Dear Stakeholders of the Water Community.
Seasons greetings to you from AMCOW Secretariat, Abuja.
Times run so fast. 2022 is coming to an end. However, the year has been successful and impactful for the water community in Africa and beyond.
Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 was challenging, but through cooperation and effective collaboration we achieved much.
This year, AMCOW turned 20. The 9th World Water Forum provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate AMCOW’s 20th Anniversary. For the first time at the Forum, AMCOW and the African Development Bank jointly hosted an Africa Pavilion and facilitated continental engagement. We mobilised new partners – signed six new Memoranda of Understanding, and triggered dialogue on the Team Europe Blue Initiative on Transboundary Water Resources Management. The engagement continued with a follow-up consultation led by the African Union Commission, AMCOW, AfDB, River and Lake Basins LBOs, and the European Commission – to come up with a strategic framework for the Initiative in Africa. Also, under the leadership of the AUC, AMCOW organised a third African Water Partners Coordination Platform (PCP) to assess progress and challenges in achieving continental goals on water.
In April, AMCOW welcomed an AfDB-Africa Water Facility (AWF) delegation to strengthen collaboration for water governance and reporting on the 2008 Sharm El Sheikh commitments. By mid-year, AMCOW and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) convened a first Africa Sanitation Sector Partners Alignment Workshop. Partners determined areas of synergy in utilising the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) to strengthen Africa’s sanitation policy environment. Learning from this alignment workshop triggered the organisation of another sanitation advocacy partners roundtable in Nairobi by BMGF.
From May to July, we had the training of Member States’ focal points for the Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting. The activity helped us to strengthen and launch the 2022 WASSMO data collection exercise. Also, we organised its Sub-Regional Ministerial Consultations with its Technical Expert Committees and Technical Advisory Committees across all five regions of Western, Eastern, Central, Northern and Southern Africa. The consultations facilitated joint identification of continental priorities and collaboration among Member States, Regional Economic Communities and the River and Lake Basins. Member States also nominated countries to represent their regions in AMCOW’s Policy Organs for 2023-2025.
In August, we mobilised Member States to the Stockholm World Water Week 2022. AMCOW held the Africa Focus Day event and agreed on the Terms of Reference for operationalising the Development Partners Coordination Framework. Also, AMCOW launched a Knowledge Management Challenge to improve Africa’s water wisdom in line with the Africa Water Vision 2025.
As AMCOW President, The Republic of Namibia hosted the 13th Ordinary Session of AMCOW’s Executive Committee (EXCO) in October. EXCO Ministers that were present approved AMCOW’s work programmes 2023-2024 and other continental initiatives on water and sanitation. Also, the EXCO adopted the Dakar Declaration-A Blue Deal for Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development – as Africa’s common position for the UN 2023 Water Conference.
AMCOW, AfDB and UNECA – led by the African Union – organized two Regional Consultations on the mid-term review of the Water Action Decade – to strengthen Africa’s message toward the UN 2023 Water Conference. In preparations for the Conference in March 2023, AMCOW, in collaboration with UNESCO, convened the Africa Focus Event on the margins of the Decemeber 2023 UN Groundwater Summit. AMCOW undertook consultations on its new Strategic Groundwater Programme for Water Security and Resilience in Africa.
To close the year in elegance, AMCOW’s membership in the World Water Council’s Board of Governors got renewed. This re-election means AMCOW will play a leadership role in mobilising a solid and impactful African presence at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia.
Overall, 2022 sets a springboard for better achievements in the coming years. We have taken stock of the progress and challenges we experienced, and we have planned for 2023.
In the pursuit of assuring water security and safely managed sanitation, AMCOW will play significant leadership roles at global and continental events, including the UN 2023 Water Conference in March, planning and preparatory meetings toward the 10th World Water Forum, Cairo Water Week 2023 and the organisation the AfricaSan7 conference from 10 to 15 June 2023.
We remain thankful to all our Stakeholders, Member States, the African Union, development partners and donors, that have made 2022 successful for AMCOW.
We look forward to 2023 – with hope for strengthened collaboration and collective action in the pursuit of sector goals. We uphold a renewed confidence toward delivering water for all purposes.
AMCOW Secretariat anticipates a more fruitful year 2023.
Continue to follow us on our social media handles: @amcowafrica (on Twitter); @AfricanMinistersCouncilonWater (on LinkedIn)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Dr Rashid Mbaziira,
Executive Secretary, AMCOW.