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Africa Water Sector and Sanitation Monitoring and Reporting

The Sharm el SheikhCommitments marked a step-change in the implementation and achievement of Africa Water Vision 2025 as well as MDG targets on Water and Sanitation in Africa. Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030

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African Ministers' Council on Water
French Embassy Signs MOU with African Ministers Council on Water...Pledges France Support for Water Development in Africa PDF Print E-mail

Abuja: 21st September 2012

France has pledged continued support to efforts aimed at driving enabling policy for improving access to water and sanitation in Africa. French Ambassador in Nigeria, Jacques Champagne De Labriolle made the pledge Thursday 20th September 2012 while signing a Memorandum of Understanding to assist the activities of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) Secretariat in Abuja.

The agreement is expected to support AMCOW, a Specialized Technical Committee of the African Union, provide documentation for French speaking member countries on the reporting of the implementation of the AU Heads of State Sharm el-Sheikh commitments on water and sanitation in the continent. Responding, AMCOW Executive Secretary, Bai Mass Taal noted that France has consistently provided donor support to many African countries in the provision of water supply and safe sanitation, as well as the efficient management of trans-boundary waters. The Executive Secretary noted particularly the significant support given by France in the establishment of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) and the African Water Facility (AWF), an AMCOW initiative hosted in the African Development Bank. “I commend most especially the recent pledge of 40 million Euros made by France toward the replenishment of the funding for the two initiatives during the World Water Forum in Marseille, France this year”, said Taal.



The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) was formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development and poverty eradication among member states through the management of water resources and provision of water supply services. AMCOW’ mission is to provide political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems.

AU Heads of State Sharm El Sheikh Declaration on Water and Sanitation

Sharm El Sheikh Commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa (Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (XI) was adopted by African Heads of State and Government at its 11th Ordinary session in July 2008 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt mandates AMCOW to develop an implementation strategy and annually report on progress made in the implementation of our commitment on water and sanitation with support from regional partners, and to submit these reports for our consideration;


The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) aims at accelerating access to improved rural water supply and sanitation facilities in Africa, in a sustainable way. The Initiative seeks to help mobilize as well as facilitate the flow of available and potential resources to accelerate investment in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) in Africa, with goal to reach 80 percent coverage by the year 2015. The Initiative supports the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the reduction of poverty. RWSSI was adopted in 2005 by AfDB’s main international development partners and African governments as a common framework, at the first International Conference on the RWSSI held in Paris April 1st, 2005.


The African Water Facility (AWF) is an initiative of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW). It is hosted and managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The overall purpose of the Facility is to assist African countries to mobilize and apply resources for the Water and Sanitation sector to help enable them to successfully implement the Africa Water Vision (2025) and meet the MDGs (2015). The AWF began its operations in 2006.

AMCOW President Opens Africa Focus Day at World Water Week PDF Print E-mail

Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished Partners, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Africa Focus Day at the 2012 World Water Week. I also bring felicitations from my immediate predecessor and immediate past President of the African Ministers Council on Water, Dr Hesham Kandil, now the Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. He sends his warmest regards to colleague Ministers and recalls with nostalgia the meeting together of the AMCOW Ministers at the last General Assembly and Africa Water Week in Cairo in May 2012.

Being new on the saddle I am equally delighted that this meeting provides me the opportunity to meet and interact with the AMCOW regional Vice Presidents and colleague Ministers for the first time. I hope that our interactions will be most fruitful in moving AMCOW forward.

Over the years, it has become a time-honoured tradition at the World Water Week to accord Africa a voice and space through the Africa Focus Day to express ourselves on the challenges that confront us in water resources management. It is gratifying to note that this year’s Africa Focus is organized around two seminars of four sessions. The first seminar explores the theme “Water Security: Opportunities for the 21st Century” while the second examines the theme “Managing Africa’s Water Resources: Challenges and Opportunities. Both themes are relevant given that water is life, and remains at the core of human existence, survival and well being. As I emphasized at the opening plenary, the availability of water in sufficient quantity and acceptable quality remains vital for improved health, livelihoods, agricultural uses and other economic activities as well as for environmental protection in a world challenged by increasing adverse changes in our climatic conditions. I spoke of the imperativeness that we respond to these challenges which we face in providing enough water for human use in the continent.

If we therefore fail to place water as the engine for growth and at the heart of development planning, on-going efforts to develop our continent will remain a mirage. We must therefore begin to also raise the priority given to water for food and water for energy production, in such proportion and levels of intensity of effort and political will that we currently place on providing access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. It is in this regard that the themes that guide our discourse today remain germane and very opportune.

At the last Africa Water Week held in Cairo, Egypt, AMCOW adopted ‘Water for Growth in Africa’ as the driving force for our work over the next ten years as part of our renewed vigour to achieve the 2025 Africa Water Vision. Our deliberations during the Water Week enabled AMCOW to pay a renewed and devoted attention to water for growth, building again on our commitments from the 2008 1st Africa Water Week: “Towards Water for Social and Economic Development.” For AMCOW our goal is clear and unambiguous which is that Water for Growth – in all of its important and significant connections – should henceforth be elevated to the level of political attention and implementation priority that has been accorded to drinking water and sanitation over the last ten years.

Why is this emphasis necessary? It is necessary because without achieving sustainable economic growth and development, our commitment to providing safe drinking water and sanitation will also remain elusive. Water for Growth therefore represents Africa’s overarching and driving framework for the development, management and utilization of water resources and for our aspirations for poverty reduction; sustainable socio-economic development; as well as equitable and all-inclusive growth. When we fail to do so, we consign our people to donor dependence.

However, while we cherish the support we get from our development partners, it is equally evident that donor support does not have the capacity to tackle the challenges we face and continued dependence on that is no longer sustainable in a world riddled with unstable economies. We must therefore rise to harness our resources especially water in a more coordinated and efficient manner that will engender economic growth and prosperity.

I intend to pursue an agenda that promotes a high degree of collaboration and engagement between the Africa water ministries and the ministries responsible for driving social and economic development such as ministries of finance, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, natural resources, and trade, alongside other stakeholders with wide institutional representation. For AMCOW, that is the way to go because water is at the center of development and we need to flush away poverty in Africa and flow in prosperity.

Permit me to assure our development partners and other stakeholders that AMCOW takes the issue of implementing past declarations and commitments especially the Sharm el Sheikh AU Heads of State and Government mandate on integrated water resources management seriously. We recognize that only by so doing can we advance the well-being of Africa’s people, economy and environment. We will continue to focus on the many challenges that remain and the absolute urgency required in intensifying and scaling up efforts on the ground. We as AMCOW Ministers commit to bringing solutions that add value and we pledge that these commitments will be honoured. We pledge to work together with you to achieve the targets we set for ourselves.

Having said that, it is my singular pleasure to declare the Africa Focus Day open. Thank you.

Speech by the AMCOW President at 6th World Water Forum PDF Print E-mail


High Royal Highness, the Prince of Orange
Mr L. Ping, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Mr D Kaberuka, President of AfDB
Ministers in attendance
Ladies and Gentlemen

It has been a tradition over the past five World Water Forums to accord Africa a voice and space to express itself on water challenges. We thank the Forum for this wonderful opportunity. This year’s Forum is unique in that its theme; ‘TIME FOR SOLUTIONS’’ aptly articulates the impatience and marginalisation of the most affected communities in Africa.

Where I come from in Africa, and South Africa to be precise, we say ‘KE NAKO’ ‘NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT’. ‘NOW IS THE TIME FOR SOLUTIONS’.

It is imperative that we should respond to the challenge posed to this Forum by the two siblings, namely, water and sanitation. The paucity of clean potable of water and the lack of sanitation services defines the plight and bitter experiences of millions in the continent. We cannot address the twin challenges of water and sanitation to the exclusion of the masses of Africa.

What binds us today is our concern that at least one out of every five children from Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa to Takoradi in Ghana could be subtracted from the millions of African children who lack access to clean water and sanitation, or that ten out of every fifty women from Kenya to Burundi to Mauritania will no longer have to slog ten to twenty miles or more to fetch water for domestic use. We have come here today with a common resolve to make vital commitments, take solid actions to make these happen in order to increase these numbers that gets subtracted from those who still lack water and sanitation.

Sustainable financing for water security in Africa presents a great challenge to our resolve to make a difference and create access to clean water and safe sanitation for our under-served and yet-to-be reached growing African populations. Arising from the Africa Regional contribution to the 5th World Water Forum Report, we know that the investment needed to develop adequate water infrastructure platform in the continent is estimated at US$50 billion, about US$ 12.0 billion of which, is needed for water supply and sanitation.

Clean water and safe sanitation have been recognized as key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets. The effective utilization of the water resources as well as efficient and harmonious management of our trans-boundary waters will lead to greater food security, better harnessing of our energy sources, creation of diversified transportation means including effective means of intra and inter socio-economic and political integration, peace and security, factors germane for more robust sustainable development.

Key to achieving this is realizing sustainability in water financing. Mindful that water is and must remain key to sustainable development in Africa, our Excellencies, Heads of States in their Sharm el Sheikh Declaration committed themselves, among others, to do the following:

  • Significantly increase domestic financial resources allocated for implementing national and regional water and sanitation development activities;
  • Develop local financial instruments and markets for investments in the water and sanitation sectors;
  • Mobilize increased donor and other financing for the water and sanitation initiatives including national projects and Rural Water and Sanitation Initiatives (RWSSI), and the African Water Facility (AWF); etc.

It is commendable that on the issue of up-scaling domestic funding for water, several African countries have increased budgetary allocation to water supply and sanitation to match or in certain cases exceed Official Development Assistance (ODA) contributions. Also commendable is that Rural Water and Sanitation (RWSSI), a creation of the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the African Water Facility (AWF), an initiative of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) have become home grown African dynamic solutions created to build an enabling environment for sustainable financing of the water sector for the rural, semi-urban and urban areas in our continent.

The leadership in Africa is not paying lip service to the vision and objectives of the Africa’s Renaissance. It is gratifying to learn that since 2004, the AfDB has committed funding amounting to US$ 1.3 billion to 31 rural water supply and sanitation programmes in 23 African countries while donors and African Governments contributed between US$ 4.5 and 5 billion. Since 2006, the RWSSI Trust Fund has also mobilized about US$ 140 million from donors in support of RWSSI programme activities.

It is also worth mentioning that the AWF, AMCOW’s own baby under the nurture of our key partner, AfDB, has mobilized US$ 160 million and committed US$ 100 million to finance 69 national operations spread across 50 countries on the continent. These endeavours have succeeded in leveraging about US$ 500 million in additional investments into the water sector resulting in a positive multiplier effect of collective pooling of resources.

Much more gratifying is the fact that on this global platform presented by the 6th World Water Forum, we, the Water Ministers are gathered under one roof with our counterparts in charge of Finance, the exchequers and guardians of our treasuries in a conversation that our leaders in Africa had in their wisdom mandated us to hold for some time now. Perhaps even more heart-warming is that we all seem agreed on the need to dedicate greater domestic financing towards water resources management.

We are here to say;

  • we recognise that we still have a long way to deliver water and sanitation to our peoples of the continent.
  • we still have a long way to fully deliver on the MDGs.
  • to our national leaders and institutions that no development can succeed without water.
  • We emphasise that sanitation gives dignity to our people.

I would like to take this opportunity to share our experience in support of water and sanitation programs in South Africa with the Ministers of Finance who are here today. South Africa supports water and sanitation programs through various mechanisms, the first being the budget allocations that currently stands at R75 billion for water infrastructure over the next three years; secondly, an off-budget fund expenditure, thirdly, donors and partnerships. We are currently working on possible measures like implementation of “Polluter Pays Principle” that may take a form of carbon taxes as well as through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).

I therefore commend today’s conference and urge support for the compelling need to replenish the funding basket of the AfdB, RWSSI, AWF and the Global Water Partnerships These institutions remain critical and strategic to our endeavour to better finance water resources.

We are here with our local structures as in African Water Utilities Association (AFWA) – our civil society, women and youth who also stand ready to facilitate efficient and effective water service delivery in our continent.

For us in AMCOW, we will not rest on our oars with the African Water Facility (AWF) initiative. We have other such initiatives and work programmes designed to add impetus to the solutions we seek to achieve our mandate as a key driver for achieving the Africa Water Vision 2025. I therefore call on our development partners to continue to support us to implement our work plan.
I am proud to inform the Forum of the existing partnerships which seek to engender equitable sharing of water amongst the basins states. Outstanding examples of these Commissions that have been established for purposes of effective water management are the following. The Limpopo Water Commission, the Nile Basin Commission and the Zambezi River Commission are worthy of mentioning. The Orange-Senqu River Commission which is the midwife of the world renowned Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) deserves a special mention.

As we all know better water knows neither boundaries nor boarders. It is an important ingredient to economic development, sustainable livelihoods, social cohesion and peace in Africa. Under the leadership of the AU in general and AMCOW in particular, Africa is benefitting from best practices in water resource management and provision for a better life for its citizenry.

Ladies and gentlemen, this Forum has to be defined by taking decisions and actions that involve the participation of the local people, especially, women in the management of the water resource at all level of its value chain in Africa. Women head most households in rural Africa. Women bear the brunt of poverty, underdevelopment and lack of access to water in the continent.
The struggle for the emancipation and empowerment of women cannot be divorced from the struggle for access to water in Africa. Now is the time to use water to wash away poverty and underdevelopment from the impoverished faces of the children of Africa. Now is the time to use water as a catalyst for the emancipation and the empowerment of women in Africa. Now is the time to use water as tool to accelerate the social and economic development of Africa.

In conclusion, I applaud the AfDB for working with the African Union Commission (AUC) and AMCOW in organizing this workshop. I thank you all for your contributions and special focus in support of achieving Africa’s aspiration to attain water security in the continent of Africa.

We all stand ready to establish further partnerships and receive investments.

  • We all stand ready to increase the rate and pace of delivery
  • We have greatly improved our governance mechanisms and continue on the path of perfecting those mechanisms.
  • We have structures and facilities in place that stand ready to receive donations and form partnerships.

Thank you and God bless.

2012 World Water Week Africa Focus Day PDF Print E-mail
AMCOW President and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr Mohamed Bahaa El-Din opened the Africa Focus Day at the World Water Week with an emphasis on the need to sustain AMCOW’s goal to utilize water resources for growth and development in the continent. At the event held Tuesday August 28th 2012 in Stockholm, Dr El Din said “Water for Growth – in all of its important and significant connections – should henceforth be elevated to the level of political attention and implementation priority that has been accorded to drinking water and sanitation over the last ten years.” Read the full speech.
This year’s Africa Focus Day attracted over two hundred and fifty participants including AMCOW Ministers, water experts, development partners, civil society and AMCOW friends. Ministers who graced the occasion included the AMCOW President, Dr Bahaa El-Din of Egypt, Dr Salem Mohamed Rashrash, Minister, General Water Resources Authority, Libya / AMCOW Vice President, North Africa, Dr Laurent G. Sedogo, Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Burkina Faso, Hon Seifdeen Abdallah, Minister for Water, Sudan, and Hon Julien Reboza, Minister of Water, Madagascar. Others were Hon. Betty Bigombe, Minister of State for Water, Uganda, Hon Gersh Kebede, Minister of State, Ministry of Water and Energy, Ethiopia, Hon. Rejoice-Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, and Hon Charles Zulu, Deputy Minister for Water, Zambia.
The Africa Focus seminars explored the themes “Water Security: Opportunities for the 21st Century” and “Managing Africa’s Water Resources: Challenges an d Opportunities.” At seminar 1, AMCOW Executive Secretary, Bai Mass Taal made a presentation on “Key Messages From Marseille - Cairo- Rio +20” setting the stage for a high powered discussion panel featuring Prof. A Szollosi-Nagy, Rector, UNESCO-IHE Institute, Delphi, Mr. Hama Arba Diallo, Chair of GWP Regional Chairs, and Akissa Bahri, Co-ordinator of Africa Water Facility.
A presentation on “2012 Africa Status Report on the Application of Integrated Approaches in Water Resources Management” introduced another lively panel discussion featuring Dr. Khalil M Timamy, (AUC) Maarten Gischler, DGIS, Netherlands, Gustavo Saltiel, (CIWA), Dr. Themba Gumbo (Cap-Net), Mr Andre Fourie, Head: Sustainability, South African Breweries (WEF-WRG), Dr Ahmed Wagdy (Advisor to AMCOW President), and Dr Stephen Donkor, Snr Regional Adviser, WRDM, UNECA.
Africa in 2040- Water as a Catalyst for Pan African Integration and Development” and “Water and Sanitation Delivery in Africa: Beyond 2015.” Presentations during the session include:
Seminar 2 featured two sessions: “
Two panel discussion panels moderated by Alex Simalabwi (GWP) and Nelson Gomonda (WaterAid) followed with Bai Mass Taal, AMCOW Executive Secretary, Phera Ramoeli (SADC), Akissa Bahri, Coordinator, Africa Water Facility (AfDB) Baker Yiga, (ANEW), Heather Skilling, (USAID), Bethlehem Mengistu (WaterAid), Sylvain Usher (AfWA), and Sanjay Wijesekera (UNICEF) participating.
The day was rounded off with a High Level Ministerial Panel. The Deputy Minister for Water and Environmental Affairs, South Africa, Hon. Rejoice-Mabudafhasi presented the outcomes of the Africa Youth Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 2nd to the 6th July 2012 under the banner of AMCOW. Download report
1. Our efforts to improve governance of the water sector should focus on improving the effectiveness of the institutional linkages between AUC, AMCOW, RECs, R/LBOs and member states.
2. It is important to place water as an engine of growth. Without that most of on-going efforts for development in Africa may not deliver the desired outcomes.
3. Without shifting focus from water supply and sanitation, it is vital to also raise the priority given to water for food, energy and industrial production.
4. It goes without saying that the achievements of AMCOW in the last decade could not have been possible without the immense support of AMCOW’s development cooperation and funding partners.
5. The immeasurable financial commitment of AMCOW’s partners need to be matched by the contributions of AMCOW member states. Domestic funding solutions to development programmes ensure ownership and provide better sustainability.
6. Governments are advised revise their intentions for endorsing new commitments until previous commitments are met or at least reasons for delays have been identified and analysed especially regarding MDGs. Feasible alternatives for reaching the sanitation goals have to be specified to overcome the existing huge African in-equalities. Furthermore, mobilizing the political will is a pre – requisite to achieve commitments.
7. Establishing a functional Enabling Environment is a pre-requisite to sustainable development, as identified several years before, we need to continue creating such an enabling environment for harnessing water resources for growth and development.
8. Continue building capacities within the water sector. 300% more capacities are required. A proper mechanism for capacity building has to be in effect. This has to be driven by governments.
- Enhance technology transfer and capacities for Africa
- Local Centres of Excellence are much needed and could be supported by Peer to Peer cooperation.
9. Horizontal integration across the water sector is much needed. Decisions have to be streamlined between water, agriculture, environment, energy, and finance sectors.
10. Need to tie national visions to African Vision.
11. Promote Regional and Basin wide IWRM as one package and link it to National IWRM Plans.
12. Water should be treated as a business opportunity rather than a risk opportunity, while recognising water as a social commodity; several examples exist to support this.
13. Water is a UNITING FACTOR.
14. Sustainability of water sector projects is the key to attract private investments.
15. Identify explicitly the requirements for good bankable project, to gain a higher opportunity for funding when submitted to development partners (with positive and sustainable Social and Environment impacts, and pertaining to achievement of the African Vision 2025 and AMCOW’s WORK PLAN, national and regional policies and strategies). A well-established mechanism to help nations in making their proposals bankable is needed. In this regard we acknowledge the efforts by AWF, PIDA and ICA.
16. Proper M&E systems are required for effective follow up and reporting on progress. We acknowledge the efforts by AMCOW and its partners to achieve such goals.
17. Data management in all of its prospects need to be enhanced. Starting at the national level, data collection, processing, sharing, and support for decision making have to be further developed.
18. Promote moving towards green cities paradigm

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