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AMCOW discusses new sanitation programme with stakeholders – ASPGs in Action

The African Ministers’ Council on Water has organised a Sanitation Partners’ Alignment Workshop to create synergy with related ongoing partner interventions in achieving the outcomes of its sanitation programme and the new African Sanitation Policy Guidelines – ASPGs in Action.

On the 7th of June, 2022, AMCOW started the two-day Sanitation Partners’ Alignment Workshop, which took place at Fraser Suites in Abuja, Nigeria. Among others, the objectives of the workshop include achieving: 

  • A shared appreciation of the vitality of the safely managed sanitation sub-programme to AMCOW’s overall delivery on the strategic pillars of the AMCOW Strategic Operational Plan (SOP) 2022 – 2024.
  • A framework for assuring complementarity in the vertical linkages between AMCOW, WHO and UNICEF’s monitoring tools and systems for reporting on the ASPGs in Action.

Forty-three sanitation professionals (30 in-person, 13 virtual) attended, representing the Member States and the following 11 organisations:

Highlights of the workshop include presentations of AMCOW’s Strategy 2018 and the Strategic Operational Plan 2022-2024, an overview of the ASPGs in Action proposal, the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines Assessment Tool (ASPAT), and Technical Assistance for Policy Development Across Africa, ASPG Domestication in Nigeria: Reviewing the Journey, Engagement with member states on ASPG utilisation and Sanitation Policy Landscape across Africa.

AMCOW’s Acting Director of Programmes, Dr Azzika Tanko, assured participants that AMCOW’s new sanitation programme the ASPGs in Action falls within the three pillars of AMCOW’s convening, mobilising and reporting work. He observed that the critical outcome of the ASPGs in Action proposal was to work with partner interventions to galvanise action for utilising the ASPGs across the Member States.

The meeting underscored that member states should take the lead in policy developments to enhance their capacity for policy implementation and to align with other partners supporting ASPG utilisation in other countries like the WaterAid example – supporting Nigeria.

In her presentation, Ms Ann Thomas, Senior Advisor, WASH, UNICEF, stated that UNICEF is recruiting a pool of consultants to provide technical assistance for in-country policy development. This effort, she said, feeds into UNICEF’s strategic shift for 2022 – 2025 to eliminate open defecation and basic sanitation to safely managed sanitation. Also, she stated that UNICEF will support ASPG utilisation in six countries and then cascade to 50 plus countries by 2025 and globally, after all.

AMCOW will continue to work with its development partners to help other countries take steps toward actively utilising the ASPGs to improve their sanitation and hygiene policy landscape, such as Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Ethiopia, Niger, and Zimbabwe are doing.


AfDB and AMCOW agree to strengthen relationship for sustainable water management in Africa

Abuja, 1st June 2022 – The African Development Bank and the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) came together to enhance strategic collaboration and maximize advocacy and resource mobilization to improve equitable access to water and sanitation in Africa.

The two pan-African institutions expressed determination to strengthen their relationship and collaboration during a three-day strategic dialogue held (from 1 to 3 June) in Abuja at the headquarters of the African Ministers Council on Water.

Osward Chanda, the African Development Bank’s Director of water development and sanitation department said that the strategic dialogue was critical for the relationship between the Bank and its partner. “We agreed to take actions that would help AMCOW to strengthen its leadership role in the governance of the African Water Facility (AWF) – the African Special Fund for preparation of water supply and sanitation projects, and in its efforts to mobilize more support and resources from African governments and international partners,” said Mr Chanda.

The meeting in Abuja also agreed on ways to address some of the key issues identified in the 2019 African Water Facility evaluation. Dr Rashid Mbaziira, the AMCOW Executive Secretary thanked the Bank for its commitment to improving AMCOW’s leadership role in African Water Facility’s Governing Council and in its important policy advocacy mandate to ensure high-level political support for Africa’s water and sanitation agenda.

The two teams agreed to review AMCOW Governance Framework and AWF’s Instrument to make provisions for the inclusion of women, Private Sector and Sanitation and Hygiene representatives – assuring institutional memory on the GC through mechanisms such as overlapping tenure of some members, said the AMCOW Executive Secretary.

Regarding the objective of undertaking joint resources mobilization, the African Water Facility’s Coordinator Mtchera Chirwa said that the AWF has already initiated a robust resources mobilization drive and expressed satisfaction with the support provided by AMCOW and their pledge to play a bigger role in supporting the campaign.

The AWF and AMCOW agreed to collaborate in undertaking joint advocacy by identifying key regional and international events where they will carry out joint activities. On this subject, the two institutions agreed on identifying a Presidential Champion or high-profile influencer to advocate for AWF work.

“We will work together to define the exact role and modalities of executing the function of the Champion of AWF activities,” added Dr Rashid Mbaziira.

The Bank’s delegation included Osward Chanda, Mtchera Johannes and Foday Kargbo, the finance and Resource Management officer at the African water facility, while the AMCOW team constituted the Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, the Director of Finance and Administration, Thomas Banda, Acting Director of Programmes, Dr Azzika Tanko, and the Senior Policy Officers including, Water Resources Management, Prof. Moshood Tijani, Monitoring and Evaluation, Patrice Leumeni, and Knowledge Management, Communications and Visibility, Obinna Anah.

The AWF has supported AMCOW to establish the Pan African Water, Sanitation Monitoring, and Reporting System (WASSMO). A continental automated web-based System, that exclusively captures data on water and sanitation using a set of 44 harmonized progress indicators. 

The Bank has pledged continued support to AMCOW to enhance its effectiveness across the Member Countries. A next step has been agreed upon for AMCOW to prepare and submit to the Bank – a proposal for sustainability funding immediately.

Media contact:

Obinna Anah, Knowledge Management, Communications and Visibility Officer,

African Ministers Council on Water

Foday Kargbo, Finance and Resource Management Officer,

African Water Facility


Dr Mbaziira Engages Malawi on Country’s Water and Sanitation Solutions and AMCOW’s Initiatives

AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, has paid a courtesy call to the Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation, Republic of Malawi, Hon. John Bande. The visit, which took place from 24-27 May 2022, was to solicit Malawi’s and partners’ inputs into AMCOW’s ongoing efforts to provide responsive solutions to the intermittent but extreme drought and post-drought flooding episodes ravaging different parts of Southern and Eastern Africa. Also, the Executive Secretary seized the opportunity to discuss AMCOW’S strategic direction for the period 2022-24 within the framework of implementing the AMCOW Strategy 2018-2030. 

AMCOW understands that the responsiveness of continental policy initiatives to Member States’ real needs is dependent on a Bottom-Up to Top-Down approach. Therefore, AMCOW is working to ensure that Member States’ priorities constitute the basis for formulating continental initiatives, domesticated for implementation as national policies. 

However, to ensure ownership, it is imperative that all Member States at least can identify with aspects of AMCOW programmes – this is, in turn, influenced by their level of participation in the formulation process of the programmes. Therefore, this courtesy call on the Honourable Minister falls within the broad framework of the regional consultations. 

Critical highlights of the discussions include enlisting the support of the Republic of Malawi on: 

  • annually convening the statutory AMCOW Southern Africa sub-regional Ministerial Committee (SMC) meeting in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat;
  • implementing continental and global commitments on water and sanitation, including the Africa Water Vision 2025, PIDA-PAP II water projects and SDG 6; 
  • utilising the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPGs) to formulate a SADC regional protocol on pollution control and accelerating access to safely managed sanitation; and, 
  • making preparations for the 13th ordinary session of the AMCOW Executive Committee (EXCO) in Windhoek, Namibia, and the water pavilion at COP27 at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

During the meeting, Hon. John Bande assured AMCOW of Malawi’s commitment to its programmes and activities. 

Since completing the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal, AMCOW has increased its effort to strengthen engagement with the Member States and partners. AMCOW’s Executive Secretary has since paid courtesy calls to Ministers responsible for water in Nigeria, Mozambique, Egypt and Malawi and is still counting.


AMCOW Prepares Focal Points from Northern and Eastern Africa Regions for the 2022 Water and Sanitation Sector Report Data Collection Campaign

Member States’ focal points numbering 27 from the northern and eastern Africa region have benefitted from the WASSMO/AfricaSan Ngor training series to improve data collection and reporting for the 2022 round of Africa’s water and sanitation sector report. This exercise feeds into the effort to respond to the yearning of the African Heads of States to oversee regularly the state of water and sanitation in the continent.

The workshop, which aimed at accelerating effective, timely, and quality data collection and reporting held in the Republic of Egypt in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the Regional Centre for Training and Water Studies in Cairo. The training paves the way for launching the next data collection campaign. It will increase awareness for establishing and strengthening the National Coordination Platforms and improve the focal point’s knowledge and practical abilities to utilise the WASSMO Information Technology System. It will minimise disparities in data management structures and objectives among the Members States and enlighten focal points on relevant best practices and tools for the effective planning, coordination and WASSMO, AfricaSan Ngor processes implementation. Also, it will increase stakeholders’ awareness of Africa’s Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting mandate by the African Union.

At the opening of the event, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr Ragab Abdelazim, represented the Hon Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, H E Muhammad Abdul Aty. During his opening remark, Dr Ragab appreciated AMCOW’s collaboration and the opportunity given to Egypt to host the workshop. He reiterated Egypt’s commitment to supporting AMCOW’s role in Africa’s socio-economic development, stressing Egypt’s readiness to work with other countries to realise the Africa Water Vision 2025Africa Agenda 2063 (the Africa we want) and accelerate progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6). In closing, he expressed Egypt’s expectation for AMCOW’s participation in the Fifth Cairo Water Week in October 2022, titled “Water at The Heart of Climate Action”, whose recommendations will be submitted to the Water Pavilion – on the sidelines of the (COP27) hosted by Egypt (Sharm El Sheikh) in November – as a representative of the African continent. 

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, represented by AMCOW’s Officer in Charge of Water Resources Management and Climate Change, Prof Moshood Tijani, stated that regular reporting to the AU HoSG would draw the highest level of attention to the sector’s challenges. He said that AMCOW would operationalise the National Coordination Platforms to improve the completeness and quality of WASSMO data to initiate action on strengthening national-level capacity for collecting, analysing and reporting on SDG6, Sharm El-Sheikh, Ngor and other relevant commitments. Therefore, he called on Member states to provide more information on related targets of the African Water Vision 2025. 

The WASSMO/AfricaSan Regional Workshop responds to AMCOW’s mandate by the Heads of States and Governments of the African Union Assembly in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2008 to report on the progress in implementing its commitment to water and sanitation in Africa. 

The WASSMO is a web-based system for monitoring and reporting progress in Africa’s water and sanitation sector. It was developed by the African Ministers’ Council on Water in 2016 with financial support from the Africa Water Facility (AWF) through the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Republic of Botswana hosted the Southern African countries from the 4th to the 6th of May. The Republic of Benin hosted the Western and Central regions from the 10th to the 12th of May. Overall, a total of 110 focal points have been trained across 45 countries.


AMCOW at the 9th World Water Forum

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) participated in the 9th World Water Forum, held in Dakar, Senegal from 22 to 27 March, 2022.