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Building Strategic Knowledge Systems for Efficient Water and Sanitation in Africa

Bali, Indonesia – May 22, 2024

AMCOW and DHI organised a side event at the 10th World Water Forum. It was a very informative session on “Building Strategic Knowledge Systems for Efficient Water and Sanitation in Africa” from 8:30 to 10:00 AM in Kintamani 5.

The session featured vital partners – South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Senegal. It made a case for the essential role of knowledge management in enhancing water and sanitation services across Africa. Also, the session launched the second edition of Africa’s Voice on Water (AVOW) magazine. Overall, it was a huge step in promoting efforts for a water-wise Africa.

The Director of Knowledge Management at South Africa’s Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Ms Moshidisi Mokhele, presenting the Ministry’s Knowledge Management Strategy

The AMCOW and DHI collaboration raises awareness about the benefits of establishing requisite knowledge systems – and showcasing South Africa’s Knowledge Management (KM) strategy for the water and sanitation sector. Senegal showcased Pôle Eau Dakar (PED), a digital solution for providing and improving access to water-related knowledge, guiding water-related investments and supporting informed cooperation and governance processes. Code Kraft, AMCOW’s software-building partner, took participants on a tour of AMCOW’s upgraded Knowledge Hub of Hubs. The blend of exercises gave insight into the long-term benefits of having a central continental repository for enhancing water resources management and delivering sustainable sanitation in Africa.

The session highlighted challenges such as the lack of emphasis on knowledge management – as KM is often overlooked in favour of data and information management, leading to inadequate resources dedicated to KM initiatives. The session further highlighted other challenges, such as the transition from data to knowledge – the difficulty of moving beyond data management to actual knowledge creation and sharing. Also discussed was the issue of evidence-based policy development – strategies and policies are often not evidence-based due to insufficient insights into real situations.

Senegalese Knowledge Officer, Mary, presenting Pole Eau Dakar (PED)

The session further proffered innovative solutions, such as:

  • Developing Knowledge Championship: South Africa, like the AMCOW Secretariat, has deployed efforts to drive knowledge building and dissemination and enhance sector data and reporting by developing national-level knowledge focal points.
  • Sector Non-technical Database: AMCOW Secretariat unveiled an initiative to build a non-technical database of service providers across the continent – accessible on the knowledge hub of hubs – to accelerate private sector involvement in the sector and networking.
  • Senegal’s Pole Eau Dakar (PED): The Republic of Senegal is building a web-based open-access portal to facilitate access to knowledge to guide water and sanitation investments and support governance processes.
Participants join to launch the second edition of Africa’s Voice on Water (AVOW) magazine.

Participants were actively engaged throughout the session. A creative video of a football masterclass illustrated the difference between data and knowledge and captivated the audience. Attendees sought clarity on how rural stakeholders without internet access could be engaged. In response, consideration was given to establishing community knowledge centres to facilitate knowledge exchange in local areas. Senegal expressed how it applies quality control protocols in validating information and knowledge resources uploaded to online platforms.

DHI, South Africa, Senegal, and other partners will reconvene at World Water Week in August 2024 to consolidate their preparation for a robust KM programme.


AMCOW Secretariat Meets with Moroccan Minister at 10th World Water Forum

Bali, Indonesia – May 22, 2024

On the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, the Executive Secretary of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), paid a courtesy call to Nizar Baraka, the Hon. Minister of Equipment and Water of the Kingdom of Morocco. The meeting took place at the Moroccan Pavilion, where we discussed the Kingdom of Morocco’s strong commitment to AMCOW’s goals and its recent election into the AMCOW Policy Organs as Vice President for northern Africa for the 2025-2027 term.

During the meeting, the Executive Secretary thanked the Minister for strengthening Morocco’s commitment to AMCOW and apprised him and his team about the significant activities AMCOW is undertaking. Key among these is the implementation of the AMCOW Strategy, the preparation for the post-2025 Africa Water Vision and the upcoming Africa Water Week. The Executive Secretary emphasised the importance of Morocco’s continued support and encouraged the Minister to consider opportunities to back these initiatives.

(From left to right) AMCOW Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Officer Patrice Leumeni, Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, Morocco’s Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka.

The Minister of Water Resources, keen on the developments within AMCOW, inquired about the progress of a roadmap for the post-2025 Africa Water Vision. He stated, “We are glad to be identified with AMCOW, and as the vision is being developed, we are expectant and willing not only to align ourselves but also to provide the needed support to ensure that the vision is implemented.”

This meeting reflects the collaborative efforts between AMCOW and its member states, aiming to enhance water resource management and sanitation across Africa. The commitment from the Kingdom of Morocco sets a promising precedent for future initiatives and collective actions in addressing water challenges on the continent.

As the preparations for the post-2025 Africa Water Vision advance, the support and involvement of countries like Morocco will be vital in achieving sustainable water solutions for the region.


AMCOW Central Africa Sub-Regional Consultation Concludes in Malabo

AMCOW’s statutory meeting of the Technical Experts Committee (TEC) and the Technical Advisory Committee of Central Africa occurred from 22 to 23 April 2024 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The consultation convened representatives from AMCOW’s Central African member states, the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS), the Lake Chad Basin Commission (CBLT), and other regional institutions, aiming to strengthen institutional linkages and operational arrangements while addressing emerging water-related challenges across the continent.

The key objectives of the meeting included apprising member states of the status of the implementation of the decisions of the 13th General Assembly of AMCOW. The meeting collated Central Africa’s inputs into Africa’s key messages and common position for the 10th World Water Forum. Also, the consultation witnessed the nomination of member states to represent Central Africa in AMCOW’s policy organs for the 2025-2027 tenure.

(Left) AMCOW Vice TAC Chair, Madam Ligia Barros, and (right) Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources, Honourable Francisco Medina Catalán, Equatorial Guinea.

The Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources, Honourable Francisco Medina Catalán, who opened the meeting and delivered the closing remark on the last day, warmly received the delegation. At the opening, the Minister expressed Equatorial Guinea’s pleasure in hosting the meeting and stressed that the country is committed to water resource management in Africa and willing to learn from the experiences of other member states. He highlighted the interconnectedness of water security and the recent food crises in Western and Central Africa. Hon. Francisco Medina Catalán urged collective support for Africa’s participation in global water forums led by AMCOW.

Subsequent statements from AMCOW Vice TAC Chair for Central Africa, Madam Ligia Barros, and representatives from ECCAS and CBLT underscored the importance of collaboration in addressing water management challenges. The TAC Vice Chair emphasised the need for increased regional coordination among the Central African member states and encouraged the delegates to participate actively in the upcoming World Water Forum.

A cross-section of participants of the Central Africa sub-regional meeting

With all member states represented, including other participants from regional organisations, the consultation saw fruitful discussions and presentations. ECCAS shared its ongoing efforts to tackle water security challenges and stressed the importance of funding and collaboration for effective water management. Similarly, CBLT and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) presentations promoted water resource management, transboundary cooperation, and capacity building.

During the closing, Minister Francisco Medina Catalán expressed gratitude for the nomination of Equatorial Guinea as AMCOW’s Vice President for Central Africa for 2025-2027. Madam Ligia Barros appreciated all participants and acknowledged their engagement and interventions throughout the consultation. The AMCOW Central Africa Sub-Regional Consultation with TEC and TAC concluded with optimism and renewed energy to work together to deliver Africa’s water agenda.


AMCOW and Partners Set Scene for Gender, Sanitation, and Quality of Life in Africa

The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has joined forces with key partners in an event to address critical issues surrounding gender, sanitation, and overall quality of life.

The event, titled “Convening on Gender, Sanitation, and Quality of Life: Accelerating Progress on Universal Access to Sanitation,” was organised by the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the meeting convened in Nairobi, Kenya, from February 7th to 8th, 2024. The primary objective was to chart a course of action linking gender, sanitation, and quality of life across policy, practice, and research.

Participants of the gender convening engaged in
a group knowledge-creation session.

AMCOW’s role was significant in the convening, represented by its Monitoring and Evaluation Support Officer and Youth and Gender Lead, Mr. Emmanuel Uguru. He provided regional perspectives and shed light on the intricate connections between sanitation, gender dynamics, and their impact on quality of life. He shared information on AMCOW’s strategic priorities, including monitoring and reporting the state of Africa’s water and sanitation to the African Union. Also, Mr Uguru apprised the participants of AMCOW’s new Youth and Gender Inclusion Strategy and the toolkit for mainstreaming gender and youth in Africa’s water and sanitation development agenda.

Participants of the convening brainstormed on suggestions
collated from the group exercise.

The meeting underscored the urgency of ensuring universal and inclusive access to safely managed sanitation before the coming mid-term review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of critical actions agreed upon during the event, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, the World Health Organisation and other key partners will collaborate in supporting AMCOW’s gender and youth initiatives in Africa. This partnership will focus on developing and validating gender-specific indicators to enrich reporting mechanisms. These partners will jointly develop and publish an academic article to provide insight into the intricate nexus between gender, sanitation, and quality of life. Also, a community of practice will be established and hosted on the AMCOW knowledge hub to sustain the relationship and momentum generated during the convening.

One of the plenary sessions of the gender convening organised by APHRC and LSHTM in Nairobi, Kenya.
post COP28 event in Abuja

AMCOW advocates for Climate Action at a Post-COP28 Stakeholders Dialogue – Abuja, Nigeria

On Wednesday, 17 January 2024, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) advocated for climate action in a post-COP28 multistakeholder national dialogue organised by the Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet).

The event, aimed at addressing climate change challenges, was held in Abuja, Nigeria, under the auspices of the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation. The consultation gathered vital stakeholders, including government officials, parliamentarians, and representatives of development partners.

AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Rashid Mbaziira, was represented by Dr. Tanko Azzika, Senior Policy Officer-Governance and Partnership. Azzika delivered a goodwill message, expressing warm greetings and Happy New Year 2024 on behalf of Dr. Mbaziira. While unable to attend in person due to conflicting schedules, Dr. Mbaziira conveyed his sincere apologies and eagerness to contribute to the dialogue.

Dr Tanko Azzika, AMCOW Senior Policer Officer-Governance, representing AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira.

The dialogue focused on “Unpacking COP28 Outcome: Accelerating Nigeria’s Climate Action,” Azzika commended the organisers, the Climate and Sustainable Development Network and the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), for their efforts. He underscored the relevance of the discussion, considering the current climate challenges facing the continent.

In his opening remark, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at CSDevNet, Prof. Ibrahim Choji, applauded the bold global decision to move away from fossil fuels. He observed its threats to livelihoods, ecosystems, and the essence of existence. However, the Chairman assured participants that COP28 presents an opportunity for better aspirations.

Azzika emphasised the essential role of water, sanitation, and hygiene as catalysts and solutions to climate change. He highlighted AMCOW’s mission of providing political leadership, policy direction and advocacy for sustainable water resource management in Africa. He stressed that the 2018-2030 Strategy of AMCOW prioritises water security, sanitation, water governance, and climate resilience as critical elements for sustainable development.

Drawing attention to the 2023 Report on Implementing the Sharm el-Sheikh Declaration, Azzika noted that climate change has hampered progress towards water and sanitation goals. He highlighted the urgent need to revitalise efforts to combat climate change, aligning with the African Union Agenda 2063.

African Union’s Senior Climate Change Advisor, Dr Sam Ogallah, stressed that Africa holds the key to resolving the global climate crisis – while demonstrating the continent’s possession of more than half the world’s essential minerals. “If we transition to renewables, electric vehicles, and other initiatives, where do you propose we obtain the essential minerals? They lie beneath our soil,” he said.   

A key theme of the dialogue was the need for partnership, networking, and collaboration to address water-related challenges arising from climate change. Azzika called upon the government to prioritise climate-resilient financing, especially for vulnerable populations impacted by climate change.

Furthermore, Azzika called on stakeholders to support the Nigerian Government in utilising the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPGs) to enhance progress in achieving safely managed sanitation and hygiene.

The dialogue also addressed the importance of strengthening national-level data systems. AMCOW is operationalising the Africa Water and Sanitation sector reporting system (WASSMO) to address data quality challenges and meet reporting obligations at continental and global levels. Dr Azzika challenged participants to bring innovative and sustainable approaches to the table, urging the institutionalisation of the dialogue as an annual event. AMCOW looks forward to an action-oriented outcome document that will further accelerate climate action on both continental and global fronts.

AfricaSan7 Day5

AfricaSan 7 Conference Concludes with Commitments to Accelerate Sanitation and Hygiene Across Africa

Swakopmund, Namibia – 10 November, 2023

The AfricaSan 7 Conference, a flagship event for sanitation and hygiene in Africa, culminated on 10 November 2023 with a series of impactful sessions and declarations to foster accelerated actions for inclusive, sustainable, and resilient sanitation and hygiene services delivery across the continent.

The day kicked off with the screening of a short film showcasing Namibia’s commitment to sanitation, setting the tone for a day of insightful discussions and commitments.

Dr Rashid Mbaziira, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, opened the day with an introductory statement highlighting the significance of collective efforts in addressing sanitation and hygiene challenges. He emphasised the role of partnerships and cooperation in achieving the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) goals.

Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, Minister for Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia and AWF Governing Council Chairperson, delivered a welcome statement, setting the stage for the subsequent sessions. This was followed by a statement from AMCOW President, Prof Dr Hani Sewilam, Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt. In his remark, quoting the data from the 2022 Africa Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring (WASSMO) Report, he called for increased efforts toward ensuring access to potable water for the over 400 million in need and access to safely managed sanitation and essential hygiene services to the approximately 800 million who do not have them.

H.E. Amb Josefa Leonel Correla Sacko, Commissioner of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment at the African Union Commission, was represented by the AUC’s Director of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment, Harsen Nyambe. He appreciated the collaboration of the Republic of Namibia and AMCOW in organising such an important conference. Also, he observed that Africa’s population, which is over 1.4 million people is overstretching existing sanitation services. Director Nyambe highlighted that the youth form the most part of this population and urged that they be included in sanitation-related decisions. The AUC representative further stressed that one of the major challenges faced in similar conferences has been the inability to implement the outcomes of the events. He, therefore, called on all participants and sector actors to ensure that the AfricaSan7 Conference Decisions are implemented.

One of the high points of the conference segment was the launch of the 2023 Ngor Report on Sanitation and Hygiene, shedding light on the status and future priorities in the sector. Before the launch, the conference viewed a film summarising the report’s findings, and copies were distributed to participants.

The AfricaSan8 Hosting Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between AMCOW Secretariat and the Republic of Ghana, represented by the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Dr. Freda Prempeh. In her remarks, the Minister assured the conference that the Republic of Ghana is willing and ready to host the event and welcomes Africa and the world to AfricaSan8 in Accra, Ghana from 12 – 18 October 2025.

The conference received video-recorded goodwill messages from some representatives of some AMCOW partners: UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russell, Director of the Water Development and Sanitation Department, Africa Development Bank, Osward Mulenga Chanda, World Water Council (WWC) President, Loïc Fauchon, and the USAID Global Water Coordinator/Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Nancy Eslick.

Dr. T. E Ngurare directed the AfricaSan 7 Conference Closing Plenary, featuring cultural entertainment and a youth message resonating with the importance of intergenerational collaboration.

Session convenors delivered their collective message also, through a recorded video leading to the conference declaration. The occasion occurred with the reading of the Swakopmund Declaration on “Accelerated Actions for Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Sanitation and Hygiene Services Delivery in Africa” by Ms. Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, AMCOW TAC Chair. Click on the links to download copies in English and French.

The day concluded with a high-level visit to the exhibition stands where the host Minister, Hon Carl Schlettwein, and the President of AMCOW Prof Dr Hani Sewilam in the company of other participants visited the exhibition booths. The event included anthems and a communal lunch, fostering networking and collaboration among participants.

Day2 Plenary-Local Authorities Dialogue Session

AfricaSan7 Conference Update: Day 2

Empowering Change in the Sanitation Sector – Insights from Local Authorities

Panelists during the Local Authorities Dialogue on Day 2 of AfricaSan7 Conference

The AfricaSan7 Conference continues to serve as a platform for driving transformative change in the sanitation sector, particularly in the sphere of local authorities’ critical role in implementation.

Day 2 of the conference witnessed an enlightening plenary session highlighting the multi-sectoral approach essential for progress in sanitation. The session emphasised five key accelerators: financing, data and information, governance, capacity building, and technology and innovation, sparking discussions on initiatives beyond 2030.

Insights from Panel Discussions

Discussing the road to universal access, Namibia showcased measures, emphasising legal frameworks, revised water strategies, and substantial budget allocations across sectors to achieve universal access. On private sector involvement, Senegal highlighted the role of strong institutions and transparent responsibilities in involving the private sector, focusing on regulatory aspects, capacity building, and accountability. Zambia stressed innovation, discussing funding mechanisms, skills development, government cooperation, and technological challenges in the sanitation sector.

Governance’s Crucial Role and Notable Success Stories

The role of governance was emphasised, highlighting its interconnectedness with all accelerators in impacting the sanitation sector. Success stories from Kenya, Nigeria, and diverse regions like Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Egypt, Malawi, and Namibia showcased investments, partnerships, and executive support driving impactful change.

The session underscored that collaborative efforts, partnerships, capacity building, and innovative strategies are paramount to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Discussions also stressed the valorisation of costs related to purification stations, emphasising a circular economy approach.

Strengthening Sanitation Professionals: ‘Inspire’ and ‘SOS Programme’

The conference unveiled ‘Inspire,’ a groundbreaking capacity-building program targeting sanitation professionals, focusing on leadership, communication, and technical skills. With a bilingual approach and support from key partners, this initiative aims to bridge the gaps in knowledge and leadership. Notably, the program remains open to the public sector, civil society, and private entities, recognising the need for a holistic approach to solving sanitation challenges.

The ‘SOS Programme,’ a year-long initiative, emphasised the adaptation to technological advancements, regulatory frameworks, and economic aspects within the sanitation sector. The discussion revolved around the crucial role of the private sector and NGOs, stressing the importance of technical expertise, leadership, and advocacy skills.

Addressing Gender Equality, Youth Inclusion, and Social Aspects in Sanitation Policies

The session on gender equality, youth inclusion, and social aspects in sanitation policy underlined the need for policy harmonisation, evidence-based approaches, and promotion of women’s representation. Discussions highlighted AMCOW’s strategies, the engagement of civil society, and the imperative for evidence-based, gender-transformative practices in policy development.

Participant making intervention during the plenary session on Day 2 of the AfricaSan7 Conference

Challenges and the Way Forward

Throughout these sessions, various challenges surfaced, including the need for broader accessibility through online training, language barriers, and refining partnership formats. The discussions emphasised the importance of refining approaches to ensure inclusive policies, harnessing technology and continuously adapting to the changing needs of the sanitation sector.

The AfricaSan7 conference continues to catalyse change in the sanitation sector. With dynamic discussions and collaborative insights, it aims to bridge critical gaps and foster sustainable solutions. As the event moves forward, the upcoming AFWASA event seeks to further this discourse, focusing on sanitation and water management.

The cumulative efforts showcased at the conference underline the significance of collaboration, evidence-based decision-making, and innovative strategies to achieve impactful and sustainable change in the sanitation sector.

The Day 2 sessions at AfricaSan7 unveiled transformative initiatives, acknowledged challenges, and emphasised collaborative efforts across sectors. As the conference progresses, it remains a platform for effective exchanges, assuring a sustainable future in the sanitation sector. With initiatives like ‘Inspire’ and discussions on local authorities and gender equality, the drive for change and innovation remains at the forefront.

On the AfricaSan7 platform, relevant actors can continue to unite and collaborate to steer the sanitation sector towards achieving safely managed sanitation in Africa.

Stay tuned for more updates from AfricaSan7 and the continued efforts in advancing Africa’s sanitation and hygiene.

Disclaimer: We‘d like to point out that the information and initiatives shared are based on the latest sessions and discussions at the AfricaSan7 conference and may be subject to further developments and updates.


AfricaSan7 Conference: Updates on Day 1

Opening Remarks and Context Setting

The AfricaSan7 Conference began with a celebration of the Republic of Namibia, the Anthem, a short film about its landscape, development and culture. The conference is hosted by the Republic of Namibia under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform led by Hon Carl Hermann-Gustav Schlettwein.

Hon Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, the Minister for Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia, AWF Governing Council Chairperson, and AMCOW President (2021-2023) delivering the AfricaSan7 conference opening remark.

The Executive Director Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Namibia, Ms Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, moderated the opening of the AfricaSan7 Conference. The Conference, themed “Strengthening Systems and Partnerships for Accelerated Action on Safely Managed Sanitation and Hygiene” seeks to unite key stakeholders to address sanitation and hygiene challenges in Africa and globally.

Ms Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata moderating the AfricaSan7 Conference opening ceremony.

The Governor of Erongo Region, Hon. Neville Andre, welcomed the conference delegates. In his welcome address, he highlighted the disparities in sanitation between rural and urban areas and the need for improved systems and partnerships.

Hon. Neville Andre, Governor of Erongo Region delivering a welcome remark to AfricaSan7 Conference participants.

AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, welcomed all the AfricaSan7 Conference participants to the opening plenary. He demonstrated how honoured it was for him to address all the participants, experts, policymakers, practitioners, and advocates who are committed to improving hygiene and sanitation across Africa. Dr Rashid emphasised the Africa Sanitation Conference as a platform for technical and political dialogue with governments and stakeholders for knowledge-sharing. He further stressed the urgency required of addressing sanitation conditions in the continent to improve livelihoods.

AMCOW Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira delivering his introductory remark at the AfricaSan7 Conference opening plenary.

Unveiling of AfricaSan7 Banner

Host Minister, Hon Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, unveiled the AfricaSan7 Banner – an initiative launched to promote integration of arts and youth inclusion in African Sanitation and Hygiene. AMCOW has introduced the AfricaSan Banner Design Award as one of the AfricaSan Awards. The idea is to challenge young Africans under 35 to illustrate sanitation conditions as known to them within their communities or to demonstrate future sanitation aspirations in the continent. This aligns with promoting the thoughts behind the African Union Agenda 2063-the Africa We Want. 

Hon Carl Schlettwein unveiling the AfricaSan7 Conference Banner

Goodwill messages, Policy, and Technical Discussions

Various speakers, including Eric Momani from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed technical issues and the importance of partnerships, government policies, and funding mechanisms to improve sanitation services. The African Development Bank (AfDB) outlined their support and strategic priorities, which align with their high-level goals, including a new sanitation investment initiative. The World Toilet Organisation (WTO), through its founder, Prof. Jack Sim, highlighted the role of the private sector while speaking on the Sanitation Economy and Private Sector Engagement.

Opening address by Hon Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein

The high point of the event was the opening address by Hon Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, the Minister for Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia, AWF Governing Council Chairperson, and AMCOW President (2021-2023). The Minister warmly welcomed the conference participants and urged them to ensure that the meeting delivers a solid water and sanitation agenda by the end of the week. Hon Schlettwein, delivered a inspirational insights demonstrating the value of water and access to sanitation services beyond money. The profile of water and sanitation was immediately raised in the mind of each individual listening to his remarks.

Cultural Engagement and Private Sector Involvement

The conference included cultural elements, such as traditional Namibian dance. In a vibrant display of Namibian cultural heritage, traditional dancers took the stage at the conference’s opening plenary. With rhythmic movements and purely native attire, the performers brought to life the rich traditions and cultural essence of Namibia. Participants were captivated by their spirited and charming native dance – you could see them watching with rapt attention and many capturing photographs with their mobile devices.

Motswana MO Erongo cultural dance group entertaining the AfricaSan7 Conference participants at the opening plenary.

Regional Insights and Commitments Hon. Dr Esther Muinjangue, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Republic of Namibia, set the scene for the Thematic Sessions – speaking on the Strategic Priorities for Sanitation and Hygiene in Namibia. Representatives from various African regions shared their progress and challenges. Senegal showcased its institutional organisation and resource mobilisation for sanitation, while Namibia discussed efforts toward waste reuse and environmental protection. South Africa and Ethiopia shared their approaches to mobilise resources and ensure coordination and leadership in sanitation efforts.

news photo indonesia

AMCOW Signs Letter of Intent for Cooperation at 10th World Water Forum Stakeholders’ Meeting

October 14, 2023 – BALI, INDONESIA

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has been actively engaged in discussions and cooperation agreements at the 10th World Water Forum 2nd Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting, held on October 13, 2023, in Bali, Indonesia. This meeting, titled “Interaction Between Processes,” focused on deepening efforts to prepare for the forthcoming 10th World Water Forum in 2024.

AMCOW, represented by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Rashid Mbaziira, and the Chair of the AMCOW Technical Advisory Committee, Dr. Tahani Sileet, attended the event as a member of the Governing Board. A key highlight of AMCOW’s participation was signing a significant Letter of Intent to enhance cooperation and support for the organisation of the 10th World Water Forum. The Letter of Intent, signed between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, the World Water Council, and the African Minister’s Council on Water, outlines a commitment to collaborative efforts in preparation for the 10th World Water Forum, which is scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia, in May 2024. This agreement follows the Framework Agreement signed in October 2022 between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the World Water Council for the organisation of the 10th World Water Forum.

AMCOW’s critical role in this agreement highlights its dedication to fostering cooperation, socio-economic development, and adequate water resource management across Africa. As coordinators of the Africa Region of the Regional Process for the 10th World Water Forum, AMCOW plays a vital role in addressing the unique water challenges faced by the African continent. This commitment underscores the importance of the Africa Regional Process in addressing the diverse water needs of the region for shared prosperity.

Indonesia’s active involvement in global water issues and its hosting of the 10th World Water Forum in 2024 reflect its dedication to resolving water challenges on a global scale. The World Water Council, as an international multi-stakeholder platform, is committed to stimulating action on critical water issues at all levels, with a primary focus on the political dimensions of water security, adaptation, and sustainability. The World Water Council also owns the “World Water Forum” brand, recognised as the most significant global event dedicated to water.

The Letter of Intent signifies the Parties’ intent to jointly carry out activities in preparing the Africa Regional Process for the 10th World Water Forum. These activities will be defined further in subsequent agreements, specifying the roles and responsibilities of each Party. Notably, the Letter of Intent does not create legal obligations under international law, but only a commitment to cooperation in successfully organising the 10th Forum in Bali in May 2024.

During this strategic engagement, Dr. Rashid Mbaziira, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, seized the opportunity to exchange insights with Indonesia’s Honourable Minister for Public Works and Housing, Hon. Basuki Hadimuljono. Their discussions revolved around critical issues within the water and sanitation sector, including the highly anticipated AfricaSan7 Conference.

Furthermore, Dr. Mbaziira discussed with various other African delegates at the event. Among these notable figures were Mamadou Mamour Diallo, the Director-General of the National Office for Sanitation (ONAS) in Senegal, Mouhamadou Gueye, the Director of Autonomous Sanitation, also from Senegal, and Dr. Diatta, who represented Senegal as well.

(From left to right) Mamadou Mamour Diallo, Director-General of the National Office for Sanitation (ONAS), Senegal, Mouhamadou Gueye, OSAS Director of Autonomous Sanitation, Senegal, Minister for Public Works and Housing, Indonesia, Hon. Basuki Hadimuljono, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, AMCOW Executive Secretary and Dr. Mohamed Diatta, Senegal

These interactions underscore the commitment of AMCOW and its key members to the sustainable management of water resources in Africa and the broader global community. By actively participating in the preparatory meetings and engaging in constructive dialogues, AMCOW is ensuring that the African perspective contributes effectively to global water and sanitation policies and the achievement of sustainable development goals.

Overall, AMCOW’s presence at the 10th World Water Forum Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting and its participation in this cooperation agreement reaffirm its dedication to addressing critical water issues and advancing water management solutions in Africa and on a global scale. The collaboration between these parties sets the stage for a promising and impactful 10th World Water Forum in 2024.


The 4th Meeting of Africa Water and Sanitation Partners’ Coordination Platform

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 3, 2023.

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Secretariat successfully hosted the 4th meeting of the African Water and Sanitation Partners’ Coordination Platform (PCP) on October 2-3, 2023, at the AUC Headquarters. The conference aimed to build upon previous successes and strategies for advancing Africa’s water and sanitation agenda.

The PCP meeting focused on key objectives, including guiding the shaping of the post-African Water Vision 2025 and garnering support for adopting ‘Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development’ as the African Union’s theme for 2026. The meeting is also planned for the third Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water (PANAFCON-3) and the coordination of Africa’s contribution to the 10th World Water Forum in Indonesia.

A total of 40 participants engaged in the meeting, with 24 attending in person and 16 participating virtually via Zoom. Participants included representatives of the Member States, AUC, AUDA-NEPAD Water Centres for Excellence, AMCOW Secretariat, African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River and Lake Basin Organisations (RLBOs), Global Water Partnership (GWP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Un-Water, UNECE Water Convention, WaterAid, International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), Africa Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA), and Africa Renaissance.

Several opening remarks were delivered, emphasising the importance of collaboration and coordination. The Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, called for a revitalisation of the operational arrangements of the PCP, stressing the need for more interaction within thematic clusters. Dr Zebene Lakew Teffera highlighted Africa’s water and sanitation challenges, urging stakeholders to address gaps and align efforts with upcoming events. Dr Mohy Tohami emphasised the continent’s potential to realise its water goals through joint endeavours. And the Representative of the Director SEBE, on behalf of H.E. Amb. Josefa Sacko underscored the meeting’s role in advancing the water and sanitation agenda for socio-economic development.

Discussion Points, Outcomes, and Agreed Actions

Thematic Clusters

The meeting addressed thematic clusters, recognising the initiatives of partner organisations. Attendees acknowledged the progress made by UNDRR and the AUDA-NEPAD CoE in capacity development. Questions were raised about the utilisation of research and data discrepancies. The PCP agreed to inquire about interest in joining clusters, convene online meetings, and revitalise the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the PCP cluster working group.

Partners presented overviews of water and sanitation support. The PCP acknowledged partner actions and emphasised ongoing support to Member States, RLBOs, and RECs. Efforts to improve water wisdom through a harmonised Knowledge Agenda for the continent were also highlighted.

On updates of the World Water Forum (WWF), the PCP discussed the progress report on the Dakar Declaration and emphasised the need for a comprehensive UN Water Strategy. Actions were agreed upon for adopting the ‘Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development’ theme for 2026.

Concerning the high-level meeting on transboundary water management, the PCP noted progress on the outcomes and the way forward for the high-level meeting on transboundary water management in Africa.

The PCP acknowledged progress on implementing water projects of transboundary dimension under PIDA-PAP II. During the deliberation on Africa Climate Week Activities, participants sought clarification on the roadmap for implementing the Nairobi Declaration, with the AUC committing to sharing the declaration.

The progress towards Africa Water Vision 2025 was discussed against indicators of continental commitments on water and sanitation. A post-2025 Africa Water Vision roadmap was developed, emphasising coordination and capacity development.

Strategies were agreed upon to promote the water theme for 2026. Also, the meeting discussed hosting the AfricaSan 7 Conference in Namibia.

Overall, the PCP was deemed engaging and successful, with participants committing to actions for timely delivery and reporting at the next PCP in 2024.