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Confab Harps On Partnership To Strengthen Water Sector In Africa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Leaders from the water sector, development partners and government ministries have reiterated the need for closer coordination among government, development partners and industry to mobilize financing to strengthen the water sector in Africa.

This observation was made in a In a communique issued at the end of the 21st International Congress and Exhibition of the African Water Association (AfWA) and the 7th International Conference on Faecal Sludge Management (FSM7), held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

African water sector leaders and participants at the four-day conference acknowledged the burden of inadequate water and sanitation in Africa and therefore called for universal guaranteed access to water and sanitation services across the continent.

1,600 delegates and representatives from 146 international companies participated in the joint conference, co-sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

President of the AfWA, Dr. Silver Mugisha said sanitation would be a big part of the association’s focus going forward and urged others to do the same.

“Let’s not just say that we have added sanitation but build it in from the ground up. Let’s go with action-oriented take homes in order to cause a difference. Whatever we do, we must do it in the best interest of people and hopefully, this conference has provided a few things we can use”, he said.

AfDB’s Director of Water Development and Sanitation, Osward Chanda stressed the importance of innovation, partnerships and new approaches in strengthening water service delivery.

Chanda expressed optimism about the potential partnerships that have been formed during the congress to implement innovations and help the water sector

He also advocated for knowledge strengthening, the promotion of business models to increase efficiency and scale up access to water and sanitation, and the inclusion of beneficiary voices in the sector’s conversations.

“We need more voices of beneficiaries in these conversations so that they can provide that much-needed experience and knowledge from the ground”, he added.

He also reiterated the Bank’s commitment to supporting actions, initiatives and innovations that will improve livelihoods and make a difference for Africans.

Chief of Staff to the Ivorian Minister for Hydraulics, Sanitation and Hygiene, Mr. Drissa Diomande unveiled the Abidjan 2023 Declaration on access to water and sanitation. The communique recognizes the need for an integrated approach to managing water resources to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 by 2030.

Mr. Diomande also recommended that the Declaration be presented during the United Nations Water Conference in March 2023 in New York.

In line with the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda, several African countries have committed to achieving Goal 6 (SDG 6) which aims to ensure universal access to water, sanitation and sustainable management of water resources.

Meanwhile, Côte d’Ivoire is already well on its way to achieving this ambition, with a rate of access to drinking water of more than 80 percent in urban areas and more than 70 percent in rural areas according to the Ivorian authorities.

The next AfWA congress will take place in February 2024, in Guinea Conakry.


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