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AMCOW Pays a courtesy visit to Ghana

On 27 January, the African Ministers’ Council on Water Secretariat paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry for Sanitation and Water, Ghana. The delegation, led by the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, was received by the Minister of Water Resources, Ghana, Honourable Cecilia Abena Dapaah.

A group photograph taken at the office of the Hon Minister of Water Resources, Ghana

During the meeting, the Minister stated that Ghana had made strides in the sector. She highlighted that, by implementing some of its projects between 2018-2021, the Ministry has provided over 40 000 household toilets to help reduce open defecation in the country.

According to the 2021 Population and Housing Census released by the Ghana Statistical Service, the population with improved toilet facilities is about 80.9%. Of this, 25.3% of the populace use exclusive household toilet facilities (basic sanitation), and the remaining 55.6% use shared toilet facilities with multiple households. In addition, the 2021 Population and Housing Census released by the Ghana Statistical Service states that 87.7% of the populace has access to basic water supply services. During the meeting with Dr Rashid Mbaziira, Hon Mrs Cecilia Abena added that Ghana is on course to attain the Sustainable Development Goals Target 6.1.1. come 2030.

Regarding data management and information, the Minister reiterated that reliable and accurate data is critical for decision-making and planning, especially in a situation of limited resources.

She added that Ghana had participated actively during the production of the WASSMO report since 2011. In the last edition, Ghana was cited as one of the best-performing countries in data collection and reporting regarding meeting the WASSMO System’s numerous targets.

Even though developing the WASSMO report has been going on for some time, many countries, including Ghana, still find it difficult to provide data for some of the required indicators. Weaknesses exist in some national data, information management and monitoring systems, and the lack of credible and sufficient reporting on the state of the water resources within the African Continent, including Ghana, which has been the subject of various regional and global stakeholders’ fora.

In Ghana, a lot has been done to establish a robust monitoring system to help track the water and sanitation sector’s progress and to inform decision-making towards accelerated access to clean and safely managed water and sanitation services for all. Ghana will always play a key role in AMCOW. It will support policy revisions and the creation of reverse linkages for Ghana to share her experience and provide support to other Member States, says the Hon Minister.

On the revision of the African Water Vision, she added that Ghana is ready to be part of the countries to champion the commitment of developing a roadmap to formulate the post-2025 Africa Water Vision. The vision should be audacious enough to largely influence the post-2030 Developmental Agenda of the United Nations. The NGOR declaration in Senegal on ending Open defecation found space in the 2030 SDG targets, and the same must be the vision as we formulate the post-2025 Africa Water Vision. The Continent is blessed with substantial water resources, and the time has come to effectively harness these resources to better the lives of people within the Continent.

AMCOW witnesses the First African Water Supply and Sanitation Regulators Conference – organised by ESAWAS

AMCOW witnesses the First African Water Supply and Sanitation Regulators Conference – organised by ESAWAS

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.

Africa concludes its second regional consultation of the mid-term review on the implementation of the UN Water Action Decade in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Africa concludes its second regional consultation of the mid-term review on the implementation of the UN Water Action Decade in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

African water professionals convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 7-8 November 2022 for a final consultation on the mid-term review of the UN Water Action Decade implementation. Led by the African Union Commission, the engagement was jointly coordinated by the UN Economic Commission of Africa (ECA), the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and the African Development Bank.

The meeting was declared open by Dr Adam Karia, Rector and Executive Water Officer of Tanzania Water Institute, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Eng. Anthony Sanga. Other participants include representatives of the AU, Member States, regional economic communities, river and lake basins, civil societies and relevant institutions.

In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “International Decade (2018–2028) for Action – Water for Sustainable Development” to help put a greater focus on the water during the ten years ahead. This meeting prepares Africa’s position ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference.

The 2nd regional consultation reviewed the first report and outcome statements, which took place on the 13 and 14th of June 2022. The second consultation identified the gaps in the first report and made proposals to improve the record. Through this engagement, the participants adopted Africa’s priorities. Participants agreed on a harmonised approach for presenting Africa’s inputs to the Mid-Term Review of the International Water Decade, “Water for Sustainable Development”, in March 2023.

Considering the overarching water needs as postulated in the Africa Water Vision 2025 and Agenda 2063. The meeting received presentations on the following:

i. Objectives and expected outcomes of the Water Action Decade’s regional consultations,

ii. African Union Technical Paper, Africa’s water, sanitation and hygiene progress and

iii. The Blue Deal for Water Security and Sanitation for Development and Peace set the stage for meaningful interventions

Group and plenary sessions were conducted, and participants provided inputs on regional priorities across the five themes from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Dialogue of water for development, climate resilience, cooperation, health, and water action decade.

In a speech on his behalf, the AUC Director for Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy (SEBE), Mr Harsen Nyambe, commended the Executive Committee (EXCO) of the Governance of AMCOW. He stated that the AUC was happy to see the 13th Ordinary Session – call for consolidation of the Africa common position and input to the UN 2023 Water Conference.

At the preparatory engagement of the second consultation, AMCOW’s Acting Director of Programmes, Dr Azzika Tanko, said, “the meeting provides an opportunity to fill the gaps between the first, the AMCOW EXCO meeting and the 2022 WASSMO report – to consolidate key messages to the UN 2023 Water Conference in 2023.”

In a statement on his behalf, ECA Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, Mr Jean-paul Adam, underlined the need for bolder and transformative interventions in the second half of the Water Action Decade. In this regard, he said that innovative financing sources for water are essential and shared work being carried out by ECA and partners, including on green and sustainability bonds and the Great Blue Wall Initiative.

At the end of the two days, participants considered and refined messages for the high-level political forum and Water for Sustainable Development Conference (WAD 2023), the roadmap of reviews and activities, African inputs into the Groundwater Summit 2022, road Map of activities to International Decade Mid-Term Review Conference 2023 and the recommendations on the revitalisation of UN-Water Africa.

Click on this link for a report on the first Africa regional consultation.

AMCOW witnesses Africa Water Facility’s 22nd Governance Council and 2nd Donors Meetings

AMCOW witnesses Africa Water Facility’s 22nd Governance Council and 2nd Donors Meetings

On 3-4 November 2022, the 22nd Governing Council Meeting of the African Water Facility and 2nd Donors Meeting, held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire – with AMCOW in participation.

The AWF, an initiative of AMCOW, is a crucial instrument hosted by the African Development Bank for funding projects preparation towards pursuing water and sanitation goals in Africa.

The meeting was attended by representatives of organisations, including the, the Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Republic of Ghana, S E M Sidonie Moussirou, Le ministre délégué auprès du ministre d’État, ministre de l’Énergie et des Ressources hydrauliques, Ms Tine Anbaek, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Ms Agnes Moser, Austrian Development Agency, Mr Aage Jorgensen, Nordic Development Fund, Mr James Dumpert, USAID, Jan Willem Rosenboom, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, M Ridha Gabouj, Director General Tunisia, Mr Osward Chanda, Director AHWS/AWF, and Mr Johannes Mtchera Chirwa, Coordinator AWF.

As part of the annual statutory meetings of AWF, the 22nd GCM reviewed the progress of the fiscal year of 2022, gave strategic direction, and approved the work plan and budget for 2023. As a Member of the Governing Council, AMCOW’s involvement in the AWF’s statutory meeting is essential to set the agenda for supporting project preparation. The event presented an opportunity for the AMCOW Secretariat and the AWF to reinforce the implementation of their work plans as follows mutually:

  • To jointly work on investment promotion/resources mobilisation activities;
  • To leverage AMCOW’s convening mandate to facilitate dialogue processes among riparian Member States to unblock bottlenecks constraining progress on implementing transboundary projects; and,
  • To utilise engagements with the leadership of Member States to draw attention to sorely needed solutions to the political challenges faced on some of the projects.

The 22nd Governing Council Meeting of the AWF made critical decisions on the following:

  1. The endorsement of the plans for investment promotion to secure downstream investment for AWF grant-funded investment-ready projects
  2. Continued engagement between the AWF and partners to articulate an appropriate mechanism for supporting project preparation, particularly in non-fragile Member States. Mechanisms modelled on a reimbursable grant window to be explored to strengthen the sustainability of the Facility;
  3. Endorsement of agreed changes to AWF Operational Procedures and Establishment instrument;
  4. Approval to operationalise a dedicated window for the Africa Urban Sanitation Fund (AUSIF); and,
  5. The approval of the 2023 AWF Work Plan and Budget.

The AWF will continue its revitalisation effort to assure the world of its relevance in supporting Africa’s funding requirements for project preparation. On the other hand, AMCOW Secretariat will continue to work with the AWF team to advance the opportunities for mutual reinforcement of the implementation of each other’s work plans.

Decisions of the 13th Ordinary Session of the EXCO – African Ministers’ Council on Water

Decisions of the 13th Ordinary Session of the EXCO – African Ministers’ Council on Water

Under the Rules of Procedure of the Governing Council of AMCOW, the 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) convened in Windhoek, Namibia, on 10-13 October 2022.

The 13th EXCO was hosted under Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, led by the Honourable Minister and AMCOW’s President, His Excellency Carl Herman Gustav Schlettwein. The meeting was chaired by Mrs Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, Executive Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia and AMCOW Technical Advisory Committee Chairperson.

African Ministers responsible for water affairs in attendance were:

H.E. Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein; the AMCOW President and Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia, Her Excellence Cecília Chamutota; AMCOW Vice President – Southern Africa, and Vice Minister for Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, H.E. Hon. Engr Suleiman ADAMU; AMCOW Vice President – West Africa, Minister for Water Resources, Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Hon. Serigne Mbaye THIAM; Minister for Hydraulics and Sanitation, Republic of Senegal, H.E. Hon. Prof. Dr Hani Atef Nabhan Sweilam; Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Arab Republic of Egypt, and Hon. Jumaa Hamidu AWESO (MP); Minister for Water, United Republic of Tanzania.

Her Excellency Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, joined the meeting virtually. The Director of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy of the AUC, Mr HarsemnNyambe, was present to represent the Commissioner in person.

Hon. John Francis Bande, Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation, represented Malawi. Mr Sylvain Guebanda represented the Central African Republic, Dr Zebene Lakew Teffera represented Ethiopia and H E Hon. Kone Sakaria represented Cote d’Ivoire.

The Ordinary Session comprised the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) session (from 10-12 October 2022) and the Ministerial Session (on 13 October 2022).

The EXCO received and considered progress reports on the implementation of the AMCOW Work Programme, the 2021 audit and financial progress report, AMCOW’s 3-Year Programme and budget and other matters arising from continental initiatives.

Rising on 13 October 2022, the 13th Ordinary Session of EXCO took the following decisions in the link below:

AMCOW President

Decisions of the 13th Ordinary Session of the EXCO – African Ministers’ Council on Water

The 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) convened in Windhoek, Namibia, on 10-13 October 2022.

AMCOW visits Mauritania’s Minister for Hydraulic and Sanitation

AMCOW visits Mauritania’s Minister for Hydraulic and Sanitation

Since the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has intensified engagement and closer work with African Ministers responsible for water and sanitation. The idea is to discuss Member States’ water and sanitation priorities and possible solutions to their challenges. Also, the Secretariat apprises the Ministers of AMCOW’s programmes and project activities – to get their continued strategic advisory and oversight.

On Friday, 16th of September, AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, was on a courtesy visit with the Minister for Hydraulic and Sanitation, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, H. E. Sidi Mohamed Ould TALEB AMAR. 

A critical issue discussed during the meeting was the impacts of the flood in Mauritania – caused by heavy rains and the emergency action plan.

Also, they discussed AMCOW’s Governance Structure, including Mauritania’s role as AMCOW’s Vice President for North Africa, the mobilisation of EXCO Ministers from North Africa, and the Hon. Minister’s participation at COP27 Egypt. The Hon. Minister and Dr Rashid deliberated on AMCOW’s role and mandate as a support mechanism to the African Union‘s Specialised Technical Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE). 

They further deliberated on the Honourable Minister’s participation in the upcoming AMCOW Executive Council (EXCO) meeting hosted by Namibia in October 2022.

You can read more about AMCOW Secretariat’s engagement with Nigeria’s Hon. Engr Suleiman, Mozambique’s H.E. Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita, H E Muhammed Aty of Egypt, and the Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation, Republic of Malawi, Hon. John Bande.


AMCOW Convenes its 2022 Sub-Regional Technical Expert Committee Meetings

On 20-21 July, AMCOW convened the first of its 2022 Sub-regional Ministerial Committee meeting – starting with the Technical Experts Committee (TEC) of Western Africa in Abuja, Nigeria. It took place under AMCOW and ECOWAS, bringing together all the Member States in the region. River and Lake Basin Organisations (RLBOs) also attended the event.

AMCOW will continue the rounds of sub-Regional Consultations across the other regions of Eastern Africa, Central Africa, Northern Africa and Southern Africa from August to September 2022.

The objectives of the TEC meeting were:

i. To strengthen the institutional linkages and operational arrangements between AMCOW and Regional Economic Communities. A vital element of this objective was to agree on a mechanism for institutionalising the Sub-regional Ministerial Committee (SMC) meeting on the calendar of joint events between the AMCOW Secretariat and the RECs to facilitate dialogue on the water issues unique to the regions.

ii. To nominate the Member States to represent each of the Regions on the AMCOW Executive Committee and Technical Advisory Committee for 2023 – 2025.

iii. To apprise Member States on:

a.  AMCOW’s financial status and challenges encountered; and

b.  Ongoing AMCOW continental policy initiatives.

Gracing the Western Africa meeting was the representative of Honourable Engr Suleiman Adamu – Minister for Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Engr Danjuma Madaki and the new Commissioner for Infrastructures, Energy and Digitalisation, ECOWAS, H E Sédiko Douka. Also, from the river and lake basins were the Executive Director, MONO Basin Authority, Mr Nicholas Gnyapaou and the Deputy Executive Director of the Volta Basin Authority, Mr Dibi Millogo.

While addressing the meeting, His Excellency the Commissioner appreciated the Kingdom of Sweden for supporting the organisation of the meeting. In addition, he gave assurances on the readiness of his office to facilitate efforts to improve the synergy and complementarity between the work programmes of the ECOWAS Commission and the AMCOW Secretariat.

Engr Madaki, representing the Hon. Minister for Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria highlighted the role of TECs in raising awareness and facilitating the implementation of AMCOW’s work programmes at the national and regional levels. He stated that subsequent consultations would lead to sub-Regional Ministerial Committee Meetings. He reiterated that the priorities identified by the Member States would be built in as part of West Africa’s Report to the EXCO when the Ministers convene in October 2022.

The sub-regional consultation was a success; there were detailed discussions on the priorities for an improved and more effective synergy, collaboration, and service delivery to the Member States.  It was agreed that the AMCOW Secretariat and the ECOWAS Commission would establish a mechanism to work together more closely to benefit the Member States. Also, several actions were agreed upon in section 6 of the Aide Memoire, and all parties committed to ensuring timely delivery of their respective efforts.

This consultation aligns with AMCOW’s Governance Framework. AMCOW’s five sub-regions have a Sub-regional Ministerial Committee (SMC). The mandate is to offer policy guidance in implementing AMCOW’s Work Plan at the sub-regional level and the adoption and implementation at the national level.

Namibia Plans for the 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of AMCOW

Namibia Plans for the 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of AMCOW

The Republic of Namibia, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) and the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) Secretariat, held meetings on 20 and 21 June to make plans for the 13th Ordinary Session of the AMCOW Executive Committee (EXCO). The Executive Committee of AMCOW comprises the President of the Council and 15 other members—three members elected from each of the five sub-regions of Africa on a rotational basis.

Currently, the Republic of Namibia holds the position of AMCOW’s Presidency for 2021 to 2023, under the leadership of the Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, H.E Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein. He was appointed as AMCOW President during the 12th General Assembly of AMCOW in 2021. According to AMCOW’s Rules of Procedure and Tradition, the President hosts the Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee (EXCO). The meeting traditionally falls between two General Assemblies – the one that elected them and the one to which they hand over the Presidency.

During the strategic planning meeting, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, apprised the AMCOW President of the progress of AMCOW’s programmes. He reported the significant outcomes of the just concluded 9th World Water Forum – a major one being the dialogue with the UN Permanent Representatives on the proposal for a UN Special Envoy on Water, among others. Also, the AMCOW President and the delegation from the Secretariat conducted an induction to receive the Executive Director of the Ministry for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia, Mrs Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata as the new Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and the Acting Deputy Executive Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Maria Amakari as the Alternate Chair for Namibia.

At the end of the two days, AMCOW Secretariat and the Presidential team developed a plan of action for organising the 13th EXCO. AMCOW expects that all members of the EXCO across the sub-regions will convene in Namibia from 11-13 October 2022.

The roles of the EXCO include to:

  • deliberate on the decisions and recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and forward required decisions and issues for the deliberations of the Governing Council;
  • ensure that decisions of the Council are implemented;
  • endorse the programs and budgets for the approval of the Council;
  • decide on arrangements for the sessions of the Council, and
  • decide on strategic directions of the constituent organs of AMCOW.
Ethiopia hosts Special Training on WASSMO and Ngor Commitment monitoring and reporting

Ethiopia hosts Special Training on WASSMO and Ngor Commitment monitoring and reporting

From June 20-22, the Ethiopian government hosted focal points from nine AMCOW member countries for special training on data collection and reporting on the state of water and sanitation in Africa. The delegates were representatives of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Comoros, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Seychelles, Somalia and Djibouti.

The activity was organised to provide capacity development to countries that missed the earlier rounds of the same exercise delivered through May 2022 before the data collection campaign launch. It forms part of the Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting (WASSMO) and the African Union Heads of States and Government Ngor Commitment on sanitation and hygiene processes. 

H E Dr Eng. Habtamu Itefa, Minister of Water and Energy, FDR of Ethiopia and AMCOW’s Vice President for Eastern Africa, chaired and declared open the event, which took place at Hilton Addis Ababa. During his remark, the Minister expressed joy in Ethiopia’s involvement in implementing Africa’s commitments toward equitable and adequate water and sanitation services provision. 

“I commend this team of dedicated individuals, who provide the Global Assessment of Water and Sanitation Issues (GLAAS), the WASSMO, and the reports from the tracking of NGOR commitments, which have been done without fail.”

The Minister informed participants that Ethiopia has constituted its National Coordination Platform (NCP) – comprising relevant ministries responsible for water, energy, sanitation, health, hygiene, and other cross-sectors, which is now responsible for driving data collection and reporting. 

The workshop strengthened Member States’ capacities in the monitoring and reporting framework of the WASSMO and AfricaSan Ngor Commitments and helped participants understand how to input data into the web-based WASSMO system. It was a good platform for sharing sector knowledge and deepening collaboration for more effective data collection and reporting. It is expected that countries will present better quality data and information in the 2022 round of reports. 

Prior to the WASSMO training, the Honourable Minister received a delegation from AMCOW Secretariat, led by the Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira. They deliberated on AMCOW’s plans for the forthcoming Stockholm World Water Week 2022, the 13th Ordinary Session of the EXCO and CoP27. Also, they discussed how to strengthen early warning systems for eastern African countries. H E Habtamu would be engaging further as AMCOW’s Vice President for Eastern Africa to raise the voice of the region on issues concerning water and sanitation.