11 TY Danjuma Street, Abuja Nigeria

+234 9096074166

Category: Special Messages

sustainable WASH
Special Messages

Advancing Resilient WASH Services in Africa

10th World Water Forum: Bali, Indonesia – May 21, 2024

From 4:40 to 6:10 PM on 21 May, the 10th World Water Forum continued its critical discussions at the Africa Pavilion with a session titled “Sustained Provision of Access to Universal Resilient WASH Services.” AMCOW, WaterAid, the Kingdom of Morocco, and Mozambique convened the session in Kintamani 1.

The session tackled the pressing challenges of delivering sustainable and resilient Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services across Africa and shared existing solutions from various member countries. The linkages between climate change and sanitation service provision were discussed, and national approaches to achieving sustainable access to WASH services were explored. It was clear that delivering sustainable and resilient WASH services is an immense challenge in Africa, requiring solutions beyond mere infrastructure coverage.

The main topics covered include a) Financing the Water and Sanitation Sector: Discussions focused on the financial challenges and potential solutions for funding WASH infrastructure. b) Encouraging Treatment and Wastewater Reduction: Strategies to mitigate climate change impacts through effective wastewater management were explored. c) Strengthening Institutions and Policies: The importance of robust regulatory frameworks and national policies to support sustainable WASH services was emphasised.

Challenges identified were:

  1. Financing WASH Infrastructure: The need for substantial investment in WASH infrastructure remains a significant hurdle.
  2. Weak Implementation of National Commitments: Many countries struggle to implement their WASH commitments effectively.
  3. Inadequate Capacity for Bankable Proposals: There is a lack of capacity to develop proposals that attract the necessary funding.

During the discussions, the panellists proposed domesticating continental declarations by incorporating them into national action plans to ensure local relevance and impact. Another solution underscored was prioritising national agendas in countries’ strategic papers to attract financing from multilateral organisations.

Some attendees sought clarity on how communities in poor areas can access funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB). Others inquired why progress in WASH access is slow despite numerous conferences, declarations, and commitments, as well as the specific areas that the post-2025 Africa Water Vision will include to improve sustainable WASH services.

Key takeaway actions include prioritising financing for WASH services in the post-2025 Africa Water Vision and strengthening the policy environment for WASH. This includes policy development, regulatory frameworks, institutional reforms, and developing concrete national priorities in collaboration with finance ministries to attract funding.

Special Messages

Water and Water Infrastructure Key to Sustainable Development

Bali, Indonesia – May 21, 2024:

Another significant session titled “Water and Water Infrastructure for Development: Paving the Path for Water Security and Sustainable Development” took place from 1:00 to 2:30 PM in Kintamani 2. The session, convened by AUDA-NEPAD, the World Bank, UNESCO, and the Republic of Benin, brought together experts and policymakers to address the critical issues surrounding climate-resilient water infrastructure.

The session aimed to gather water management professionals, planners, policymakers, and academics to review experiences, identify gaps, and explore solutions for climate-resilient water infrastructure development. Also, it will strengthen approaches to project preparation, coordination, and capacity building and convene representatives from West African governments, river basin organisations (RBOs), regional organisations, and international bodies.

Key areas discussed include:

  1. WASH Services Access: The increasing number of people lacking access to water and sanitation due to population growth necessitates a corresponding increase in infrastructure development.
  2. Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: Emphasizing the need to incorporate climate resilience into infrastructure design from the outset to avoid the cycle of building and rebuilding.
  3. CRIDA Tool: Introduction of the Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis Tool (CRIDA) by UNESCO, a peer-reviewed methodology aiding in creating climate-proof water infrastructure.

The main topics covered in the projected population increase are putting significant pressure on existing infrastructure and the necessity of transitioning to climate-resilient infrastructure; AUDA-NEPAD’s pivotal role is in supporting regional economic communities (RECs) with capacity building in project preparation and resource mobilisation.

The session identified the need for climate-proof water infrastructure investments and the persistent capacity-building issue to prepare bankable projects, innovative solutions, and best practices. They presented the following solutions:

  1. Carbon Markets: Exploring carbon markets as an innovative financing mechanism for infrastructure while understanding the trade-offs involved.
  2. CRIDA Methodology: Utilizing the CRIDA tool to incorporate climate resilience in the design and planning of water infrastructure projects.

During the session, the participants asked two crucial questions, including:

  • How can countries better integrate climate resilience into their infrastructure planning?
  • What are the trade-offs when using carbon markets to finance water projects?

Participants suggested enhancing regional cooperation to share knowledge on best practices and improve transparency and accountability in implementing water infrastructure projects.

Agreed Actions

Participants suggested developing actionable strategies to incorporate climate resilience in all new infrastructure projects. They also agreed to focus on capacity building to ensure that projects are bankable and attract necessary investments. Overall, the session spotlighted the urgency of incorporating climate resilience into water infrastructure projects to ensure sustainable development in Africa. It highlighted the critical need for capacity building and innovative financing mechanisms to address the challenges of climate change and population growth.

Special Messages

Mobilising Political Commitment for Climate-Resilient Water Investments in Africa

10th World Water Forum Updates: Day 2 African Events

Bali, Indonesia – May 21, 2024

Day 2 of the 10th World Water Forum saw a critical session on “Mobilising Political Commitment for Accelerating Climate-Resilient Water Investments in Africa.” GWPSA, AUDA-NEPAD, AUC, and AMCOW convened the session from 10:20 to 11:50 AM in Kintamani 7. The session focused on transforming political commitments into actionable investments in Africa’s water sector.

In his opening remarks, HE Jakaya Kikwete, the Alternate Chair of the AUC’s IHL Panel, emphasised the critical need for immediate action. UN Deputy Secretary-General HE Amina Mohamed echoed his sentiments, stressing that Africa’s water security is crucial for sustainable development.

Ministerial Contributions

Statements from ministers of Namibia, Egypt (current AMCOW President), Uganda, Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Tanzania all converged on a common theme: while political commitments abound, the urgent challenge is their implementation. They highlighted the necessity for domestic resource mobilisation and public sector reforms to stimulate a conducive environment for private-sector investment.

Insights from Panel Discussion

A robust panel discussion featuring African Development Bank (AfDB/AWF) representatives, World Bank, UNCDF, UNICEF, GWP, and the European Commission explored strategies to scale up and accelerate investments. The discussion underscored that 90% of current investments in the water sector come from public funds, with private sector contributions lagging at just 10%.

Identified Challenges and Solutions

Participants identified three primary challenges: the gap between political commitments and actionable implementation, the paradox of Africa’s abundant resources juxtaposed with widespread poverty, and the water sector’s limited appeal to private investors.

To address these, innovative solutions such as blended finance were proposed. The Green Bond issued by TANGA Waterboard in Tanzania, which saw overwhelming investor interest, was cited as a successful model of domestic resource mobilisation.

Participants agreed on several actions to drive progress, such as developing clear plans to translate political commitments into tangible actions, enhancing domestic revenue streams to finance water infrastructure and implementing public sector reforms to attract private investment.

It appears that the issue is not a lack of commitment but a need for action kept recurring in the ministerial statements. The panel discussion highlighted “Blended finance, like Tanzania’s Green Bond, as showing the way forward. The session underscored the urgent need to convert political promises into concrete actions, leveraging domestic resources and reforming public sectors to ensure a climate-resilient water future for Africa.

African Union Commission building
Special Messages

A Water Theme for the Africa Union in 2026

Distinguished Stakeholders of the African Water Sector,

The AMCOW Secretariat provides the update below on the major achievements from AMCOW’s engagements during the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union. These are in line with ongoing processes to implement Council Decision EXCO/13/2022/WDH/1 on raising the profile of water and sanitation. The Council appealed, through the Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (STC on ARDWE), to the Assembly of the African Union to adopt water and sanitation as the theme of the Union in 2026.

To provide context to how the decisions of the organs of the African Union are taken, a basic illustration of the policy organs of the AU is presented below.

The 5th Ordinary Session of the STC on ARDWE was held in November 2023 in Addis Ababa in November 2023. It endorsed, among others, the appeal of the Council of Ministers to make 2026 a year of the African Union on Water and Sanitation.

The full report of the STC on ARDWE is herewith provided as Ref_002b (EX.CL/1471(XLIV)).

The report – EX.CL/1471(XLIV) – was tabled for the consideration of the Executive Council (EX.CL) during its 44th Ordinary Session held on 14-15 February 2024. The relevant decisions of the Executive Council are as follows:

  1. EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/31: ENDORSED for submission to the to the AU in February 2024, the following documents:

ii) the 2022 Annual Report of the Commission on the July 2008 Assembly Declaration regarding the Sharm ElSheikh Commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa, as per Assembly Decision (Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (XI)).

Iii) the Swakopmund Declaration on “Accelerated Action for Inclusive, Sustainable, Resilient and Safely Managed Sanitation and Hygiene Services Delivery in Africa”.

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/32: CONSIDERS and ENDORSES the following frameworks, guidelines and strategies to accelerate agricultural transformation, rural development, water and environment management:

(xx) commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation goals in Africa

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/33: FURTHER CONSIDERS AND ADOPTS the following Reports:

(iv) the 2023 Report on the Implementation of the 2015 Ngor Declaration

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/39: URGES the AUC:

(iii) develop an African Water Policy that provides a strategic framework towards inclusive and climate-resilient water security in the continent

(iv) and AMCOW to further strengthen the Partners Coordination Platform (PCP)

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/40: URGES all African Union Member States to:

(ii) develop national climate-resilient water investment programmes and in developing programmes to access climate finance for climate-resilient and inclusive water security programmes.

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/42: APPROVES the proposal to adopt “Assuring Sustainable Water Availability and Safe Sanitation Systems to Achieve the Goals of Agenda 2063” as the African Union Theme of the year 2026.

The 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU HoSG) was held on 17 – 18 February 2024. The Assembly, among others, adopted the recommendations of the Executive Council on the report of the 5th Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Members of the TAC and the TEC Members for taking the necessary steps to engage Foreign Affairs to elevate water and sanitation issues. It is as a result of this support that the decisions in the foregoing were possible to achieve.


Un thème relatif à l’Eau pour l’Union africaine en 2026 :

Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Comité technique consultatif et du Comité d’experts de l’AMCOW.

Nous vous présentons ci-dessous les principales réalisations de nos engagements au cours de la 37ème session ordinaire de l’Assemblée de l’Union africaine. Ces réalisations s’inscrivent dans le cadre des processus en cours visant à mettre en œuvre la décision EXCO/13/2022/WDH/1 du Conseil sur l’amélioration de l’image de l’eau et de l’assainissement. Le Conseil, par l’intermédiaire du Comité technique spécialisé sur l’agriculture, le développement rural, l’eau et l’environnement (CTSE), a demandé à l’Assemblée de l’Union africaine d’adopter l’eau et l’assainissement comme thème de l’Union en 2026.

Pour situer le contexte dans lequel les décisions des organes de l’Union africaine sont prises, une illustration de base des organes politiques de l’UA est présentée ci-dessous.

La 5ème session ordinaire du CST sur l’ARDWE s’est tenue en novembre 2023 à Addis-Abeba. Elle a approuvé, entre autres, l’appel du Conseil des ministres à faire de 2026 une année de l’Union africaine sur l’eau et l’assainissement.

Le rapport complet du STC sur l’ARDWE est joint au présent document en tant que Ref_002b (EX.CL/1471(XLIV)).

Le rapport – EX.CL/1471(XLIV) – a été soumis à l’examen du Conseil exécutif (EX.CL) lors de sa 44ème Session ordinaire tenue les 14 et 15 février 2024. Les décisions pertinentes du Conseil exécutif sont les suivantes :

  1. EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/31 : APPROUVE, pour soumission à l’UA en février 2024, les documents suivants :

ii) le rapport annuel 2022 de la Commission sur la Déclaration de l’Assemblée de juillet 2008 concernant les engagements de Sharm El-Sheikh pour accélérer la réalisation des objectifs en matière d’eau et d’assainissement en Afrique, conformément à la décision de l’Assemblée (Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (XI)).

Iii) la déclaration de Swakopmund sur « l’action accélérée pour la fourniture de services d’assainissement et d’hygiène inclusifs, durables, résilients et gérés en toute sécurité en Afrique ».

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/32 : CONSIDÈRE et APPROUVE les cadres, lignes directrices et stratégies suivants pour accélérer la transformation de l’agriculture, le développement rural, la gestion de l’eau et de l’environnement :

(xx) les engagements pour accélérer la réalisation des objectifs en matière d’eau et d’assainissement en Afrique

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/33 : EXAMINE ET ADOPTE les rapports suivants :

(iv) le rapport 2023 sur la mise en œuvre de la déclaration de Ngor de 2015

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/39 : demande instamment à la CUA :

(iii) élaborer une politique africaine de l’eau qui fournisse un cadre stratégique pour une sécurité de l’eau inclusive et résiliente au climat sur le continent

(iv) et AMCOW à renforcer davantage la plateforme de coordination des partenaires (PCP)

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/40 : PRIE INSTAMMENT tous les États membres de l’Union africaine de :

(ii) élaborer des programmes nationaux d’investissement dans l’eau résistants au climat et des programmes d’accès au financement climatique pour des programmes de sécurité de l’eau résistants au climat et inclusifs.

  • EX.CL/Dec.2(XLIV)Rev.1/42 : APPROUVE la proposition d’adopter «Assurer une disponibilité durable de l’eau et des systèmes d’assainissement sûrs pour atteindre les objectifs de l’Agenda 2063 » comme thème de l’Union africaine pour l’année 2026.

La 37ème session ordinaire de la Conférence des chefs d’État et de gouvernement de l’Union africaine (AU HoSG) s’est tenue les 17 et 18 février 2024. La Conférence a, entre autres, adopté les recommandations du Conseil exécutif sur le rapport de la 5ème session ordinaire du Comité technique spécialisé (CTS) sur l’agriculture, le développement rural, l’eau et l’environnement (ARDWE).

Nous voudrions profiter de cette occasion pour remercier les membres du TAC et les membres du TEC d’avoir pris les mesures nécessaires pour inciter le ministère des Affaires étrangères à mettre en avant les questions relatives à l’eau et à l’assainissement. C’est grâce à ce soutien que les décisions mentionnées ci-dessus ont pu être prises.

FeaturedSpecial Messages

Season’s Greetings and Recap of AMCOW’s Efforts in 2023

Dear Partners,

This is to wish you and your loved ones happy holidays as we celebrate Christmas and New Year 2024. For us, it is also a perfect moment to look back at what can be described as an eventful 2023.

On behalf of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) family, and indeed myself, I would like to express our gratitude for all your support throughout the year. We highly value your collective efforts towards advancing Africa’s water and sanitation agenda at all levels.

As 2023 comes to an end, we would like to take a moment and recall some of the notable activities and achievements across the year.

Fresh in our minds is the 7th Edition of the African Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSnan7) Conference, successfully convened with the Africa Union Commission (AUC) and hosted by the Republic of Namibia from 6 – 11 November. Held in the historic coastal city of Swakopmund, the conference gathered about 850 delegates, including 30 Ministers, heads of delegations, and dignitaries, as well as 15 exhibitors. The main outcome of the Conference was the Swakopmund Declaration on “Accelerated Actions for Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Sanitation and Hygiene Services Delivery in Africa“. The Declaration also amplified the calls for the African Union to adopt water and sanitation as the theme for the year 2026. Further, AfricaSan7 provided the platform for the launch of the 2023 Ngor Commitments Monitoring Report and outstanding contributions to Africa’s Sanitation as well as Hygiene were recognised and celebrated through awards under different categories.

The 13th General Assembly of the Governing Council of AMCOW hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt in Cairo in June was the main highlight for the first half of 2023. The Assembly, attended by 40 Ministers and heads of delegation, took decisions aimed at raising the profile of water and sanitation high in political and socio-economic development planning processes. Among the decisions, the Council, through the Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (STC-ARDWE), appealed to the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union to adopt Water and Sanitation as the African Union (AU) theme for 2026.

Earlier in the year, the AMCOW Executive Secretary undertook missions and courtesy visits aimed at reinforcing diplomatic ties and promoting water and sanitation priorities at the Member States’ level. These included courtesy visit to Ghana, Gambia, Sao Tome, Eswatini, Burkina Faso, and Kenya.

In February, during the 21st International Congress of the African Water Association (AfWASA) and the 7th Faecal Sludge Management Conference held in Abidjan, AMCOW convened a few technical sessions. AMCOW Secretariat used one of the sessions to review progress on the utilisation of the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) to foster knowledge exchange among Member States and partners. The Congress was also a perfect platform to engage with sanitation partners towards preparations for the AfricaSan7 Conference.

In March, the spotlight was on the “once in a lifetime” United Nations 2023 Water Conference, where sector leaders joined the African Union Commission and AMCOW to launch the 2022 Africa Water and Sanitation Report. Further, key messages constituting Africa’s common position and input were presented during the UN 2023 Water Conference. These messages contributed key outcomes to the Final Report of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Report. Further, African Heads of State committed to five new Presidential Compacts to accelerate access to water and sanitation services, including increasing budget allocations, reducing open defecation, and delivering climate-resilient services.

The month of April allowed us to strengthen the Secretariat’s internal management and fiduciary systems with the introduction of the new NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Application. The application, which went live in June, is designed to streamline our operations, enhance overall efficiency, improve accuracy in financial reporting, and ensure compliance with our regulatory requirements.

In May, AMCOW participated in the High-Level dialogue on Transboundary Water Resources Management in Africa in Entebbe, the Republic of Uganda. The event was convened under the auspices of the African Network of Basin Organisations (ANBO). At its conclusions, the “Kampala Declaration on Transboundary Water Resources Management in Africa” was adopted. The declaration sets the agenda and aims to add impetus to ongoing actions to achieve the targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and, in turn, the Africa Agenda 2063.

Just before the end of the first half, the AMCOW Secretariat convened an introductory meeting with its 35 Knowledge Management Focal Person from 18 member states. The engagement aimed at fostering water wisdom through collective knowledge creation and exchange among member states.

In August, AMCOW participated in the World Water Week (WWW) 2023. We convened agenda-setting sessions, including the High-Level Africa Focus Day, which provided the platform to discuss issues and shape a water-wise future for Africa. At the WWW, we also launched Africa’s Voice on Water magazine, which aims to cast a spotlight through stories and articles on the progress Africa is making towards water and sanitation goals.

Throughout August, September, and October, AMCOW organised statutory Sub-Regional Ministerial Committee consultations with the Technical Experts Committee (TEC) in Africa’s central, eastern, southern, and western sub-regions. The main outcomes from these engagements were priorities relevant to each sub-region to inform continental policy initiatives.

In October, together with the African Union Commission, through the Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy, the 4th African Water and Sanitation Partners’ Coordination Platform (PCP) meeting was convened. The PCP helped to set the stage for developing post-African Water Vision 2025, planning PANAFCON-3, and preparing for the 10th World Water Forum (10WWF).

During the same month, AMCOW, as a World Water Council Board Member, participated in the 10th World Water Forum 2nd Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting in Bali, Indonesia. At the meeting, the Council signed a “Letter of Intent for Cooperation” to mobilise support across African institutions for the organisation of the 10th WWW.

AMCOW was also co-convener of the Africa Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) held together with UNICEF and SWA at the end of October. The AFMM aimed to mobilise political buy-in to invest in water and sanitation as a driver of sustained economic growth, improved public health, and a reduction in inequalities.

We closed 2023 with our participation at the AUC Specialised Technical Committee(STC) meeting held from 14 – 17 November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the STC, AMCOW submitted the 2022 Annual Report of the Commission on the implementation of the July 2008 Assembly Declaration on the Sharm El Sheikh Commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa.  The 5th STC on ARDWE took several decisions related to water and sanitation as follows:

  1. Endorsed for submission to the Assembly the 2022 annual report of the commission on the July 2008 Assembly Declaration regarding the Sharm el-Sheikh Commitments for accelerating the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa (Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (XI)).
  2. Endorsed for submission to the Ministerial Committee on Agenda 2063, the request to adopt an African Union theme on water and sanitation for 2026.
  3. Approved the proposal to adopt “assuring sustainable water availability and safe sanitation systems to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063” as the African Union theme of the year 2026.
  4. Endorsed the 2023 report on the implementation of the 2015 Ngor Declaration.
  5. Endorsed for submission to the Assembly the Swakopmund Declaration on “accelerated action for inclusive, sustainable, resilient and safely managed sanitation and hygiene services delivery in Africa”.
  6. Underscored the key role of the Member States and encouraged them to actively engage in the ongoing processes to formulate the post-2025 Africa Water Vision.

AMCOW Secretariat remains very grateful to Member States for their continued support and solidarity. Special thanks to our partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Swedish International Development Corporation Agency (SIDA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

We are now looking forward to 2024 with much anticipation. The year 2024 marks the beginning of a defining moment as we cast our focus on the development of the Post-2025 Africa Water Vision. We only have two years before the current Africa Water Vision 2025 expires. The Vision, which could also be described as a precursor to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – in terms of its ambition- has served as the ultimate guide and framework for Africa’s water and sanitation sector development. We remain confident in our collective ability to set the agenda and develop a Post-2025 Africa Water Vision aligned with the aspirations of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want!

May the festive season bring you and your loved ones joy and true happiness.

Dr Rashid Mbaziira

Executive Secretary

African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)

Special Messages

Financing nature – A Call for financial solutions for biodiversity and climate adaptation

Sida is issuing a Call for expressions of interest, to mobilise private sector capital towards positive impact for biodiversity and climate adaptation globally and regionally in Africa.

Why a call for nature?

Climate change and loss of biodiversity present two increasingly important challenges for modern civilisation. Biologically diverse ecosystems are critical for livelihoods, health and well-being, and nature underpins a majority of economic activities. Ecosystem services are also central in society’s response to climate change, in building resilience and adapting to its effects.

The objective of this Call is to identify and select partners suitable for a Sida guarantee, for mobilising capital towards outcomes, services and behaviours that benefit nature.

The Sida guarantee is a flexible risk mitigation instrument, designed to share risk with private actors to mobilise capital. When Sida shares risk with investors they can raise additional capital and take on additional risks that otherwise would not be possible. Click here to: visit the Sida website for full application details.

Nelson Gomonda
Special Messages

AMCOW Welcomes its New Director of Programmes (DP)- Mr Nelson Gomonda

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) welcomes a new Director of Programmes in the person of Mr Nelson Gomonda.

Nelson Gomonda is a highly accomplished development professional from Malawi with a track record of over 26 years in the field. With a strong focus on the Water and Sanitation Sector, he has amassed over 15 years of consistent experience at various levels.

Recently, Nelson served as the Senior Policy Specialist at WaterAid, where he played a pivotal role in driving governance initiatives. Before this, he was a consultant supporting renowned institutions, including the African Union. During his tenure at the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, Nelson excelled as a Water Supply and Sanitation Consultant for over three years until December 2021.

His expertise extends to his time at Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), where he contributed as a WASH Specialist in supporting High-Level Political Dialogue held at UNICEF in New York. Nelson’s impactful work also includes his leadership role at the Africa Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Secretariat in Abuja, where he spearheaded the development of a web-based monitoring and reporting system for Africa’s water and sanitation sector.

Throughout his career, Nelson has garnered valuable experience working with esteemed organizations such as WaterAid, the European Union (EU) Delegation in Malawi, the DFID-supported Poverty and Policy Project, the UNDP-supported Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy (MPRS) project under the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, and GIZ.

Nelson holds a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies, which he earned in 2000 through a joint program offered by the Universities of Zimbabwe and Fort Hare in South Africa. His multifaceted background and his passion for sustainable development position him as a seasoned professional in driving positive change within the Water and Sanitation Sector.

Join us to receive Nelson heartily as he resumes office on 1 July 2023 at AMCOW Secretariat to continue his impactful work advancing water and sanitation initiatives across Africa.

Special Messages

Remarks of the AMCOW Executive Secretary at the Stakeholder Engagement in Transboundary Water Resources Management in Africa on 23 – 26 MAY 2023.

Our Chief Guest, The Rt Honourable first deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda,

Our Host Minister, the Minister for Water Resources and Environment

The Permanent Secretary,

The Chair, African Network of Basin Organisations

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Our partners

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

All protocols observed.

The responsiveness of continental policy initiatives to Member States’ real needs is dependent on a Bottom-Up-Top-Down approach. In essence, Member States’ priorities should constitute the basis for formulating continental initiatives which are in turn domesticated for implementation as national policies. Each of the 5 African Union (AU) regions faces unique challenges on the broad spectrum of water insecurity and inequity. To ensure ownership, it is imperative that all Member States can at least identify with aspects of AMCOW programmes. This is, in turn, influenced by the level of participation in the formulation process.

It is in this regard that efforts are underway to institutionalise strategic operational arrangements with RLBOs and RECs through jointly formulated and executed engagement plans and resources mobilisation activities. This should contribute not only to stronger ties between AMCOW, the RECs and RLBOs, it will also ensure that the development agenda of the RECs informs continental policy initiatives on water.

In addition, vertical integration of Member States, RECs and RLBOs should result in stronger institutional capacities for re-examining water, development, the economy and society. And that is the first of our objectives here today.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The second objective relates to our preparations for post-2025 Africa Water Vision. I need not remind any of you that it is less than three years to reach the final milestone of the Africa Water Vision 2025 (AWV2025). Information from the African Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring System indicates that we are off-track to achieve key targets of AWV2025. We have initiated the evaluation of the status of the realisation of the vision as we work on the transition to the post-2025 era. Strengthening water security is essential to the realisation of the goals of the African Union Agenda 2063. As such, it is imperative that the post-2025 Africa Water Vision is aligned with AU Agenda 2063.

In this context, my appeal to you that provide leadership in managing our shared water resources here for this meeting is as follows:

  1. Let us put all available resources to support a comprehensive evaluation of the progress recorded by Member States to date. 

The intent is to gather as much information as necessary to form a representative picture of the actual progress towards actualising the Africa Water Vision 2025. It is desired that the 2023 edition of the WASSMO Report will form part of the situation analysis, which will inform the formulation of the post-2025 Africa Water Vision in the context of Africa Agenda 2063.

This meeting is one of those engagements geared towards mobilising partner support to deepen and improve the quality of data submitted to AMCOW. Your mandates and specialist contributions are much needed to meet our goal.

This will ensure that the technical proposals lead to a post-2025 Vision, the pursuit of which will address the real challenges to water security in Africa. More importantly, the action framework should release the potential of Africa’s water resources to drive and sustain Africa’s aspirations for social transformation, economic growth, trade, peace and security.

Furthermore, we need to mobilise support to strengthen Member States’ capacity for data collection and reporting into the WASSMO system.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Having a well articulated Vision is not an end in itself. We need to ensure that we have the buy-in of our political leadership to realise it. Indeed, we need to do more to raise the profile of water as underlying our aspirations for:

  1. food security and nutritional safety;
  2. energy sufficiency, industrialisation and modernisation of our economies;
  3. human and environmental health and the associated improvements in productivity;
  4. improvements in opportunities for trade, employment and prosperity for all; and,
  5. inter-state cooperation, regional integration, peace and security.

Allow me to highlight that the last time water and sanitation were the themes of our Heads of State and Governments discussions was in July 2008 in Sharm el Sheikh, nearly 15 years ago. As we forge on from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the now-frequent water-related disasters, is it not the right time for us to put it back on the agenda?

AMCOW’s appeal to you is to do all you can to support a request to declare Water and Sanitation as the theme of the African Union for 2026. This will give us the platform to have the post-2025 Africa Water Vision adopted and owned by our leadership.

In the meantime, let us institutionalise the process of engagement being revitalised today. It is my prayer that this agenda-setting gathering of the Executive Leadership of the organisations responsible for water resources management in Africa will be a permanent fixture of the calendar of events of AMCOW through ANBO. Let us leave Kampala with an agreement on which entity will be hosting this gathering next year and on what date. We would like for the outcomes of these gatherings to inform the annual agenda of the AMCOW Governing Council, which would imply that we meet each year before that meeting.

Join me in appreciating the warm hospitality of our hosts and the time and resources they have invested in getting us here. And to the multitude of our partners, we acknowledge your invaluable support.

I thank you.

Eng Adamu and Dr Rashid
Special Messages

Vote of Thanks by the AMCOW Executive Secretary at the Send-Off Dinner of Hon Eng Suleiman Adamu, Federal Minister of Water Resources, Nigeria and AMCOW Vice President 2021 – 2023 Held on Saturday, 20 May 2023.

Honourable Eng Suleiman Adamu,

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

All protocols observed.

I am honoured to convey the vote of thanks of the Council of Ministers responsible for water affairs in Africa to you Honourable Eng Suleiman Adamu. The Council of Ministers is what is popularly abbreviated as AMCOW. The Secretariat of AMCOW is hosted by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Water Resources. As such, Hon Eng Adamu has been AMCOW’s host Minister throughout his tenure; and the Vice President for West Africa for the period 2021 to 2023.

Reiterating the express sentiment of the Council, you have been a tireless AMCOW Brand Ambassador. This is exemplified by how you made AMCOW’s 20th Anniversary celebrations without a doubt one of the highlights of the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 2022.

The passion with which you have always led AMCOW’s engagements and with which you always spoke about the vision of AMCOW’s founders, played no small part in the revitalisation we are now witnessing at AMCOW.

You were unequivocal in reminding all concerned of the Mission of AMCOW to provide political leadership to release the development potential of Africa’s Water resources.

You posed the perhaps difficult, but necessary questions of self-reflection on how – the Council – as the leadership of the water and sanitation sector in Africa, was doing to actualise the vision of the 45 founding Ministers that issued the Abuja Declaration establishing AMCOW.

Above all, you provided profound insight into motivating concrete action to move the water and sanitation agenda forward through sharing the success factors and lessons learnt from the PEWASH programme in Nigeria.

You have been accessible and enviably willing to give freely of your time to advance AMCOW matters. Your prioritisation of AMCOW has been invaluable to the Council’s achievements in:

  1. Building consensus on an African common position on water security and sanitation for economic growth and social transformation. As we forge on from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the now-frequent water-related disasters, the significance of the Member States’ collective targeted action cannot be overemphasised.
  2. Infusing new approaches into ongoing efforts to attract commensurate funding and investment to the sector. You have been at the forefront of promoting the sanitation economy and promoting the principles of valuing water in national systems for economic planning and domestic allocations.
  3. Promoting a new narrative on Africa’s water resources as an essential ingredient of our aspirations for:
    • food security and nutritional safety;
    • energy sufficiency, industrialisation and modernisation of our economies;
    • human and environmental health and the associated improvements in productivity;
    • improvements in opportunities for trade, employment and prosperity for all; and,
    • inter-state cooperation, regional integration, peace and security.

Indeed, at the continental level, you have played a significant role in demonstrating AMCOW’s strength as an organisation and in improving AMCOW’s franchise value globally.

At the level of the Secretariat, we have lacked nothing that relates to the obligations of the host country in AMCOW’s Headquarters agreement. Indeed, you have spearheaded ongoing efforts to secure land for the construction of a permanent Secretariat as provided for in the said Agreement. This will not only address the requirements for space given the growth at the Secretariat over the last 20 years but will also contribute to assuring AMCOW’s financial sustainability.

And of course, it would be amiss of me not to acknowledge your support – through the Permanent Secretary and the technical leadership at the Ministry – that culminated in a generous update of the Secretariat’s fleet by the Federal Government. We are forever in your debt.

On a personal level, working under your leadership has been a truly enriching experience, characterised by immense learning and growth at the Secretariat.

The team at the Secretariat and I take it as our collective responsibility to celebrate the legacy of your service to AMCOW and jealously preserve it. We remain at your disposal and hope to learn more from you as we move forward.

Your peers, the members of the Council, and the water community in Africa thank you for the prestige that the style of your leadership has gained for AMCOW. I thank you.

Rashid Mbaziira-Executive Secretary AMCOW
FeaturedSpecial Messages

Vote of thanks by Dr Rashid Mbaziira at the handover of AMCOW Presidency from Namibia to Egypt

4th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the African Ministers’ Council on Water, held on Thursday, 23 February 2023.

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 a truly 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 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 the period 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 have been invaluable to our achievements in your tenure.

You have been a tireless AMCOW Brand Ambassador.

You made the AMCOW@20 celebrations without a doubt one of the highlights of the 9th World Water Forum.

In your tenure, the Secretariat has lacked for nothing that relates to what is provided for under the Headquarters Agreement. Indeed, you have spearheaded ongoing efforts to secure land for the construction of a permanent Secretariat as per the Headquarters Agreement. This will not only address the requirements for space given the growth at the Secretariat, but will also contribute to assuring our financial sustainability.

And of course, it would be amiss of me not to mention the generous 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 ably represented by Hon Cecilia Chamutota. The guidance received during the tête-à-tête consultations with you shaped the regional priorities that in turn 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 5 regional consultations prior to 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 to also 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 through 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 all propositions and improve them to facilitate higher-level decision making and eventual practical implementation. This is what resulted in the delivery of, among others, the:

  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 improve the financial situation at the Secretariat have all 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 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 the delivery of the expected outputs from our triennial work programme. We are bound to face setbacks along the way. What is important 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 by working together, we can achieve even greater success for AMCOW.

I thank you.