Abidjan, Ivory Coast – February 25, 2023
The 21st International Congress and Exhibition of the African Water Association (AfWA) and the 7th International Faecal Sludge Management Alliance presented a strategic platform for advancing African sanitation. This joint effort, held in Abidjan from February 19 to 23, marked the first time the two congresses converged under the theme, “Acting for sustainable resources management and access for all to water and sanitation in Africa.”
AMCOW participated prominently in the congress to contribute to shaping the conference’s outcomes and to promote Africa’s sanitation agenda among broader water and sanitation actors.
Central to the outcomes of AMCOW’s involvement was the presentation of the 2022 Africa Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring (WASSMO) Report in commitment to strengthening national data systems. Progress in utilising the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) was shared, including Member States and implementing partners’ experiences. Also, AMCOW and the AfricaSan International Task Force (AITF) organised an AfricaSan7 preparatory meeting to determine the conference subthemes and share roles among partners for more effective coordination.
To crown it all, AMCOW and UNICEF delivered training to members of the Partner-Coordination and Engagement Platform (PCEP) to enhance their understanding of safely managed sanitation and hygiene practices.
AITF’s Preparation Ahead of the Seventh AfricaSan Conference
Some highlights of AMCOW’s activities during the congress are as follows:
- Opening and Closing Plenary: AMCOW delivered a keynote address urging support for the ASPGs in Action initiative and received encouragement from AfWASA and FSMA to take ownership of commitments in the Blue Deal for Water Security and Sanitation.
- Catalysing the actions for sanitation and hygiene policy reforms: A technical session focused on evidence-based data systems for sanitation and hygiene reforms.
- Presentation of progress on adapting and implementing the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPGs): Here, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation emphasised the need for effective coordination in strengthening the policy environment for sanitation and hygiene.
- Accelerating Progress to Safe Sanitation for All – a session co-organised by UNICEF and AMCOW focusing on global initiatives with the SDG6 framework: Here, partners demonstrated their contributions to governance, data and information, capacity development, and innovation.
- Training of Partner Coordination Platform (PCEP): AMCOW, in collaboration with UNICEF, facilitated a training session on safely managed sanitation, enhancing ASPG utilization among PCEP members.
- City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) Platform of Dialogue: AMCOW took a leading role in data and sanitation policy-related matters during this side meeting, bringing together global partners.
- Strengthening Partnership and Facilitating Dialogue: Six bilateral meetings were held with partners, focusing on collaborative initiatives and knowledge exchange.
AMCOW’s AfWA and FSMA congress engagement promoted sanitation and hygiene efforts across Africa. It increased awareness, inspired collaboration, and provided a platform for showcasing best practices, ultimately contributing to the continent’s progress towards universal access to safely managed sanitation. The upcoming AfricaSan7 conference, with its finalized themes and engaged sector representatives, promises to be a crucial milestone in furthering these efforts. AMCOW’s commitment to partnerships and dialogue positions it as a key player in shaping the future of water and sanitation in Africa.