As part of its mandate, the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) is tasked with supporting Member States and the African Union in general with developing and strengthening a robust monitoring system to help track water and sanitation sector progress, and to inform decision making towards accelerated access to clean and safely managed water and sanitation services for all.
However, weakness that exist in some national data and information management and monitoring systems, and the lack of credible and sufficient reporting on the state of the water resources of the continent has been taken up at the AU Summit level leading to the landmark Sharm El Sheikh Commitments in July 2008. The AU Heads of State and Governments specifically called on AMCOW to report annually to the Summit on the state of the continent’s water resources. In response to the mandate entrusted by the Head of States and Governments, AMCOW with the financial support from the African Development Bank (AfDB)/African Water Facility (AWF), developed a web-based Pan-African Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring (WASSMO). The online platform allows member states of African Union to manage, document and monitor their national reporting processes in a user-friendly manner that was not possible with past monitoring systems. With the system, all data are stored at a central database with back-up facilities. It monitors progress against 43 core indicators in the seven areas of water infrastructure for growth, managing and protecting water resources, water supply, sanitation, hygiene and wastewater, climate change and disaster risk reduction, governance and institutions, financing and information management and capacity development.
The key result during the first phase of this initiative included the development and adoption by Member States of the water & sanitation reporting format and guidelines on reporting. It also supported the AMCOW Secretariat, African Union and over 60 stakeholders in strengthening their capacities in the use and management of the data platform, with two water and sanitation reports being produced on the same in 2011 and 2015 respectively.
AMCOW has since March 2020 signed a new MoU with AfDB/AWF for the second phase of the WASSMO. The objective of the second phase is to support and strengthen monitoring capacity and decision-making processes at national, sub-regional and continental levels in the water and sanitation sector. The second phase will be implemented in 24 months (2020-2022) and consists of three main components: strengthening of the Pan African Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting System, capacity enhancement of stakeholders, and project management. Since the inception and launching of the second phase in June 2020, national coordination platforms have been established, the monitoring framework updated and indicators reviewed and disaggregated to respond better to the need of member states and other stakeholders.
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