Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 3, 2023.
The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Secretariat successfully hosted the 4th meeting of the African Water and Sanitation Partners’ Coordination Platform (PCP) on October 2-3, 2023, at the AUC Headquarters. The conference aimed to build upon previous successes and strategies for advancing Africa’s water and sanitation agenda.
The PCP meeting focused on key objectives, including guiding the shaping of the post-African Water Vision 2025 and garnering support for adopting ‘Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development’ as the African Union’s theme for 2026. The meeting is also planned for the third Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water (PANAFCON-3) and the coordination of Africa’s contribution to the 10th World Water Forum in Indonesia.
A total of 40 participants engaged in the meeting, with 24 attending in person and 16 participating virtually via Zoom. Participants included representatives of the Member States, AUC, AUDA-NEPAD Water Centres for Excellence, AMCOW Secretariat, African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River and Lake Basin Organisations (RLBOs), Global Water Partnership (GWP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Un-Water, UNECE Water Convention, WaterAid, International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), Africa Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA), and Africa Renaissance.
Several opening remarks were delivered, emphasising the importance of collaboration and coordination. The Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, called for a revitalisation of the operational arrangements of the PCP, stressing the need for more interaction within thematic clusters. Dr Zebene Lakew Teffera highlighted Africa’s water and sanitation challenges, urging stakeholders to address gaps and align efforts with upcoming events. Dr Mohy Tohami emphasised the continent’s potential to realise its water goals through joint endeavours. And the Representative of the Director SEBE, on behalf of H.E. Amb. Josefa Sacko underscored the meeting’s role in advancing the water and sanitation agenda for socio-economic development.
Discussion Points, Outcomes, and Agreed Actions
The meeting addressed thematic clusters, recognising the initiatives of partner organisations. Attendees acknowledged the progress made by UNDRR and the AUDA-NEPAD CoE in capacity development. Questions were raised about the utilisation of research and data discrepancies. The PCP agreed to inquire about interest in joining clusters, convene online meetings, and revitalise the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the PCP cluster working group.
Partners presented overviews of water and sanitation support. The PCP acknowledged partner actions and emphasised ongoing support to Member States, RLBOs, and RECs. Efforts to improve water wisdom through a harmonised Knowledge Agenda for the continent were also highlighted.
On updates of the World Water Forum (WWF), the PCP discussed the progress report on the Dakar Declaration and emphasised the need for a comprehensive UN Water Strategy. Actions were agreed upon for adopting the ‘Water Security and Sanitation for Peace and Development’ theme for 2026.
Concerning the high-level meeting on transboundary water management, the PCP noted progress on the outcomes and the way forward for the high-level meeting on transboundary water management in Africa.
The PCP acknowledged progress on implementing water projects of transboundary dimension under PIDA-PAP II. During the deliberation on Africa Climate Week Activities, participants sought clarification on the roadmap for implementing the Nairobi Declaration, with the AUC committing to sharing the declaration.
The progress towards Africa Water Vision 2025 was discussed against indicators of continental commitments on water and sanitation. A post-2025 Africa Water Vision roadmap was developed, emphasising coordination and capacity development.
Strategies were agreed upon to promote the water theme for 2026. Also, the meeting discussed hosting the AfricaSan 7 Conference in Namibia.
Overall, the PCP was deemed engaging and successful, with participants committing to actions for timely delivery and reporting at the next PCP in 2024.