The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has welcomed Dr. Rashid Mbaziira – a Ugandan national – as its Executive Secretary.
Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein – the Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia, and President of the AMCOW Council of Ministers – announced Dr. Mbaziira’s appointment at the end of an Extra-Ordinary session of the AMCOW Executive Committee, and the appointment takes effect from 8th November 2021.
A Rhodes Scholar, Dr Mbaziira has a PhD degree from the University of Oxford, St Catherine’s College conferred in 2007. His research was in the field of Water Sciences, Policy and Management. Dr. Mbaziira holds a BSc in Agricultural Engineering degree (First Class) from Makerere University, Kampala; and a Stage 1 certificate from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
He has 20 years of experience, 15 of which have been in providing policy development leadership in the water and sanitation sector in Africa. His expertise includes formulation and operationalisation of strategic continental initiatives to implement the Sharm-el-Sheikh Declaration on accelerating the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa.
Dr. Mbaziira’s technical knowledge and practical disposition to addressing challenges related to water management, sanitation and hygiene services provision have made him a highly sought-after-professional. This is reflected by his robust track record of coordinating multi-stakeholder interventions to strengthen Africa’s water management function at both regional and sub-regional levels. A key highlight is the formulation of the African Water Resources Management Priority Action Programme 2016 – 2025 that informs the AMCOW Strategy 2018 -2030. He similarly provided technical facilitation to prepare the AMCOW Governance Framework and Management Strategy.
“I am humbled by the trust placed in me by the Council of Ministers to serve the water community in Africa,” Dr. Mbaziira said of his appointment. “I pledge to fully apply myself to consolidate AMCOW’s function as an effective mandated organ of the African Union’s efforts to assure water security in Africa. Effective water management is vital to ensure human and environmental health; economic production; and climate resilience. In this context, AMCOW has to be at the forefront of initiatives to achieve the goals of African Union Agenda 2063. Of particular relevance to AMCOW’s mandate is Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063, namely: to realise a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.”
Congratulating him on his appointment Hon. Schlettwein said, “I have no doubt that Dr. Mbaziira’s expertise will be brought to bear to revitalise AMCOW’s status as a trusted facilitator of action to achieve water and sanitation goals in Africa.”
He charged the new Executive Secretary to demonstrate AMCOW’s relevance to the Member States, the African Union and AMCOW partners through Thought-Leadership.
“Given the slow vaccine roll-out in Africa, improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services holds the promise for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases,” Hon Schlettwein added. “The expectations on AMCOW to accelerate action to get Member States on track to achieve SDG 6 cannot, therefore, be overemphasised.”
Dr. Mbaziira takes over from Dr. Canisius Kanangire who left AMCOW in May this year.