On 15-18 November 2022, AMCOW joined the Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation (ESAWAS) at the first African Water Supply and Sanitation Regulators Conference. The workshop, held in Zanzibar, Tanzania, aimed to change the water supply and sanitation regulation narrative across Africa through strengthened sector accountability.
Before the workshop, ESAWAS had successfully compiled findings from 54 countries after undertaking a landscape study to determine the regulatory frameworks for WSS service provision in rural and urban areas in all 55 African Union Member States. Sanitation professionals expect that the study’s findings will guide various interventions and actions by ESAWAS and sector stakeholders to improve regulation and sector performance. Therefore, the study presents a springboard towards strengthening African regulation through advocacy, technical assistance, collaborations, and synergies.
During the workshop, AMCOW, represented by its Director of Finance and Administration, Thomas Banda, presented its sanitation programme under the framework of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPGs). This engagement will culminate in collaboration with ESAWAS to support Member States in strengthening the enabling environment, specifically regulating sanitation services using the guidelines provided in the ASPG.
The collaboration could include advocacy for relevant policy formulation, technical assistance through capacity development initiatives for policy-makers, regulators, service providers and others, and securing continental and global support for WSS regulation through joint strategic events.
Drawing from the momentum raised through this engagement, participants envisage a movement to promote Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) – a public service approach to advance Equitable, Safe, and Sustainable outcomes. ESAWAS and partners will work to strengthen the design and implementation of core public system functions of responsibility, accountability, and resource planning and management. Also, the meeting foresees a drive for creating an African water supply and sanitation regulators association.
AMCOW will take forward its collaboration with ESAWAS with the operationalisation of an engagement plan to guide the achievement of the above-mentioned potential sanitation solutions across the Member States.