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Category: Special Messages

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Honourable Ministers,

Esteemed Members of the TAC

Colleagues from the Secretariat, I am honoured to deliver this vote of thanks and gratitude to our leadership.

I will start with you, Honourable Carl Herman Gustav Schlettwein, in both your capacity as the Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia and the AMCOW President for 2021 – 2023.

Working under your leadership has been an enriching experience, characterised by immense learning and growth at the Secretariat.

With your guidance, we have been able to scale to new heights.

You have passionately defended AMCOW’s interests and have always been direct in negotiations on behalf of AMCOW in Africa and globally. This has demonstrated our strength as an organisation and improved our franchise value globally. Your leadership has revitalised AMCOW’s convening power as demonstrated by:

  1. the response by the substantive Ministers responsible for water affairs in Africa to your invitation to the 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee;
  2. a similar response to your hosting of the Africa Focus Seminar at the 2022 World Water Week;
  3. the response by high-level dignitaries from all over the world to your hosting of the Focus on Africa session at the 2022 UN Summit on Groundwater; and,
  4. the response to the advocacy campaign that AMCOW has led for the nomination of a Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Water.

It is thus our collective responsibility to jealously preserve this legacy and continue – under the leadership of Honourable Prof Hani Sewilam – on the growth path you have set.

And to you Hon Eng Suleiman Adamu, AMCOW’s host Minister in Nigeria and Vice President for West Africa for 2021-2023.

  1. Your accessibility and enviable willingness to give freely of your time to advance AMCOW matters;
  2. Your profound insight into the political economy of motivating concrete action to move the water and sanitation agenda forward; and
  3. Your prioritisation of AMCOW has been invaluable to our achievements in your tenure.

You have been a tireless AMCOW Brand Ambassador.

You made the AMCOW@20 celebrations undoubtedly one of the highlights of the 9th World Water Forum.

In your tenure, the Secretariat has lacked nothing related to what is provided under the Headquarters Agreement. Indeed, you have spearheaded ongoing efforts to secure land to construct a permanent Secretariat as per the Headquarters Agreement. This will address the requirements for space given the growth at the Secretariat and contribute to assuring our financial sustainability.

And, of course, it would be amiss of me not to mention the great update to our fleet by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through your office. We are forever in your debt.

Hon Schlettwein, Hon Adamu, allow me to reiterate that it has been an immense privilege to serve the two of you in this role, and I hope to learn more from both of you as we move forward.

Our appreciation goes out to all the Members of the Executive Committee for the period 2021 – 2022.

The Vice Presidents: Hon. Engr Suleiman ADAMU; Hon. Sidi Mohamed TALEB AMAR; S E M Eloundou ESSOMBA GASTON; Hon. Dr Eng. Habitamu Iteffa Geleta; and S E M Carlos A Fortes Mesquita are ably represented by Hon Cecilia Chamutota. The guidance received during the tête-à-tête consultations with you shaped the regional priorities that informed the decisions of the 13th Ordinary Session of the EXCO on the AMCOW triennial work programme for 2022 to 2024.

Your leadership made it possible – for the first time – for us to have five (5) regional consultations before an ordinary session of the Council. In so doing, we operationalised the bottom-up and top-down approach that is the cornerstone of responsive continental policy initiatives.

Allow me also to single out:

  1. Hon Abida Sidik Mia and Hon John Bande of Malawi
  2. Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah of Ghana
  3. Hon Alice Muthoni Wahome of Kenya
  4. S E M Dr Maminata Traore Coulibaly of Burkina Faso
  5. Hon Amb Jeanne Mujawamariya of Rwanda
  6. Hon Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu of Zimbabwe
  7. S E M Samou Seidou Adambi of Benin
  8. The Kingdom of e-Swatini
  9. Hon Eng Dr Habitamu Iteffa Geleta of Ethiopia
  10. S E M Fidiniavo Rovoktra of Madagascar
  11. Hon Sam Cheptoris of Uganda
  12. Hon Jumaa Hamidu Aweso of the United Republic of Tanzania
  13. Hon Kefentse Mzwinila of Botswana
  14. Hon Senzo Mchunu of South Africa
  15. Hon Eng Suleiman Adamu of Nigeria
  16. Hon Carl Gustav Hermann Schlettwein of Namibia; and
  17. Hon Prof Hani Sewilam of Egypt

You have led by example by contributing to ensuring the financial stability of the Secretariat to advance Africa’s water, sanitation and hygiene agenda. Allow me to highlight that your commitment to finance the core activities of AMCOW lies at the heart of the renewed interest from our funding partners to support AMCOW programmes.

To our Members of the Technical Advisory Committee, the policy initiatives undertaken during your tenure came to fruition with the benefit of your technical expertise. You invested your time to analyse and improve all propositions to facilitate higher-level decision-making and eventual practical implementation. This is what resulted in the delivery of, among others, the following:

  1. the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines;
  2. the African Groundwater Programme; and,
  3. the AMCOW Knowledge Hub.

To our TAC Chair, Mme Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata.

  1. Your open-mindedness and disposition to listen;
  2. your agility;
  3. your decisiveness; and
  4. your commitment to improving the financial situation at the Secretariat has been crucial to our success during your tenure.

The dedication with which your team at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform organised the 13th Ordinary Session of the EXCO is reflected by its success it was. You left an indelible memory of Windhoek and the Land of the Brave on all that took part in the 13th Session of the EXCO.

Suffice it to say that your leadership has been inspiring, and we will utilise all available opportunities to continue to benefit from it.

To my colleagues at the Secretariat, I would like to thank you for your excellent work. Your collective efforts have contributed significantly to the results reported in the AMCOW President’s handover report. Let us remain committed to delivering the expected outputs from our triennial work programme. We are bound to face setbacks along the way. What is essential is for us to learn from our shortfalls and push forward with even more dedication.

In conclusion, I look forward to working with the new leadership while maintaining our engagement with the outgoing team. We remain at your service at all times, and I believe that working together can achieve even greater success for AMCOW.

I thank you.

FeaturedSpecial Messages

Prof. Dr Hani Sewilam’s Acceptance Speech as the incoming and new President of AMCOW for 2023-2025

First, allow me to express my great honour to be today among my brothers from all African countries to take over AMCOW Presidency for the next two years on behalf of the North African Region from my dear Brother Honorable Minister Carl Hermann Gustave Schlettwein, Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Republic of Namibia, who led the African Continent very successfully as AMCOW President during the challenging time of COVID 19 pandemic where water and sanitation were key to overcome the implications of this severe crisis with his vast experience and wisdom.

FeaturedSpecial Messages

4th Extra-ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the Governing Council of AMCOW – A handover report from Namibia


Special Messages

Seasons Greetings 2022 from AMCOW ES(002)

Dear Stakeholders of the Water Community.

Seasons greetings to you from AMCOW Secretariat, Abuja.

Times run so fast. 2022 is coming to an end. However, the year has been successful and impactful for the water community in Africa and beyond.

Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 was challenging, but through cooperation and effective collaboration we achieved much. 

This year, AMCOW turned 20. The 9th World Water Forum provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate AMCOW’s 20th Anniversary. For the first time at the Forum, AMCOW and the African Development Bank jointly hosted an Africa Pavilion and facilitated continental engagement. We mobilised new partners – signed six new Memoranda of Understanding, and triggered dialogue on the Team Europe Blue Initiative on Transboundary Water Resources Management. The engagement continued with a follow-up consultation led by the African Union Commission, AMCOW, AfDB, River and Lake Basins LBOs, and the European Commission – to come up with a strategic framework for the Initiative in Africa. Also, under the leadership of the AUC, AMCOW organised a third African Water Partners Coordination Platform (PCP) to assess progress and challenges in achieving continental goals on water.

In April, AMCOW welcomed an AfDB-Africa Water Facility (AWF) delegation to strengthen collaboration for water governance and reporting on the 2008 Sharm El Sheikh commitments. By mid-year, AMCOW and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) convened a first Africa Sanitation Sector Partners Alignment Workshop. Partners determined areas of synergy in utilising the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) to strengthen Africa’s sanitation policy environment. Learning from this alignment workshop triggered the organisation of another sanitation advocacy partners roundtable in Nairobi by BMGF.

From May to July, we had the training of Member States’ focal points for the Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting. The activity helped us to strengthen and launch the 2022 WASSMO data collection exercise. Also, we organised its Sub-Regional Ministerial Consultations with its Technical Expert Committees and Technical Advisory Committees across all five regions of Western, Eastern, Central, Northern and Southern Africa. The consultations facilitated joint identification of continental priorities and collaboration among Member States, Regional Economic Communities and the River and Lake Basins. Member States also nominated countries to represent their regions in AMCOW’s Policy Organs for 2023-2025. 

In August, we mobilised Member States to the Stockholm World Water Week 2022. AMCOW held the Africa Focus Day event and agreed on the Terms of Reference for operationalising the Development Partners Coordination Framework. Also, AMCOW launched a Knowledge Management Challenge to improve Africa’s water wisdom in line with the Africa Water Vision 2025. 

As AMCOW President, The Republic of Namibia hosted the 13th Ordinary Session of AMCOW’s Executive Committee (EXCO) in October. EXCO Ministers that were present approved AMCOW’s work programmes 2023-2024 and other continental initiatives on water and sanitation. Also, the EXCO adopted the Dakar Declaration-A Blue Deal for Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development – as Africa’s common position for the UN 2023 Water Conference.

AMCOW, AfDB and UNECA – led by the African Union – organized two Regional Consultations on the mid-term review of the Water Action Decade – to strengthen Africa’s message toward the UN 2023 Water Conference. In preparations for the Conference in March 2023, AMCOW, in collaboration with UNESCO, convened the Africa Focus Event on the margins of the Decemeber 2023 UN Groundwater Summit. AMCOW undertook consultations on its new Strategic Groundwater Programme for Water Security and Resilience in Africa.

To close the year in elegance, AMCOW’s membership in the World Water Council’s Board of Governors got renewed. This re-election means AMCOW will play a leadership role in mobilising a solid and impactful African presence at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia. 

Overall, 2022 sets a springboard for better achievements in the coming years. We have taken stock of the progress and challenges we experienced, and we have planned for 2023. 

In the pursuit of assuring water security and safely managed sanitation, AMCOW will play significant leadership roles at global and continental events, including the UN 2023 Water Conference in March, planning and preparatory meetings toward the 10th World Water Forum, Cairo Water Week 2023 and the organisation the AfricaSan7 conference from 10 to 15 June 2023. 

We remain thankful to all our Stakeholders, Member States, the African Union, development partners and donors, that have made 2022 successful for AMCOW. 

We look forward to 2023 – with hope for strengthened collaboration and collective action in the pursuit of sector goals. We uphold a renewed confidence toward delivering water for all purposes.

AMCOW Secretariat anticipates a more fruitful year 2023.

Continue to follow us on our social media handles: @amcowafrica (on Twitter); @AfricanMinistersCouncilonWater (on LinkedIn)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dr Rashid Mbaziira, 

Executive Secretary, AMCOW.