The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) commenced the second round of its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) sub regional meetings on September 2020. The meetings held virtually across the 5 geographical regions of Africa -Southern, Western, Eastern, Northern, Central- offered an opportunity for AMCOW Secretariat staff and the TAC members to reevaluate interventions and measures deployed to address key water and sanitation issues specific to each of the regions. It further provided a platform to discuss Africa’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the need for increased sector financing to support COVID-19 pandemic and such future emergencies and an overall stock taking on the status of implementation of the AMCOW Strategy 2018-2030 and the SOP 2020-2024.
In addition to the TAC members, a representative the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) also attended the discussions. The Secretariat presented an update on its programmes, including the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG), AMCOW Pan-African Groundwater Programme (APAGroP), Monitoring & Evaluation and Knowledge Management, and the status of preparations for AMCOW conferences (AWW8 and AfricaSan6). The Secretariat also informed the TAC of the preparations towards the12th General Assembly (GA) scheduled for February 2021.
The TAC members applauded the Secretariats’ achievements in adhering to its workplan despite the Covid-19 pandemic and urged the Secretariat to continue to embrace the new normal in implementing planned activities. They pledged to continue supporting the Secretariat. The TAC acknowledged the presence of RECs as being critical in strengthening partnership between AMCOW and such regional bodies towards achieving regional, continental and global goals on water and sanitation. The committee called for stronger synergy between RECs and AMCOW to help improve the quality of data collected from the regions in the upcoming monitoring campaign to ascertain the status of water and sanitation in Africa.