AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, has paid a courtesy call to the Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation, Republic of Malawi, Hon. John Bande. The visit, which took place from 24-27 May 2022, was to solicit Malawi’s and partners’ inputs into AMCOW’s ongoing efforts to provide responsive solutions to the intermittent but extreme drought and post-drought flooding episodes ravaging different parts of Southern and Eastern Africa. Also, the Executive Secretary seized the opportunity to discuss AMCOW’S strategic direction for the period 2022-24 within the framework of implementing the AMCOW Strategy 2018-2030.
AMCOW understands that the responsiveness of continental policy initiatives to Member States’ real needs is dependent on a Bottom-Up to Top-Down approach. Therefore, AMCOW is working to ensure that Member States’ priorities constitute the basis for formulating continental initiatives, domesticated for implementation as national policies.
However, to ensure ownership, it is imperative that all Member States at least can identify with aspects of AMCOW programmes – this is, in turn, influenced by their level of participation in the formulation process of the programmes. Therefore, this courtesy call on the Honourable Minister falls within the broad framework of the regional consultations.
Critical highlights of the discussions include enlisting the support of the Republic of Malawi on:
- annually convening the statutory AMCOW Southern Africa sub-regional Ministerial Committee (SMC) meeting in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat;
- implementing continental and global commitments on water and sanitation, including the Africa Water Vision 2025, PIDA-PAP II water projects and SDG 6;
- utilising the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPGs) to formulate a SADC regional protocol on pollution control and accelerating access to safely managed sanitation; and,
- making preparations for the 13th ordinary session of the AMCOW Executive Committee (EXCO) in Windhoek, Namibia, and the water pavilion at COP27 at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
During the meeting, Hon. John Bande assured AMCOW of Malawi’s commitment to its programmes and activities.
Since completing the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal, AMCOW has increased its effort to strengthen engagement with the Member States and partners. AMCOW’s Executive Secretary has since paid courtesy calls to Ministers responsible for water in Nigeria, Mozambique, Egypt and Malawi and is still counting.