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AMCOW Northern Africa Sub-Regional TEC and TAC Consultation, Cairo

April 16, 2024

The African Ministers’ Council on Water – AMCOW Northern Africa Sub-Regional Ministerial Consultation commenced on 16 April 2024, per the Council’s Rules of Procedures to determine regional water resource priorities. Hosted by the Arab Republic of Egypt, the event brings together esteemed delegates, the Technical Expert Committee (TEC), and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) members from Northern Africa. Dr Tahani Sileet, the Minister Assistant for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt and AMCOW TAC Chair, led the meeting.

The two-day meeting, scheduled for April 16-17, 2024, featured a comprehensive agenda to encourage collaboration, review ongoing initiatives, and set strategic priorities for water resources management in Northern Africa. The provisional agenda, outlined meticulously, encompasses various sessions focusing on critical aspects of water governance, the financial sustainability of AMCOW, regional cooperation, and continental engagement.

The opening session saw esteemed dignitaries and representatives delivering remarks, including Prof. Dr Hani Sewilam, Minister of Water and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and AMCOW President, who opened the event, highlighted the challenges that Africa faces in managing water resources, and called for concerted action to address them effectively. Dr. Tahani Sileet, AMCOW TAC Chair, warmly welcomed participants, emphasising Egypt’s commitment to regional collaboration in water resource management.

Key sessions throughout the consultation included an overview of regional priorities, implementation of council decisions, and discussions on improving continental reporting. Participants engaged in constructive dialogue, sharing insights and perspectives to enhance water governance frameworks and address the region’s unique challenges.

The agenda for the second day focused on reviewing programs and projects, updating continental initiatives, preparing for continental and global events, and considering the annotated agenda. With a packed schedule ahead, delegates were poised to indulge in developing key messages and a common position ahead of the 10th World Water Forum in Bali. Also, the region held a closed session to nominate the countries to represent the region in the AMCOW Governing Council from 2025 to 2027.

Africa must seize the opportunities presented by the upcoming continental and global events, such as the 10th World Water Forum, World Water Week, Africa Water Week and Cairo Water Week. These are good opportunities to raise the profile of Africa’s water sector on broader stages, says Prof Sewilam. Dr. Tahani Sileet, AMCOW TAC Chair, echoed these sentiments, emphasising the critical objectives of the consultation and urging active participation from all stakeholders to ensure its success.

In his vote of thanks, the AMCOW Vice Chair for North Africa and TAC member for Mauritania, Mr Gaye Assene, applauded Egypt and the Secretariat for organising such a consultation. He affirmed the region’s willingness to work together to achieve Africa’s water agenda. In closing, Dr Tahani thanked every participant for coming to Egypt and emphasised that this was a memorable event – having the representation of all the countries.


Africa Shapes a Kampala Declaration on Transboundary Water Resources Management

ENTEBBE, Uganda – The four-day high-level meeting held from May 22 to May 25, 2023, at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala concluded with the landmark Kampala Declaration on Transboundary Water Resources Management in Africa. This significant gathering, organized by the African Network of Basin Organizations (ANBO) in collaboration with the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), GIZ, and the World Bank, marked the first of its kind and emphasized the crucial need for enhanced cooperation among these institutions.

During the meeting, key stakeholders, including the African Regional Communities (RECs), the River and Lake Basin Organizations (RLBOs), the African Development Bank, and other Development Partners, agreed on the Kampala Declaration. This declaration outlines a comprehensive set of commitments to strengthen collaboration, leverage resources, advance transboundary projects, enhance data and information services, and institutionalise high-level engagements. The shared objective is to effectively manage and develop shared water resources in support of Africa’s socio-economic growth, regional integration, and the achievement of key regional and global goals, such as the African Union Agenda 2063, Africa Water Vision 2025, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG 6 and its targets.

The meeting commenced with an opening address by the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, First Deputy Prime Minister and East African Community Affairs Minister. She emphasised the importance of effective water governance and policy harmonisation in addressing the continent’s water challenges. Professor Patrick Otieno Lumumba delivered an inspiring keynote address, underscoring the pivotal role of the river and lake basin organizations in Africa’s socio-economic transformation and the need for self-reliance.

Representing the Development Partner perspective, Anders Jägerskog, Program Manager of the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA), highlighted the World Bank’s commitment to supporting transboundary water cooperation as a public good that fosters conflict prevention and climate resilience. Dr Malte Grossman, Head of Nile Basin Projects at GIZ Uganda, stressed the significance of peer-to-peer learning among River and Lake Basin Organizations, emphasising the importance of sustained networking.

Eng. Sylvester Matemu, President of the African Network of Basin Organizations, underscored the regional importance of this high-level stakeholder engagement, stating that transboundary water cooperation is vital for sustainable water management, development, and the protection of the environment. Hon. Beatrice Atim Anywar, Uganda’s State Minister for Water and Environment, emphasised the cooperative approach required to address water resources’ threats.

Dr Rashid Mbaziira, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, called upon all stakeholders to act on the commitments outlined in the Kampala Declaration, urging them to institutionalise this high-level gathering as an annual event for monitoring progress. As part of the meeting’s agenda, delegates also visited the Source of the Nile River in Jinja and a hydroelectric power plant, highlighting the practical aspects of transboundary water management. AMCOW’s active participation and collaboration in this high-level stakeholder engagement have resulted in the development of the Kampala Declaration. This comprehensive framework sets the stage for enhanced cooperation, sustainable development, and protection of African shared water resources.