa Water Vision, while keeping Africa Agenda 2063 in sight. He spoke about the importance of collecting high-quality data as it is essential for effectively addressing the actual challenges to water security in Africa. He also stressed that efforts to harness Africa’s vast water resources for social transformation, economic growth, trade, peace, and security necessitates the creation of a comprehensive action framework.
Regional Engagement for Ownership and Impact
Furthermore, Dr Mbaziira highlighted that the imperativeness of member states’ ownership in water-related initiatives has made AMCOW embark on efforts to operationalise water management functions at the regional level. He stressed that the approach acknowledges that continental policy initiatives must be closely aligned with the genuine needs of member states and developed through a Bottom-Up-Top-Down approach. The strategy entails the annual convening of sub-regional Ministerial Committee meetings across AMCOW’s five regions, wherein member states actively participate in shaping continental policy formulation and implementation.
These engagements with member states are underpinned by four overarching priorities:
- The adoption of ‘Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development’ as the theme for the African Union in 2026.
- Active engagement and leadership of Ministers responsible for water, sanitation, and hygiene affairs at the AfricaSan7 Conference.
- The active contribution of information from a minimum of 50 member states for the preparation of the 2023 WASSMO Report, thereby providing a solid situational analysis for shaping the post-2025 Africa Water Vision.
- Active involvement of member states in sub-regional Ministerial Committee meetings, serving as the driving force behind continental policy formulation and implementation.
The commitment of AMCOW, in partnership with its member states, remains unwavering in tackling the water and sanitation challenges facing Africa.