Vol. 4 No. 2
28-31 MAY 2007
AN INSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF WATER GOVERNANCE IN AFRICA
The sixth Ordinary Session of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW-6) will take place from 28-31 May, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. It will include an AMCOW Executive Committee meeting and the sixth Ordinary Session of AMCOW. Other scheduled events include, a Youth Forum, organized by the UN Children’s Fund, and the Pan-Africa Civil Society Organization’s Consultations organized by the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation.
This bulletin places the AMCOW-6 in the broader context of water governance in Africa. It focuses on how institutions, such as the African Union, African Ministerial Conference on Environment, African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology, African Development Bank, and the United Nations are supporting the sustainable development of Africa’s water resources. The bulletin also provides an overview of key meetings, decisions and declarations on water resources in Africa. Coverage of AMCOW-6 by IISD Reporting Services African Regional Coverage Project is available online at: http://enb.iisd.org/africa/water/amcow/
AFRICAN UNION INITIATIVES
The African Union (AU) is the principal organization for the promotion of socioeconomic integration across the continent. It includes 53 African countries as member states, while Morocco has special status. The Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity called for its establishment in the Sirte Declaration on 9 September 1999, as a means to accelerate integration, so that Africa could play a significant role in the global economy, and to address shared social, economic and political problems.
The objectives of the AU include: achieving greater unity and solidarity between African countries and the peoples of Africa; promoting and defending common African positions on issues; encouraging international cooperation; establishing enabling conditions for the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations; promoting sustainable development and integration of African economies; and advancing the continent’s development through research in all fields.
The principal organs of the AU include the: Assembly; Executive Council; Commission; Permanent Representatives Committee; Peace and Security Council; Pan-African Parliament; Economic, Social and Cultural Council; Court of Justice; Financial Institutions; and Specialized Technical Committees.
AFRICAN UNION TREATIES AND PROGRAMMES
THE ABUJA TREATY: The Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC), commonly known as the Abuja Treaty, was adopted at the twenty-seventh Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Organization of African Unity in Abuja, Nigeria, in June 1991. The Treaty entered into force in May 1994. The aim of the AEC is to promote economic, social and cultural development as well as African economic integration in order to increase self-sufficiency and endogenous development, and to create a framework for development and mobilization of Africa’s human and material resources The AEC further aims to promote cooperation and development in all aspects of human activity, with a view to raising the standard of living of Africa’s people, maintaining economic stability and establishing close and peaceful relationships between member states. It also aims to ensure the harmonization and coordination of environmental protection policies in Africa.
The Treaty provides for the AEC to be set up through a gradual process, which would be achieved by coordination, harmonization and progressive integration of the activities of existing and future regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa. The RECs are regarded as the building blocks of the AEC. The existing RECs are the: Arab Maghreb Union; Economic Community of Central African States; Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa; Southern African Development Community; and Economic Community of West African States.
The Treaty, which has been in operation since 1994, recognizes the importance of the water sector to sustainable economic and social development in Africa. Consequently, the Treaty calls for cooperation between member states for the development of river and lake basins, and for the development and protection of marine and fishery resources. Under Article 56 (natural resources), the Treaty commits member states to:
THE AFRICAN CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES: The African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, also known as the Algiers Convention, was adopted by the Organization of African Unity at its fifth Ordinary Session, in Algiers, Algeria, on 15 September 1968, and entered into force on 16 June 1969. At present, there are 30 contracting states.
At the second Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, from 10-12 July 2003, member states adopted the revised Algiers Convention. The main features of the revised Convention include requirements that: conservation imperatives be considered in development plans; customary rights be reconciled with the Convention; conservation areas be established and maintained; endangered species be given special protection; wildlife trafficking be controlled; water resources be accorded special management and protection; strategies be designed for rational management of forests; and land resources and grasslands be rationally utilized. The Convention also gives considerable prominence to water resources. Article II declares that contracting states “undertake to adopt measures to ensure conservation, utilization and development of soil, water, flora, and fauna resources in accordance with scientific principles and with due regard to the interests of the people.”
SIRTE DECLARATION ON THE CHALLENGES OF IMPLEMENTING INTEGRATED AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND WATER IN AFRICA: The second Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly, which took place from 27-28 February 2004, in Sirte, Libya, adopted the Sirte Declaration on the Challenges of Implementing Integrated and Sustainable Development of Agriculture and Water in Africa (Ex/Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (II)). In the declaration, heads of state and government agree to:
NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT: NEPAD was adopted at the thirty-seventh Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 9-11 July 2001. In adopting NEPAD, African heads of state and government realized that Africa can only take its proper place in the international community if it gains economic strength. Hence, the objective of NEPAD is to stimulate Africa’s development by bridging existing gaps in priority sectors, which include agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, information and communication technology, environment, tourism, and science and technology. NEPAD was designed to meet the AU’s development objectives and serves as a programme of the AU. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), recognized that NEPAD provides a framework for sustainable development in Africa.
NEPAD Water Framework: NEPAD’s water and sanitation objectives are to:
NEPAD Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Programme: The NEPAD Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Programme (WSIP) aims to develop regional infrastructure, harmonize sectoral procedures, enhance financial flows towards investment in infrastructure, and develop skills and knowledge for the installation, operation and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure. Under the NEPAD Short-Term Action Plan (STAP), the water and sanitation priorities aim to harness available resources to: meet the growing basic needs of water supply and sanitation for a large number of Africans; contribute to food security through better use of water for irrigation; and tap the available renewable hydropower potential of the continent. The STAP focuses on five thematic areas: ensuring an enabling environment for regional cooperation; supporting the development of national IWRM policies; meeting urgent water needs; improving water wisdom; and strengthening the financial base for desired future water uses. Implementation of the STAP has focused on seven river basins, namely, the Niger and Senegal Rivers in West Africa, the Congo River and Lake Chad in Central Africa, the Nile River in East Africa, and the Zambezi and Okavango Rivers in Southern Africa.
NEPAD is also developing a Medium-to-Long-Term Strategic Framework, which will constitute a framework for sustainable development of infrastructure and services on the continent, as well as a framework for effective coordination of inputs and responses by key partners. Under this framework, the following thematic areas have been prioritized:
Action Plan for the Environment Initiative of NEPAD: The development of the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative of NEPAD was guided by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and was endorsed by the AU Assembly at its second Ordinary Session in 2003. The overall objectives of the action plan are to complement relevant African processes, including the work programme of the revitalized AMCEN, with a view to improving environmental conditions in Africa in order to contribute to the achievement of economic growth and poverty eradication. The plan also aims to build Africa’s capacity to implement regional and international environmental agreements and to effectively address environmental challenges in the overall context of NEPAD.
The action plan is organized in clusters of programmatic and project activities, which are to be implemented over an initial period of ten years, and which cover priority sectors identified in NEPAD’s Environment Initiative, including: combating land degradation, drought and desertification; wetlands; invasive species; marine and coastal resources; cross-border conservation of natural resources; climate change; and cross-cutting issues. Three of the programme areas of the plan address water issues: Programme Area 2 on conserving Africa’s wetlands; Programme Area 4 on the conservation and sustainable use of marine, coastal and freshwater resources; and Programme Area 6 on transboundary conservation or management of natural resources, including fresh water.
Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme: NEPAD’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) initiative reflects the commitment of African governments to addressing issues of agricultural sector growth, rural development and food security. It aims to promote interventions that best respond to Africa’s food security issues. The CAADP has been designed to promote investment in four key areas that can make a difference to Africa’s food and agriculture situation. It calls for priority investment in: land and water management; rural infrastructure and trade-related capacities for improved market access; increasing food supply and reducing hunger; and agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption. The CAADP estimate for agricultural development is about US$251 billion. Of this, about US$37 billion is targeted at increasing the area under irrigation in Africa to 20 million hectares by 2015.
MINISTERIAL COUNCILS AND OTHER AFRICAN INITIATIVES
AFRICAN MINISTERS’ COUNCIL ON WATER
Ministers responsible for water in 41 African countries met in Abuja, Nigeria, from 29-30 April 2002, and decided to form AMCOW to promote cooperation, security, socioeconomic development and poverty eradication through the management of water resources and the provision of water supply services. AMCOW’s 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 for the maintenance of African ecosystems. AMCOW is actively engaged in keeping the state of Africa’s water under review and in promoting actions of common African interest by all stakeholders.
AU heads of state and government, at their second Extraordinary Session in 2004, declared support for AMCOW and its role in developing plans and policies related to the management of all water resources in Africa. The Sirte Declaration also recommended integrating AMCOW into the AU as one of its Specialized Technical Committees.
MANDATE: AMCOW’s major functions are to: facilitate regional and international cooperation through the coordination of policies and actions among African countries regarding water resources issues; review and mobilize additional financing for the water sector in Africa; and provide a mechanism for monitoring the progress of implementation of major regional and global water resources and water supply and sanitation initiatives. It provides a forum for dialogue on water issues with UN agencies and other partners, and promotes government participation in regional studies regarding climate change, and development of observation networks. It also facilitates information exchange and aims to develop policies and strategies for addressing water issues facing the continent. AMCOWs objectives are to:
STRUCTURE: AMCOW consists of a Council of Ministers and an Executive Committee (ExCom). The ExCom is composed of three water ministers or representatives from each of the African subregions, namely, Western Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, Northern Africa and Southern Africa. The ExCom develops work programmes and budgets for approval by the Council of Ministers, ensures that decisions of the Council of Ministers are implemented and mobilizes the necessary financing for, and supervises the work of, the AMCOW Secretariat. The ExCom is advised in its activities by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
The AMCOW Secretariat is based in Abuja, Nigeria, and is headed by an Interim Executive Secretary and support staff. Each subregion, which is headed by a Vice President, also has a subregional Secretariat, usually housed in the respective REC Secretariat, for coordination of subregional activities. The current AMCOW Chair is Maria Mutagamba, Uganda’s Minister of State for Water.
UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa also supports AMCOW, including via the AMCOW Trust Fund, to which it has contributed US$100,000. UNEP also collaborated with AMCOW to review the implementation of water policies in preparation for the thirteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-13).
AMCOW MILESTONES: Since its establishment, AMCOW has gained international recognition for its efforts to address water challenges in Africa. The goals and objectives of continental bodies have provided inspiration for its work. It has established the AWF, with targeted funding of over US$600 million for medium-term projects on water and sanitation. Also, at the Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water (PANAFCON), held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 8-12 December 2003, AMCOW endorsed the portfolios of key water initiatives submitted by each of the five subregions. This constituted the first consolidated portfolio of priority water initiatives from the subregional to regional levels, and provided a stronger basis for engaging development cooperation partners. Additionally, AMCOW has endorsed the Water for African Cities Programme, and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) supported by the African Development Bank. AMCOW has also entered into a strategic partnership with the European Union (EU), which has culminated in support for programmes in the following areas: river and lake basins; water supply and sanitation; finance; research; and monitoring.
AFRICAN MINISTERIAL INITIATIVE ON WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE: The African Ministerial Initiative on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (AMIWASH) was endorsed by the fifth Ordinary Session of AMCOW, held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 4-6 November 2004. AMIWASH brings together African ministers from various sectors to work on accelerating national progress toward meeting the MDGs and related targets on water supply and sanitation. The objectives of AMIWASH are to:
AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
In 1985 African governments established AMCEN as a policy forum to enable ministers responsible environmental issues to better formulate, harmonize and coordinate their activities and programmes. AMCEN remains the primary ministerial-level forum for environment and development issues in Africa. For almost 22 years, AMCEN has facilitated the broadening of the political and public policy legitimacy of environmental concerns on the continent. Its mandate is to: provide information and advocacy for environmental protection in Africa; ensure that basic human needs are met adequately and in a sustainable manner; ensure socioeconomic development is realized at all levels; and ensure that agricultural activities and practices meets the food security needs of the region. The AMCEN Secretariat has been working in concert with AMCOW since the establishment of the latter in 2002 to help provide political leadership, policy and strategic direction, and advocacy for the use and management of water resources in Africa.
AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) is a policy and political forum for ministers of science and technology from all AU member states. It was established in November 2003 to build a strong political constituency and leadership to promote Africa’s scientific and technological development. AMCOST’s remit is to enable African countries to collectively harness and apply science and technology to transform their economies and to attain the MDGs. AMCOST is the overall governance structure for setting continental priorities and policies pertaining to the development and application of science and technology for Africa’s socioeconomic transformation.
CONSOLIDATED PLAN OF ACTION: At the second AMCOST meeting, held in Dakar, Senegal, from 29-30 September 2005, ministers adopted Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), which articulates the continent’s commitment to developing and applying science and technology. The overall goals of the CPA are to enable Africa to harness and apply science, technology and related innovations to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development, and to ensure that Africa contributes to the global pool of scientific knowledge and technological innovations. The CPA outlines five flagship research and development programmes to be implemented between 2006 and 2010: biodiversity, biotechnology and indigenous knowledge; energy, water and desertification; material sciences, manufacturing, laser and post-harvest technologies; mathematical sciences; and information, communication and space science technologies.
The flagship programme on water is designed to strengthen the continent’s ability to harness and apply science and technology to address the challenges of securing adequate clean water and sanitation, and managing the continent’s water resources. A specific strategy on ways and means of establishing an African network of centers of excellence in water sciences and technology is being developed. Its specific goals are to:
Projects to be developed include: a scientific assessment of Africa’s water resources and systems; research and technologies to assess and monitor water-related disasters; and knowledge and technologies to improve water quality and quantity. These proposed projects will be further elaborated on and implemented by a continental network of centers of excellence. The network will consist of “regional hubs” and “nodes.” To identify and designate such hubs and nodes, as well as to create the network as a whole, a multi-disciplinary task team of experts and policy makers has been established to prepare specific criteria and guidelines for identifying and designating centers or institutes. Such criteria and guidelines shall spell out mechanisms for promoting the sharing of centers’ facilities and expertise across the continent, as well as means of ensuring the sustainability of the network.
AFRICAN TASK TEAM ON WATER SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT: In order to establish the African network of centers of excellence in water sciences and technology, AMCOST established the African Task Team to: prepare criteria and guidelines identifying and designating centers or institutes to form the network; prepare proposals with various options for governance and financing; and arrange an inter-ministerial dialogue of the AMCOW and AMCOST bureaus to discuss governance and financing of the network. The Task Team’s recommendations were presented to the Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Building an African Network of Centers of Excellence in Water Sciences and Technology, held jointly by the Bureaus of AMCOST and AMCOW on 22 November 2006, in Cairo, Egypt. In its report, the Task Team identified: a proposed process and actions to develop an African network of centers of excellence in water sciences and technology; elements of a work programme for the network; elements of terms of reference for identifying and designating a network; and governance of and financial mechanisms for the sustainability of the network.
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is the major multilateral development bank in Africa. The Organization of African Unity established the Bank in 1963, with startup capital of US$250 million, in order to promote economic and social development. Since then, it has grown into a US$33 billion, multinational development bank, with 53 African and 24 other shareholders. The AfDB is designed to provide Africa with greater independence from offshore credit. Over 37 years, the AfDB has accumulated broad experience in water resources management in Africa. In 2000, it developed an IWRM policy, and has been actively involved in a number of major policy instruments, namely the NEPAD Water Resources Management Programme, the RWSSI and the AWF.
THE AFRICAN WATER FACILITY: Led by AMCOW, the AWF was established as a Special Water Fund by the Board of Governors of the AfDB, at its Annual Meeting in Kampala, Uganda, on 25 May 2004. It was conceived to facilitate the availability of financial resources to build Africa’s water infrastructure institutions and management capacity to meet the targets and goals of the African Water Vision and the MDGs.
RURAL WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION INITIATIVE: The AfDB conceived the RWSSI to respond to the challenge of addressing the water-related MDGs and targets and the African Water Vision targets, as well as to address the problem of low access to water supplies and sanitation in rural Africa. The overall goal of the RWSSI is poverty reduction through the provision of safe water and basic sanitation to 80% of rural populations by 2015, with 100% coverage by 2025. It is estimated that, if successful, about 277 million additional people will have access to drinking water and 295 million will benefit from sanitation services by 2015.
UN SYSTEM SUPPORT
A range of UN declarations and activities are relevant to sustainable development in Africa generally, and to water resources management specifically. The Millennium Declaration, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 8 September 2000 (A/RES/55/2), for example, places particular emphasis on the special needs of Africa and calls for focused support to “Africans in their struggle for lasting peace, poverty eradication and sustainable development.”
NEPAD has become the guiding framework for coordinated efforts by UN organizations to help address the special needs of Africa. In November 2002, the UN General Assembly passed a declaration (A/RES/57/2) and resolution (A/RES/57/7) specifically concerned with NEPAD, which affirmed the UN system’s support for its implementation and recommended that the international community use NEPAD as its framework for supporting development in Africa. In response to the General Assembly resolution, the Secretary General established the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa in May 2003 to: coordinate the UN’s support to Africa; guide reporting on Africa; and coordinate global advocacy in support of NEPAD. The UN system subsequently adopted a three-tiered approach to coordinating its support for NEPAD. The global level is overseen by the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa, which has responsibility for coordinating: the preparation of Africa-related reports; global advocacy in support of NEPAD; and the work of the interdepartmental task force on African affairs.
At the regional level, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) acts as the UN’s key interlocutor with African countries on NEPAD. ECA-hosted Regional Consultations Meetings serve as the principal coordinating mechanism for the activities of UN organizations in Africa. Under a cluster arrangement designed to facilitate interagency coordination, UN organizations carry out support activities, working closely with the AU, and the RECs and NEPAD. Since 2002, the Regional Consultations Meetings have identified eight thematic cluster areas in support of NEPAD’s implementation: infrastructure development; governance, peace and security; agriculture, trade and market access; environment, population and urbanization; human resources development, employment and HIV/AIDS; science and technology; advocacy and communications; and industry, trade and market access. Water and sanitation issues are addressed under the infrastructure development cluster, and focus on IWRM and basin development initiatives.
At the country level, UN organizations coordinate their work through the Resident Coordinator System and through existing mechanisms, such as poverty reduction strategies and Country Cooperation Arrangements/UN Development Assistance Frameworks.
UN ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA: Established in 1958, the ECA is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of UN headquarters. As the regional arm of the UN in Africa, it is mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 member states, foster regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. The ECA reports to the UN Economic and Social Council. It is organized around six substantive divisions: Development Policy and Management; Economic and Social Policy; Gender and Development; Information for Development; Sustainable Development; and Trade and Regional Integration. Additionally, five subregional offices contribute a subregional perspective to the work programme and support outreach. One of the most important tasks of the ECA is to ensure improved cooperation and coordination between UN agencies and African continental organizations for the effective implementation of NEPAD. The ECA has also institutionalized the biennial African Water Development Report and the African Water Information Clearing House.
UN-WATER/AFRICA: UN Water/Africa was formally launched by ECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on World Water Day, 22 March 2003. Previously, UN system-wide support was coordinated by the Inter-Agency Group on Water in Africa. The principal objective of UN-Water/Africa is to contribute to the UN system-wide response to freshwater challenges and opportunities arising from the MDGs, WSSD and other major intergovernmental conferences and summits. UN-Water/Africa coordinates policies, strategic approaches and actions among the agencies and programmes of the UN system working on water issues in Africa. The ECA serves as the Secretariat of UN-Water/Africa. Members of UN-Water/Africa include the: ECA, UNEP, the World Meteorological Organization, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UNDP, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), NEPAD and the AfDB. Members meet routinely to review progress, exchange information and plan follow-up activities.
KEY WATER MEETINGS, DECISIONS, AND DECLARATIONS
AFRICA’S WATER VISION: In preparation for the second World Water Forum, held in The Hague, the Netherlands in 2000, African governments prepared a document entitled “Africa’s Water Vision.” Developed through consultative processes in 1999 and 2000, and presented at the second World Water Forum, the Vision stresses the need to change attitudes towards water supply and use, and proposes a framework for building on these achievements. The key elements that Africa’s Water Vision envisages are that:
DECLARATION OF AFRICAN MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR WATER RESOURCES: A ministerial declaration adopted on 5 December 2001, during the International Conference on Freshwater, held in Bonn, Germany, expressed the resolve of African ministers to put water, sanitation and hygiene issues at the center of Africa’s sustainable development agenda. The declaration identified the need to focus efforts on: governance; intergovernmental policy dialogue; capacity building; technology transfer; meeting urban water needs; access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services; women; and the linking of freshwater environments with coastal and marine environments.
In the declaration, ministers agreed to embark on a process of building an African Regional Ministerial Forum for Water for the purpose of strengthening regional efforts on the governance of water resources on the continent, including ensuring coordination, direction and strategic approaches to freshwater-related initiatives on the continent. Ministers noted their resolve to institutionalize ministerial-level policy dialogue on water issues and to establish an African Ministerial Conference on Water by convening an inaugural meeting of the 53 African ministers in charge of water in March/April 2002. The countries that signed the declaration were Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.
STAKEHOLDERS CONFERENCE ON WATER AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA: The Stakeholders Conference on Water and Sustainable Development in Africa was held in Accra, Ghana, from 15-17 April 2002. More than 200 participants from 42 countries, including six African ministers responsible for water, participated in the conference. The aim of the conference was to: deliberate on the final version of an African Position Paper and Declaration on Water in the continent under the NEPAD framework; prepare a programme to ensure a high profile for water issues in Africa during the WSSD; and prepare proposals for effective African participation at the third World Water Forum and Virtual Water Forum. The primary outcome of the Conference was the Accra Declaration, which identified challenges and water issues in Africa, and made recommendations for action plans to address these challenges.
The declaration states that through stronger policies, strategies and commitments, water use can assist in combating poverty, through:
The declaration also suggests areas of action to achieve these ends, through improved practices in trade, public participation and mobilizing funds.
INAUGURAL MEETING OF AMCOW: The inaugural AMCOW meeting was held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 30 April 2002, and was attended by ministers and their representatives from 41 African countries. At the meeting, ministers adopted the “Abuja Ministerial Declaration on Water: A Key to Sustainable Development in Africa,” which includes a resolution establishing AMCOW and setting out its vision, objectives, institutional arrangements and other aspects.
G8 KANANASKIS SUMMIT: The 2002 Summit of G8 Heads was held in Kananaskis, Canada, from 26-27 June 2002. In response to an invitation from African Leaders, the G8 adopted the G8 Africa Action Plan as the initial response to NEPAD. Under the section on improving water resource management, the G8 committed to supporting African efforts to improve water resources development and management, including by supporting Africa’s efforts to:
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: WSSD was held from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and resulted in two main documents: the JPOI and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development.
In the JPOI, governments reaffirmed their commitment to the safe drinking water and human settlements goals agreed to in the Millennium Declaration, and further committed to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation. Governments also agreed to develop IWRM and water efficiency plans by 2005. In the chapter on sustainable development in Africa, the international community agreed to support Africa’s efforts to promote IWRM, optimize the upstream and downstream benefits from the development and effective management of water resources, and protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems. In particular, the international community agreed to:
EIGHTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE RAMSAR CONVENTION: The eighth Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention (COP-8), held in Valencia, Spain, from 18-26 November 2002, adopted a resolution urging parties to provide support for the implementation of actions undertaken through the Environment Initiative of NEPAD. The COP also urged African parties to the Convention to use NEPAD, AMCEN and AMCOW to advance the objectives of the Convention, mindful of the need to adopt a multisectoral approach to the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
FIRST MEETING OF THE AMCOW STEERING COMMITTEE: The first meeting of the AMCOW Steering Committee was held from 23-24 May 2003, in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting emphasized that the supply and quality of freshwater in Africa remains one of the most critical issues of the twenty-first century. The meeting adopted the “NEPAD Statement on International Solidarity with Africa for the achievement of the water-related targets in the Millennium Development Goals and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.” It also agreed to convene PANAFCON in 2003, in order to develop a roadmap to expedite the translation of commitments into action, through a series of concrete measures and initiatives in the water sector.
At this conference, the Steering Committee further agreed to launch: the African Water Development Report; a regional initiative for IWRM in each country; a master plan for transboundary basins management; an innovative programme for strengthening national and subregional water policies, laws, institutions and other instruments; modalities for the effective implementation, at the national, subregional and regional levels, of the EU-Africa strategic partnership on water; modalities for the full implementation of the African Water Facility; and a regional initiative for financing groundwater assessment and management. The Committee also invited the leaders of the G8 countries to build a new compact with Africa in the field of water, and called on the 2003 Summit of G8 Heads to endorse an action plan to support the water sector in Africa.
G8 EVIAN SUMMIT: The 2003 Summit of G8 Heads was held from 1-3 June, in Evian, France. At the Summit, the G8 adopted a water-related action plan focusing on promoting good governance, utilizing financial resources, building infrastructure by empowering local authorities and communities, strengthening monitoring, assessment and research, and reinforcing engagement of international organizations. As part of international efforts towards implementing the plan, the G8 agreed to support NEPAD and its African partners through two initiatives in the field of transboundary water management. The first initiative focuses on strengthening cooperation among river basin organizations. The second initiative seeks to map donor support by developing an overview of the current activities of G8 member states in the field of transboundary water management in Africa.
FIRST NEPAD MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: The first NEPAD Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 6-7 November 2003, when ministers adopted the “outline” of an action plan to promote the development and application of science and technology in Africa. Ministers outlined 12 initial areas to constitute the first round of NEPAD flagship programmes. These include areas critical to addressing problems of poverty and food security, such as: biotechnology; science and technology for manufacturing; energy; information and communication technologies; post-harvest technology; and water research. In each of these areas, networks of centers of excellence and innovation hubs will be created to promote and develop innovations that will address the continent’s socioeconomic challenges, including the development of human resource capacity. Ministers decided that water sciences and technologies must constitute one of the main flagship programmes. The programme will be designed to strengthen the continent’s capacity to harness and apply science and technologies to address the challenges of securing adequate clean water and managing Africa’s water resources.
PAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON WATER: PANAFCON convened from 8-12 December 2003, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference provided a platform for African countries, the international community and UN agencies to reaffirm their commitment to solving Africa’s water crisis and to collectively implement the actions envisaged in the African Water Vision, the NEPAD Water Agenda, the WSSD’s targets and the MDGs and related targets on water. PANAFCON made proposals for concrete actions in nine key areas: meeting basic needs; water, sanitation and human settlements; water for food security; protecting ecosystems and livelihoods; managing risks: water and climate; financing water infrastructure; IWRM/shared water resources; valuing and allocating water; ensuring water wisdom; and governing water wisely.
Ministers agreed to establish, in individual countries, National Task Forces on Water and Sanitation, to prepare national plans, with service delivery targets, for achieving water and sanitation goals by 2015. They also signed a joint declaration with the European Commission on the implementation of the African-EU Strategic Partnership on Water Affairs and Sanitation. During the conference, ministers also launched a number of initiatives, including: the African Water Facility, with a targeted funding of over US$600 million for medium-term projects on water and sanitation; the African Water Journal, to provide an outlet to disseminate knowledge on water-related issues; Phase II of the Water for African Cities Programme; the RWSSI; and the G8 Action Plan on Water for Africa. In addition, the meeting served as the Regional Implementation Meeting for CSD-12.
FOURTH ORDINARY SESSION OF AMCOW: The fourth Ordinary AMOCW Session took place on 10 December 2003, during PANAFCON, in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. Ministers endorsed the outcome of the African Regional Implementation Meeting for presentation as Africa’s contribution to CSD-12. They also agreed to present the PANAFCON recommendations to the AU Extraordinary Summit being held in February 2004, in Tripoli, Libya.
FIFTH MEETING OF THE AMCOW EXCOM: The fifth meeting of the AMCOW ExCom was held on 30 June 2004, in Tunis, Tunisia. At the meeting, representatives from AMCOW member countries, AMCOW-TAC and development partners addressed a number of issues, including the: EU Water Initiative; responses to the German G8 Transboundary Water Initiative; Water for African Cities Programme; AWF; AMCOW Constitution and Rules of Procedure; and role of the AMCOW Secretariat.
FIRST AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK WATER WEEK: The first AfDB Water Week was held in Tunis, Tunisia, from 1-3 July 2004, with the theme “Building Partnerships for Water in Africa.” It brought together 17 African ministers responsible for water from the AMCOW Executive Council and over 400 water sector practitioners from more than 60 countries. The week aimed to engage stakeholders and partners in the African water sector, consolidate existing partnerships and create new ones, and galvanize broad support from stakeholders and the wider international community to advance African water resources development and management. Additionally, the RWSSI and AWF were officially launched during this week.
FIFTH ORDINARY SESSION OF AMCOW: The fifth Ordinary Session of AMCOW was held from 4-6 November 2004, in Entebbe, Uganda, and addressed various water policy challenges in Africa, including meeting the goals of the AU and NEPAD, financing, and strategies to achieve international water and sanitation targets. Outcomes from the session included agreement on: a Memorandum of Understanding on institutional arrangements; the AMCOW Rules of Procedure; the AMCOW 2005-2007 work programme; modalities for establishing the AMCOW Trust Fund and its hosting within UNEP; a regional position for CSD-13 on the implementation of the MDGs and related targets on water; and a concept proposal on the German G8 Transboundary Water Initiative. Ministers also finalized the nomination of representatives to the AWF Governing Council as the Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa), Egypt (Northern Africa), Ethiopia (Eastern Africa), Lesotho (Southern Africa), and Senegal (Western Africa).
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ACHIEVING THE MILLENNIUM GOAL ON WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION IN RURAL AFRICA: This conference was held on 1 April 2005, in Paris, France, and resulted in the adoption of a declaration calling for the mobilization of human and financial resources and the undertaking of projects required to achieve the African Water Vision. It also calls for the inclusion of access to water supply and sanitation at the center of African development strategies by: taking these targets into account in poverty reduction strategies; establishing sectoral policy frameworks and integrated resources management plans; and supporting reforms undertaken in the water supply and sanitation sector with capacity building aimed at more efficient services management.
THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: CSD-13 took place from 11-22 April 2005, in New York, the US. Building on the outcomes of the previous session, CSD-13 focused on policies and options to expedite the implementation of commitments in the areas of water, sanitation and human settlements. Its main outcome document identified the need to, inter alia, provide additional resources, as appropriate, for regional and subregional initiatives, such as the AFW, and support African initiatives in the water sector within the framework of AMCOW, with particular reference to basin-wide initiatives in Africa.
EXPERTS’ WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPING A NETWORK OF CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE IN WATER SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY: International experts from Africa and France met in Nairobi, Kenya, from 9-12 May 2005, to generate recommendations for establishing an African network of centers of excellence in water sciences and technology. The meeting proposed criteria for identifying and designating centers of excellence as well as a process, actions and a work programme for the network. It also identified means for forging regional and international cooperation, emphasizing partnerships between African and French institutions, and appropriate governance structures and instruments for the proposed network. In addition, it considered appropriate financial mechanisms for ensuring the sustainability of the network. The meeting also recommended that the NEPAD Office of Science and Technology and AMCOW establish a multi-disciplinary task team to prepare specific criteria and guidelines for identifying and designating centers or institutes that would be networked and strengthened to implement specific programmes for water research and related technology development.
SEVENTH MEETING OF THE AMCOW EXCOM: The seventh AMCOW ExCom and TAC meetings were held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 27-30 June 2005. The ExCom meeting accorded particular attention to the AMCOW 2005-2007 work programme, the AMCOW Trust Fund, the AWF, and strengthening AMCOW’s work at the country and subregional levels. It also addressed relations between AMCOW and the AU, and between AMCOW and the RECs, and river and lake basin organizations. Ministers reviewed the implementation of the EU Water Initiative for Africa and considered a hosting agreement with respect to the AMCOW Secretariat proposed by the Government of Nigeria. AMCOW’s contribution to the 2005 World Summit and the 2005 Summit of G8 Heads were also discussed. Finally, ministers considered implications for AMCOW of the outcomes of CSD-13, the need for regional follow-up on the role of the Private Public Partnership in Water Supply, and AMCOW’s role in the fourth World Water Forum.
2005 WORLD SUMMIT: The 2005 World Summit was held in New York, the US, from 14-16 September 2005. In the Summit’s outcome document, world leaders resolve to assist developing countries’ efforts to prepare IWRM and water efficiency plans as part of their national development strategies, and to provide access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in accordance with the Millennium Declaration and the JPOI. The document also emphasizes the need to carry forward and support NEPAD’s implementation of work to improve sustainable growth and development, and reaffirms a commitment to address the special needs of Africa and efforts to meet the goals of the Millennium Declaration.
SECOND AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: The second African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology took place from 29-30 September 2005, in Dakar, Senegal. At this meeting, ministers adopted the CPA and resolved that the AU should provide the necessary policy and political leadership for achieving the CPA’s goals. Ministers also agreed to establish an inter-ministerial dialogue with AMCOW and to endeavor to establish partnerships with other ministerial councils or bodies.
INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON GROUNDWATER PROTECTION IN AFRICA: The International Workshop on Groundwater Protection in Africa was held from 28-30 November 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa. The meeting highlighted the need to ensure the introduction of “groundwater and its sustainable utilization” into the AMCOW and international water agendas. The meeting also proposed that one of the first NEPAD centers of excellence be earmarked for “groundwater and its sustainable utilization.”
AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON HYDROPOWER AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The African Ministerial Conference on Hydropower and Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 8-9 March 2006. The conference concluded with the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration and Action Plan, under which African ministers of water and energy committed to work together and to prepare a joint action plan to unlock the hydropower potential of Africa to promote sustainable development, regional integration, water and energy security, and poverty eradication in Africa. They also agreed to improve cooperation and coordination between ministers, particularly within the ambit of AMCOW.
STOCKHOLM MESSAGE ON TRANSBOUNDARY GROUNDWATER FOR AFRICA: Developed at the Stockholm Water Week 2006, the Stockholm Message was endorsed by AMCOW, the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, the International Association of Hydrogeologists, the Stockholm International Water Institute, UNEP’s Division of Global Environment Facility, and the International Hydrological Programme. The message calls on decision makers and committed stakeholders to intensify their support for improved cooperation on transboundary aquifers and enhancing sustainable regional development and poverty alleviation by generating economic, social and ecological benefits for African people.
CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN RIVER AND LAKE BASIN ORGANIZATIONS: The AMCOW Conference of African River and Lake Basin Organizations took place in Kampala, Uganda, from 19-20 October 2006, to chart the way forward for a continent-wide effort to address Africa’s water crisis. The conference sought to bring together senior-level African decision-makers on water to agree on the establishment and support for new river and lake basin organizations while rejuvenating existing ones within the framework of a region-wide mechanism under the auspices of AMCOW.
FIRST MEETING OF THE TEKTEKKA COMMISSION: The first meeting of the Tektekka Commission was held from 17-18 November 2006 in Johannesburg, South Africa. This meeting followed the recommendations of the Conference of African River and Lake Basin Organizations, which recommended the establishment of a committee to enhance relations between AMCOW and existing river and lake basin organizations. The commission reviewed the recommendations of the conference and the issues paper that formed the preliminary working document for that conference. The main issues of discussion included institutional and programmatic concerns for mainstreaming relations between AMCOW and the African Network of Basin Organizations (ANBO). The meeting was guided by an examination of ANBO’s statutes and AMCOW’s Memorandum of Understanding, and resulted in guidance on their possible revision to reflect the new structure of the ANBO to fit within the AMCOW framework.
INTER-MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE ON BUILDING AN AFRICAN NETWORK OF CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE IN WATER SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY: The Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on Building an African Network of Centers of Excellence in Water Sciences and Technology was held jointly by the Bureaus of AMCOST and AMCOW on 22 November 2006, in Cairo, Egypt. The dialogue was attended by ministers from Lesotho, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe, senior representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa, and representatives from the NEPAD Office of Science and Technology and the AU Commission. Delegates considered issues related to criteria and guidelines, financial mechanisms and governance for a network.
At the conclusion of the dialogue, ministers adopted a declaration in which they committed to establish an African network of excellence in water sciences and technology development. They called upon the NEPAD and AMCOW Secretariats to prepare and submit to AMCOST and AMCOW ministers a comprehensive document with specific proposals or recommendations on the governance mechanism for such a network. Ministers also encouraged AMCOST to allocate a percentage of funding in the proposed African Science and Innovation Facility to the network, and encouraged AMCOW to explore the possibility of establishing a special fund in the African Water Facility for supporting the network.
CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON PARTNERSHIPS FOR IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF WATER UTILITIES IN THE AFRICAN REGION: The Capacity Building Workshop on Partnerships for Improving the Performance of Water Utilities in the African Region was held from 6-8 December 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya, and was organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and UN-HABITAT. The workshop focused on contributing towards the implementation of the global water and sanitation agenda by strengthening the capacities of water utilities in meeting the dual challenge of service expansion and efficient service delivery. The workshop sought to help public water utility managers to acquire further expertise in numerous issues, including: implementing institutional and policy reforms; strengthening institutional governance and accountability; formulating capacity building plans for public utilities; and developing and administering partnerships among water operators.
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECISION ON 2008 AS THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SANITATION: The UN General Assembly, through its resolution A/C.2/61/L.16/Rev.1 of 4 December 2006, declared 2008 as an International Year of Sanitation. The resolution expresses concern on the slow and insufficient progress made in achieving the global sanitation target, and recognizes that progress can be made through active commitment and action by all states, including at national and local levels, as well as UN agencies, regional and international organizations, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
The main thrust of advocacy and promotional activities throughout the year will concern: raising awareness of the importance of sanitation and its impact on achieving other MDGs from the perspectives of hygiene, household sanitation and wastewater; encouraging governments and their partners to promote and implement policies and actions for meeting the sanitation target; and mobilizing communities, particularly women’s groups, towards changing sanitation and hygiene practices through sanitation and health education campaigns.
UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S ADVISORY BOARD ON WATER AND SANITATION-AFRICA REGIONAL DIALOGUE: The first Regional Dialogue between the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), AMCOW, NEPAD, the AfDB, and other regional representatives took place on 14 December 2006, in Tunis, Tunisia. The objective of the dialogue was to formulate a framework of collaboration between the UNSGAB and African organizations in support of ongoing African water initiatives and programmes including preparations for the 2008 International Year of Sanitation. The dialogue yielded a joint statement and a set of actions to accelerate progress on the water sanitation-related MDGs and targets.
TWENTY FOURTH SESSION OF THE UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL/GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: The twenty-fourth Session of UNEP’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC-24/GMEF) took place from 5-9 February 2007, in Nairobi, Kenya. The GC/GMEF concluded its work by adopting 15 decisions on issues relating to, inter alia, UNEP’s updated water policy and strategy, and support to Africa in environmental management and protection. The GC/GMEF: calls on African countries to take primary action for sustainable development; requests the UNEP Executive Director to work closely with partners, especially subregional economic communities in Africa, the AfDB and UN organizations to support African countries in implementing NEPAD; and invites the UNEP Executive Director to work closely with the AU Commission, AMCEN, AMCOW, the Forum of African Ministers on Energy and others, and NEPAD to undertake a policy-oriented assessment using available means.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE AFRICAN NETWORK OF BASIN ORGANIZATIONS: The third General Assembly of the ANBO took place from 4-7 March 2007, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Assembly concluded with the adoption of the Declaration of Johannesburg on Water for Development and the Fight Against Poverty, which called on African governments to, inter alia, strengthen the capacities of basin organizations for them to better manage their respective basins, within the framework of the NEPAD Water objectives, and in close relationship with AMCOW.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND/WORLD BANK SPRING MEETINGS:
During the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Spring meetings, held
in Washington, D.C., the US, from 14-15 April 2007, donors,
international development institutions and developing countries agreed
to take on new commitments to tackle the water and sanitation crisis
affecting the world’s poor. A number of donors committed to increase and
improve support to countries to expand water and sanitation services,
including helping countries without water and sanitation plans to
prepare them, and renewing the commitment to the RWSSI. These efforts
aim to: harmonize, increase and improve donor support behind national
plans; give special treatment to those countries that, despite their
needs, do not receive sufficient attention from donors; and increase the
focus on sanitation services and hygiene education. In addition,
participants agreed to better coordinate their actions at a global level
to deliver a greater impact on the ground.