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Volume 13 Number 1 - Monday, 31 March 2008
26-28 MARCH 2008
The First African Water Week (AWW-1), convened under the theme of ‘Accelerating Water Security for the Socio Economic Development of Africa’, took place from 26-28 March 2008 at the Sheraton Hotel, in Tunis, Tunisia. The meeting’s three objectives were to provide a forum for key actors in Africa’s water sector to discuss the opportunities and challenges of achieving water security for Africa’s socioeconomic development, take stock of the status of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and related targets on water in Africa, and make recommendations for consideration by the 2008 African Union (AU) and G8 summits, and the 2009 Fifth World Water Forum (WWF-5).

Over 540 participants, including 30 ministers, met in plenary and several parallel working groups to deliberate on a diversity of topics ranging from policy and practical constraints, to social, economic and cultural constraints, and institutional and financial matters. Using case studies and survey data, participants reviewed and debated progress on the status of water security in Africa, and progress towards the attainment of the water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs, drew out the lessons learned and made recommendations for action. A number of side events were held during the meeting, and on Saturday, 29 March.

Participants agreed on two key outputs. The ‘Summary of Proceedings and Outcomes’, which highlights the issues and recommendations made in plenary and working groups, and the ‘Ministerial Declaration on Accelerating Water Security for Africa’s Socioeconomic Development’ that reflects the specific commitments that ministers’ would act on. In addition, WWF-5 launched its regional preparatory process.



The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) was established in April 2002 to promote cooperation, security, socioeconomic development and poverty eradication through the management of water resources and the provision of water supply services in Africa. 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. African Heads of State and Government, at the second Extraordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, held 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 which they declared support for AMCOW and its role in developing plans and policies related to the management of all water resources in Africa. They also recommended integrating AMCOW into the AU as one of its Specialized Technical Committees.

AMCOW-6: The sixth Ordinary AMCOW Session (AMCOW-6) took place from 30-31 May 2007, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The meeting focused on strengthening regional and international cooperation and solidarity to address the African water and sanitation crisis and to make progress on achieving the water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs and the water-related targets set at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The ministers adopted a meeting report summarizing their discussions, and the Brazzaville Declaration containing ministerial decisions on future work. Key issues addressed in these decisions include governance, institutional and operational matters, financial issues and means of implementation, and partnerships and other initiatives. Ministers endorsed the proposal to launch and institutionalize an annual African Water Week (AWW) and agreed that AWW-1 would be held in Tunisia and that AWW-2 would be held in Kenya.

IISD’s coverage of AMCOW-6 is available at

IISD’s report on water governance in Africa is available at


The African Development Bank (AfDB) is the major multilateral development bank in Africa. Established in 1963, the AfDB has accumulated broad experience in water resources management in Africa. In 2000, it developed an Integrated Water Resources Management Policy, and has been actively involved in a number of major policy instruments, namely the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Water Resources Management Programme, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) and the African Water Facility (AWF). In 2007, the AfDB spent US$ 767 million on 19 water sector programmes.

2007 ANNUAL BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETINGS: At the forty-second Annual Meeting of the AfDB Board of Governors and the thirty-third Annual Meeting of the African Development Fund held jointly from 16-17 May 2007 in Shanghai, China, the Board of Governors took note of the report of the Joint Steering Committee which recommended that special attention be given to sanitation and hygiene education and water security (infrastructure for water storage and protection against floods).



The Global Water Partnership (GWP) interregional meeting for Africa was held from 9-11 July 2007 in Mombasa, Kenya. The meeting brought together African water experts to discuss water issues and share experiences on working together and possibilities for addressing water issues. The main topics discussed included: financing water; water infrastructure; integrated water resources management (IWRM); achievement of the MDGs; monitoring and evaluation; and water supply and sanitation.


The fifth Session of UN-Water/Africa, held from 18-20 July 2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, reviewed UN-Water/Africa’s programme of work and agreed on specific joint activities among UN system organizations. The meeting adopted a number of recommendations to strengthen coordination at various levels between AMCOW and NEPAD and partner agencies, and assist member states and regional institutions in their endeavor towards achieving the MDGs and implementing the African Water Vision 2025, which led to the establishment of AMCOW.


At the 2007 World Water Week held from 12-18 August 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden, three seminars were held to address water issues in Africa namely, groundwater capacity building, groundwater as an integral part of transboundary river/lake basin management and water and sanitation sector information and monitoring systems.


At this meeting, which took place from 13-14 September 2007 in Saly Portudal, Senegal, participants, inter alia, recommended that the African Network of Basin Organizations (ANBO) support African actors to address IWRM in infrastructure development and develop synergy between various initiatives and ANBO.


A meeting of stakeholders in the AWF was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 18-21 September 2007 to review its operational programme for the period 2008-2010 and its long-term plan. The meeting recognized the AWF’s main operational areas as strengthening water governance, making investments to meet basic needs, and improving water knowledge. The meeting also noted the key role to be played in addressing climate change and the links with water. The partners urged African countries with larger economies to contribute to the AWF to leverage resources.


The sixth Petersberg Roundtable 2007, which took place took place on 24-26 September 2007 in Petersberg/Bonn, Germany, hosted in collaboration with AMCOW, focused on issues that included: the development of transboundary water infrastructure; adaptation to climate change and variability in transboundary water systems; financing of transboundary water projects; strengthening transboundary water governance towards regional integration; and participation mechanisms/ stakeholder involvement in decision-making.


The fifth meeting of the African Committee on Sustainable Development (ACSD-5), which included the African Regional Implementation Meeting for the sixteenth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16), took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 22-25 October 2007. The meeting adopted the African Regional Statement for CSD-16 in which the Committee, inter alia, highlighted the fact that efforts to reduce poverty, to improve access to adequate water supply and to achieve food security are being severely undermined by land degradation and desertification which are steadily expanding, and by droughts which have become more frequent, severe and wider in occurrence in the region.

IISD’s coverage of ACSD-5 is available at


At the meeting on Rural Development in West and Central Africa, hosted by the AfDB from 30-31 October 2007, in Tunis, Tunisia, participants noted the need for significant investments to address transboundary water management within an IWRM approach and urged greater support for national irrigation plans and strategies.


Held from 16-17 November 2007 in Jinja, Uganda, the meeting adopted the Jinja Declaration on Africa and Climate Change, which included specific contributions to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Session, as well as contributions to AMCOW, including convening an AMCOW preparatory conference on adaptation to climate change.


Held from 18-20 November 2007 in Tunis, Tunisia, the conference adopted the Tunis Declaration and Action Plan, identifying measures to support climate adaptation for the management of water resources.


The AMCOW Executive Committee (EXCO) met from 22-23 November 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya and adopted a number of decisions. It endorsed the overarching theme of AWW-1 as ‘Accelerating Water Security for Socioeconomic Development of Africa’ and mandated the AMCOW President to establish a Steering Committee of AMCOW representatives and other key stakeholders, as well a technical committee of representatives of its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The EXCO also decided that Kenya be requested to host the event in 2009 with the support of a consortium of agencies including UN-HABITAT, UNEP and UNESCO.

The EXCO urged the integration of AMCOW as a Specialized Technical Committee of the AU by the end of 2007. The EXCO mandated the AMCOW President to transmit the AMCOW-6 decisions to the chair of ANBO inviting the ANBO Executive Committee to perform the functions of the AMCOW Water Basin Organization Subcommittee.

The EXCO requested the UN Children’s Fund to cooperate with AMCOW, UN-HABITAT and others, to institutionalize an annual/biennial AMCOW children’s assembly on water.

The EXCO also requested the TAC to establish a subcommittee to develop a resource mobilization strategy and map out all resources coming from development cooperation partnerships.

On partnership initiatives, the EXCO mandated the AMCOW President to request the AWF to facilitate consultations between AMCOW and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) to ensure water and sanitation issues are properly addressed in ICA programmes. On the RWSSI, the EXCO requested the AfDB to expand the programme in countries failing to meet the water and sanitation targets of the MDGs. Regarding NEPAD’s Water and Sanitation Programme, the EXCO requested the AWF to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between AMCOW and the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Basin Organizations within the framework of the AWF’s transboundary water resources management operations. On the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP), the EXCO decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank/WSP outlining areas of cooperation.

To promote best practices, the EXCO decided to establish a Commission on Groundwater Management and directed UNEP, in close cooperation with TAC and other partners, to develop proposals for the consideration of the AMCOW President regarding the overall institutional architecture for the governance of the Commission. The EXCO also requested the AfDB, AWF and other partners, to strengthen cooperation in the region on rainwater harvesting.

The EXCO requested UN-Water Africa, jointly with TAC, to convene a consultative meeting on the margins of AWW-1 to examine modalities and strategies for enhancing the quality of the AfDB’s annual African Development Report and to make recommendations for the establishment of an AMCOW/UN Water Africa Editorial Board. The EXCO also decided to establish a subcommittee (comprising AMCOW, ANBO, African Union Commission (AUC), African Civil Society Networks on Water and Sanitation, UN-Water Africa and other relevant stakeholders) to examine the critical issues regarding inter-basin transfers.

On the Forum of Energy Ministers in Africa, the EXCO decided to include in future meetings, segments for dialogue with the representatives of office bearers of key African ministerial bodies. On the EU Water Initiative launched at the 2002 WSSD in Johannesburg, the EXCO decided to hold a high-level ministerial dialogue every two years, and to initiate consultations with the European Commission and African Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat regarding the extension of the EU Water Facility.


The East African Regional Conference, ‘Accelerating Access to Sanitation’, took place from 27-28 November 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference aimed at raising awareness of the sanitation challenges and accelerating actions on the ground and adopted a series of recommendations. It also constituted a regional contribution to the AfricaSan +5 conference held in February 2008 in Durban, South Africa.


The Summit took place from 7-9 December 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal, concluding with the adoption of the Lisbon Declaration, and the Africa-EU Strategy and Action Plan. The Strategy’s four main objectives focus on key development issues, including agriculture and food security, infrastructure, water and sanitation.

The Strategy states that African countries and the EU will work together to further develop the existing EU-Africa Partnership on Water Affairs and Sanitation with the overall objective of meeting basic water and sanitation needs and contributing to improved water resource management at local, river basin and catchment, national and trans-boundary levels. It further states that African countries and the EU will reinforce their joint efforts to address the challenges of water security, aim to mobilize increased investments for hydraulic infrastructure in Africa, and promote the participation of other international partners in the dialogue on the sustainable use of Africa’s water resources.


The tenth African Union (AU) Summit took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 25 January to 2 February 2008. The Summit included sessions of the Permanent Representatives Committee, the Executive Council, and the AU Assembly. The Executive Council adopted 37 decisions and a declaration.

OUTCOME OF AMCOW-6: In decision (EX.CL/Dec.391 (XII)), the Executive Council endorsed the Brazzaville Declaration and decisions on water and sanitation in Africa adopted at AMCOW-6 and supported the initiative to strengthen AMCOW’s relations with Africa’s civil society organizations to enhance the achievement of the water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs. The Council called upon member states to increase their cooperative efforts to create more transboundary water basin organizations, where they do not exist, and for the sustainable and integrated management of surface and underground waters, and urged them to make use of the ‘Guidelines for the Establishment of a Cooperative Framework Agreement for the integrated Management of Transboundary Basins’ developed by the AUC. The Council also urged Africa’s development partners to increase their support to AMCOW to ensure the sustainable management and utilization of the continent’s water resources and to promote sanitation towards the achievement of the relevant MDGs for the continent. The Council further requested the AUC, AfDB, UNEP, and the NEPAD Secretariat, to continue to provide policy and institutional support to AMCOW.

PROPOSAL TO MAKE WATER AND SANITATION THE THEME OF THE JULY 2008 AU SUMMIT: In decision (EX.CL/Dec.392 (XII)), the Executive Council recommended that “Water and Sanitation” be the theme of the July 2008 Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government. The Council called upon the UN Secretary-General to continue to support the efforts of member states to develop their respective water and sanitation sectors in order to enhance the achievement of sustainable development and to meet the MDGs.


AfricaSan +5 was held in Durban, South Africa, from 18-21 February 2008. Ministers agreed to the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan. In the eThekwini Declaration, Ministers agreed to review, update and adopt national sanitation and hygiene policies within 12 months of AfricaSan 2008; establish one national plan for accelerating progress to meet national sanitation goals and the MDGs by 2015; and take the necessary steps to ensure that national sanitation programmes are on track to meet these goals. They also agreed to establish specific public sector budget allocations for sanitation and hygiene programmes, including via an ‘aspirational’ allocation of at least of 0.5% of GDP for sanitation and hygiene. Ministers also agreed to support the leadership of AMCOW to track the implementation of the eThekwini Declaration and prepare a detailed report on progress in mid-2010, when AMCOW will provisionally host a follow-up AfricaSan event.


Further to its earlier decisions to convene, during its sixty-third session in 2008, a high-level meeting on the theme ‘Africa’s development needs: state of implementation of various commitments, challenges and the way forward’, the UN General Assembly decided that the high-level meeting would be held on 22 September 2008, prior to the general debate of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly. The Assembly decided that the meeting will be held at the highest possible political level, including the participation of Heads of State or Government, and would result in a political declaration on Africa’s development needs.


The meeting, held in New York on 10 March 2008, reviewed a first set of draft recommendations from the MDG Africa Working Group, and proposed that African governments work, with support from the international community, to, inter alia, meet the water supply and sanitation MDG targets and make critical infrastructure investments in power, transportation, water and sanitation to raise productivity, ensure low-cost service delivery, and integrate Africa into the global economy.



Mandla Gantsho, African Development Bank (AfDB) Vice-President for Infrastructure Operations, Private Sector and Regional Integration, called the First African Water Week to order on Wednesday, 26 March 2008, and stressed the need for partnerships to enable Africa to realize its full potential on water and sanitation.

Noting that Africa holds only 9% of the world’s water resources and that 14 of its countries suffer an acute water shortage, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources (Tunisia), Mohamed Haddad, elaborated on Tunisia’s efforts to realize sustainable water resource use, highlighted various sub-regional best practices, and emphasized South-South and tripartite cooperation to share such experiences.

H.R.H. Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange (the Netherlands) and Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), urged participants to build on the commitments made at the AfricanSan+5 meeting held in Durban in February 2008 by agreeing on concrete steps for achieving water security that African Heads of State can endorse at the July 2008 AU Summit, and provide leadership that will help focus the support of the numerous global initiatives in this sector.

Loїc Fauchon, President of the World Water Council noted that “if water needs science, it also needs a conscience,” emphasizing the need to pay equal attention to the technical and socioeconomic context associated with water security. He urged delegates to examine both the causes and consequences of any action or inaction for Africa’s growing population.

Babagana Ahmadou, on behalf of Omar Konaré, Chair of the AU Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development, said AWW-1 is a unique platform for advocacy on water management and utilization and for bringing water to the forefront of the proposed July 2008 AU Summit. He urged AWW-1 to consider the water supply and climate change nexus in Africa.

Noting that AWW-1 is an opportunity to examine Africa’s water security situation, Oumar Sarr, Senior Minister of Urbanism, Housing and Urban Hydraulics, Public Hygiene and Sanitation (Senegal), on behalf of AMCOW President, Bruno Itoua (Republic of Congo), called on stakeholders in Africa’s water sector to propose solutions to accelerate water security in Africa.

Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group, emphasized that while real progress has been made, it is necessary to be realistic about the challenges confronting African governments. He called for bold and decisive action that looks beyond the MDGs to envision and work towards a stable and prosperous Africa in coming decades.


AWW-1 participants attended two morning and two afternoon sessions each day, meeting either in plenary or in three parallel working groups. In plenary, participants considered and discussed the main theme of the week, based on keynote thematic paper presentations and supplementary contributions from a selected panel of experts. One plenary was dedicated to the launch of the five regional preparatory processes leading to the WWF-5. The working groups focused on topical issues, and were designed around selected paper submissions from an earlier call for papers. The outputs of the meeting were reviewed during the closing plenary.

This report is structured around the thematic organization of the work of AWW-1.


On Wednesday, 26 March, participants met in a morning and early afternoon plenary session to discuss an ‘Infrastructure Platform for Achieving Water Security.’ The morning session, co-chaired by Gilbert Mbesherubusa, AfDB, and Asfaw Dingamo, Minister of Water Resources (Ethiopia), focused on lessons learned at the global level, while the afternoon session, co-chaired by David Grey, World Bank, and Maria Mutagamba, Minister for Water and Environment (Uganda), focused on regional experiences.

LESSONS OF GLOBAL EXPERIENCE: Presenting a business model for achieving water security in Africa, David Grey said African countries face the double burden of a difficult hydrology and scarce resources to exploit available water resources in a sustainable manner. He underlined the importance of a basin management approach to facilitate shared approaches to water resource management at local, national and international levels.

Based on case studies of the Tennessee Valley and Columbia River, Jerome Priscoli, United States Army Corps of Engineers, observed inter alia that: water infrastructure investment can boost integration if water is viewed from a multipurpose perspective; the complementarity of private and public investments in water can create competition over capital; and, effective investment in water for growth is contingent on a multipurpose approach.

On regional lessons from the ten countries constituting the Economic Commission for Central African States, Fru Fonteh, GWP, highlighted: the low level of political will and commitment to place water at the center of development policy; weak cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms; and the ineffectiveness of the IWRM approach due to bureaucratic inertia, partial reforms to address governance issues, and the need to increase investments, among other challenges.

David Molden, International Water Management Institute, spoke on the linkages between water security and food security, highlighting measures for enhancing water availability, productivity and management for food production. He pointed to difficult choices that need to be made to address sustainable water management and the effects of broader political and institutional failings on water security.

Amadou Diallo, AfDB, highlighted the potential of the Inga Hydropower Development Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo for driving transboundary infrastructure development, regional integration and energy security, and emphasized AfDB’s role in catalyzing funding and developing an enabling policy environment for the energy sector.

Based on an analysis of four projects implemented by UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), WWAP Programme Coordinator Olcay Ünver underlined that capacity building and political will are needed to address water security in Africa. UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Deputy Director-General Tesfai Tecle emphasized the need for an integrated approach to manage water resources, noting that rainfed agriculture is only possible if one has “control” over it.

During the brief discussion, one participant urged WWAP to assist Africa to prepare a more regular assessment report, while the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stressed data collection and availability as pre-requisites for developing plans.

LESSONS OF REGIONAL EXPERIENCE: Jakob Granit, Stockholm International Water Institute, presented the emerging consensus from the annual meetings of water experts at the Stockholm World Water Week, including on the need to integrate water security in economic planning; improve infrastructure; strengthen legal mechanisms, methodologies and tools for benefit-sharing; harness blue and green water resources; and adopt new financing instruments.

Kazushi Hashimoto, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, analyzed governance best practices by water utilities in Asian developing countries, and highlighted innovations such as clustered meters to cut wastage and improve services to poor urban dwellers and organizational restructuring to enhance revenue collection and overall governance.

Mekki Hamza (Tunisia) said the current increase in water demand in Tunisia is expected to stabilize in 2010. He noted the effectiveness of the country’s water policy, which emphasizes water saving, including through the use of non-conventional water sources, concluding that this should assure a water resource surplus for Tunisia by 2011 to enable it to undertake its 2030 water use development plan.

Martha Solomon, TAC, highlighted the concentration of river basins in the north and south of Ethiopia where only 40% of the population resides. She enumerated key lessons including: the linkages between economic growth and water security; the challenge of sharing transboundary water resources; and the importance of involving various stakeholders.

Ahmed Mohamed (Egypt), highlighted key measures to address water challenges in his country, including a master plan to safeguard water resources to 2017; enhancing public participation through user associations and public-private partnerships; research into new desalination techniques; and participation in the ten-country Nile Basin Initiative.

Alphonse Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) described implementation of the national plan of action in his country that seeks to expand the irrigated cultivation area; promote improved water harvesting and irrigation technologies; enhance public participation in agricultural programmes; and adopt laws to enhance land tenure and IWRM.

During the discussion, participants emphasized saving energy when developing water resources; strengthening the continent’s training centers in order to enhance experience sharing; paying attention to future water needs; framing water resource development based on the exploitation potential and future water needs; disseminating Tunisia’s experience on the transboundary management of water; and attending to the nexus between climate change and water security.


On Wednesday afternoon, 26 March, plenary considered Africa’s progress in meeting the water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs in a session co-chaired by Halifa Drammeh, Special Adviser on Africa, Office of the Executive Director UNEP, and Sellal Abdelmalek, Minister of Water Resources (Algeria).

In his introductory remarks, Co-Chair Abdelmalek noted that while there are significant regional disparities, all countries need to enact measures to accelerate service delivery in the water and sanitation sector. He noted that while a total of US$ 4.5 billion is needed every year to achieve the MDGs, an effective institutional framework to manage these resources is also critical.

AWW-1 resource person James Winpenny outlined the key missing links in achieving the targets, highlighting the need to: enhance political leadership and ownership; improve interlinkages between water and sanitation, hygiene, health and poverty reduction strategies; address knowledge gaps; adopt innovative financial mechanisms to maximize the effectiveness of local and international resources; and improve engagement of all stakeholders. Abdul-Nashiru Mohammed, WaterAid, highlighted some strategies to localize the MDGs through enhancing subsidiarity, efficiency, accountability, responsiveness and sustainability at the community level.

Drawing on the RWSSI, Sering Jallow, AfDB, observed that financial resources are being directed to services provision, governments give higher priority to water supply, countries are moving from projects to programme-oriented water supply plans, donor coordination at the country-level is growing, but capacity is inadequate at the local level in both the public and private sectors, and sanitation is not given sufficient attention.

Graham Alabaster, UN-HABITAT, called attention to small urban centers and towns arguing that while 80% of Africa’s population will be living in urban areas by 2030, half will be located in small towns. He explained that the population in such towns considered as having access to water decreases progressively when the criteria of “improved” and “non-improved” take into account the time taken to find water, the proportion of income spent on it, and a minimum per capita access to 20 liters of water per day.

During interventions from the panel, Wambui Gichuri, WSP, highlighted the strong correlation between water and sanitation deficits, gender and poverty, and called for African governments to, inter alia, take advantage of the current high profile of the sector to scale-up leadership, forge accountable institutions, and prioritize sanitation in national budgets as set out in the eThikweni Declaration. Bert Diphoorn, UN-HABITAT and Africa Vice-Chair of UN-Water, noted the usefulness of small towns as a planning unit that transcends the traditional rural-urban divide in service delivery, the key role of water utilities and the critical role of energy in delivering water and sanitation targets.

Patrick Apoya, Ghana Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector, cautioned that a focus on statistics in reporting MDG achievements risks sidelining important equity and sustainability issues on the ground. Ulrike Haupt (Germany) highlighted some outcomes of the 6th Petersberg Round Table on Transboundary Water Management in Africa, held in September 2007, in Germany. This informal policy dialogue convened by the German Government, AMCOW and others, called for stakeholders to enhance synergies. Johan Willert, Swedish International Development Agency, noted that the effects of rapid urbanization in Africa, and the associated rise of informal settlements, presents particularly difficult challenges for water and sanitation service delivery.

During the discussion, participants emphasized the need to take into account: the land ownership and access and sanitation nexus and the links between water standards and health; the reuse and disposal of waste water; the capacity to monitor the impact of investments; a demand-driven programme; appropriate technology; population growth; and informed choice. On process, participants called for an ecosystem approach, inter-ministerial collaboration, partnerships, the involvement of water associations and organizations, community-owned project operation and implementation, decentralization and community involvement in AfDB projects, and an Africa-wide assessment to identify vulnerable countries that are unlikely to meet the water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs. On financing, some participants proposed recommending to the July 2008 AU Summit the allocation of a minimum 1.5% of GDP towards water and sanitation, arguing that the 0.5% proposed in the eThekwini Declaration is insufficient to meet these targets, and others suggested directing donor aid to both the public and private sectors.


On Thursday morning, 27 March, the plenary, co-chaired by Monyane Moleleki, Minister for Water (Lesotho), and Michel Camdessus, Honorary President of the Bank of France, considered financing infrastructure for water security. AfDB Vice-President Mandla Gantsho said the session aimed to assess what has been achieved so far and to propose concrete measures to deliver the needed financing to achieve Africa’s water and sanitation targets. Paper presentations were followed by brief comments from a panel, and discussion by participants.

Adrianarison Rakotobe, AfDB, presented on the funding status of the Africa Water Vision 2025, noting that service delivery in sub-Saharan Africa lags behind population growth. He said despite the non-attainment of the annual funding target, financial flows are increasing and could be leveraged through improved coordination of financing initiatives and stronger integration of water and sanitation programmes in economic planning processes and climate adaptation strategies. Kameel Virjee, WSP, emphasized scaling up the innovative financing mechanisms emerging in Africa and recommended, inter alia, providing leverage loans for community projects to be channeled through small-scale micro-finance organizations and establishing financial instruments such as bonds and credit-rating for medium and large utilities. Bikoro Munyanganizi, Minister of State in charge of Environment, Water and Mines (Rwanda), presented a case study of public-private partnerships in Rwanda, which had increased from 1% in 1984 to 25% in 2007, having been introduced following a study demonstrating that the private sector is best placed to manage infrastructure, with communities managing the project.

James Winpenny proposed two messages for the July 2008 AU Summit: (1) the need for governments to commit to a funding target for water and sanitation programmes in order to raise additional funding and the public profile of the sector; and (2) the need to reinforce the peer group mechanism captured in the work of AMCOW and WSP by issuing annual ratings for water utilities in order to narrow the gap between best and worst practices. Gérard Payen, UNSGAB, reflected on the recommendations on financing water infrastructure set out in the 2006 Hashimoto Action Plan and highlighted the need for harnessing local funding through promoting sustainable cost-recovery, supporting local water authorities to access finance, and leveraging official development assistance (ODA) to attract more funding for the water and sanitation sector.

Christophe Prevost, World Bank, focused on the effectiveness of available resources, particularly through building capacity of national and sub-national authorities to manage water and sanitation budgets. He emphasized maintaining and improving the performance of existing infrastructure before focusing on new investments, and urged donors to allow countries latitude to find workable and appropriate local solutions. Laura Hucks, WaterAid, highlighted the findings of a recent study that water and sanitation programmes often bypass local governments, which weakens decentralization. She urged channeling more development assistance through the national governments to local authorities in order to enhance community participation in monitoring implementation of water and sanitation programmes at the local level. Michel Camdessus emphasized the sustainability of water and sanitation investments by linking funding to education and public awareness campaigns and providing capacity development support to enhance the management of water and sanitation infrastructure. He reiterated the need for regular consultations between water and finance ministers and for multilateral institutions to be less prescriptive in order to encourage emerging innovative financing mechanisms.

In the ensuing discussion, participants stressed paying greater attention to the management of water and sanitation infrastructure, innovation in public financing, and development of inclusive financial systems that integrate water and sanitation strategies within broader national economic development plans. Other contributions emphasized participatory approaches and called for greater information exchange and technical assistance, drawing on successful experiences in South Asia. Several participants expressed interest in replicating Rwanda’s experience in promoting low-cost ecologically sustainable toilets.


On Thursday morning, 27 March, delegates convened in plenary to discuss issues relating to environmental and social challenges. Zeinab El Bakri, AfDB, and Anatole Kanyenkiko, Minister for Environment and Territorial Management of Public Works (Burundi), co-chaired the session.

In his presentation, Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP, underscored that rational and balanced water resource exploitation is possible with minimal social and environmental costs. Jonathan Matondo, AWW-1 resource person, discussed the causes of falling water volumes in major rivers in Southern Africa and elaborated on potential adaptation measures such as efficient water use and recycling, rainwater harvesting, ground water development, and the construction of water storage and inter-basin transfer facilities. Kwame Odame-Ababio, IUCN, discussed the Volta Water Governance Project (PAVDEV), highlighting three key lessons: transboundary community-based activities can be successful; community participation is enhanced where communities realize direct benefits; and language and culture can be constraints to transboundary initiatives.

Phera Ramoeli, Southern African Development Community (SADC), elaborated on various governance mechanisms under development to strengthen cooperation on shared watercourses, including the Regional Strategic Water Infrastructure Development Programme (RSWIDP) and 2007 regional conference on balancing economic, environmental and social aspects of large water infrastructure, an AMCOW conference, organized by SADC in collaboration with other subregional organizations.

Ousmane Diallo, Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), stressed the need to develop a sound knowledge base on ground water resources, which account for at least 50% of the continent’s water resources and are less susceptible to climate change than surface water.

Participants cautioned that using case studies that have been superseded by science could deter investors, desalination costs are prohibitive even for countries with large coastlines, generalizing about dams is unhelpful as each dam requires an environmental impact study, and control over water is a prerequisite for IWRM.


Fritzgerald Nasako, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (Cameroon) and Letitia Obeng, Chair, Global Water Partnership (GWP), co-chaired this plenary session on Friday morning, 28 March.

Simon Thuo, GWP, noted the need to unpack the diverse interests and perspectives inherent in multistakeholder partnerships in order to build trust and facilitate meaningful collaboration, and elaborated on how responding to climate change can build strong partnerships. P. Victoria, Veolia Water, a private water service provider, said public-private partnerships can enhance water security by investing in more efficient technologies, lowering costs for consumers, and promoting innovations in service delivery, and concluded that private investors’ impacts on the MDGs should be assessed using the criteria used for other stakeholders.

Sophia Sandström, Japan Water Forum, described the progress made by the Asia Pacific Water Forum since its establishment in 2007, noting that its targets for water and sanitation are higher than the MDG targets. She emphasized the value of experience sharing between the two regions. Audrey Nepvu, International Fund for Agricultural Development, described the process of partnership building in the Gash Sustainable Livelihoods Regeneration Project, concluding that attitude change is a long process, learning and trust-building are not allocated enough time and money, and flexibility is needed to allow for the dynamic power changes that take place in the field. Malick Gaye, ENDA/African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation, described civil society-led partnerships that demonstrate best practices with regard to efficiency and cost reductions in service delivery, expanded access to microfinance, and scaled-up integrated water management systems in rural and urban areas.

Audace Ndayizeye, Nile Basin Initiative, described the process adopted to build trust and consolidate partnerships in the Nile River basin, which is a region ravaged by natural disasters and conflict, by strengthening dialogue with diverse stakeholders. Monique le Genissel, European Commission, noted that to qualify for funding from the EU’s Water and Energy Facility, projects must fulfill partnership criteria. Rui Luis Silva, Economic Community of West African States, reiterated the importance of managing diversity through dialogue and collaboration, and underlined the role of partnerships in developing the region’s water vision and mobilizing resources.

In their remarks, participants emphasized that private water operators in Africa also cooperate with the public sector, partnership is a precondition for implementing water and sanitation projects, local knowledge must be tapped in order to realize community participation, and that complementarity, not competition, should guide the entire policy process. Some participants conjectured on clarifying the roles of various actors and revisiting private sector performance where public and private sector visions differ.


Participants met in three parallel working groups on Thursday afternoon, 27 March, and mid-morning on Friday, 28 March, to deepen the discussion on issues discussed in plenary.

MEETING THE MDGs AND RELATED TARGETS ON WATER: Co-Chaired by Adrianarison Rakotobe and Gladys Lundwe, Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Zambia), participants considered the rural and urban drivers of change in water and sanitation based on a survey of 22 African countries over 16 years, a case study of Nigeria, and a study of reforms in the water sector in 12 countries. The survey yielded no specific variable as the key source of change nor was economic growth found to influence change. However, peace, governance, sector leadership and institutional arrangements, and the use of multiple strategies emerged as important conditions in both rural and urban areas.

Participants’ proposals emphasized universal access, attention to small rural towns as a separate element, a graduated transition to decentralization by devolving authority first, and more devolution of financial management to local governments. Participants also highlighted weaknesses in the presentations, including the research design and data used, and the omission of variables such as the sources of ideas, and change in the sectoral approach. Participants diverged on proposals to increase the capacity of utilities to finance the water sector by cross-subsidizing utilities, emphasizing that only four combined utilities now exist in Africa, utilities fail to provide correct estimates for cost-recovery, and the strategy victimizes the poor.

THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLATFORM AND TRANSBOUNDARY COOPERATION: The session was co-chaired by Gnanga Gomou, Minister for Energy and Water (Guinea), and André Liebart, European Commission. Anthony Turton, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment (CSIR), highlighted work to develop alternative benefit-sharing approaches to govern development and management of shared water resources. This was followed by presentations on the work of various regional basin authorities: Nile (9 countries), Komati (3 countries), Niger (9 countries), and Senegal (4 countries), with brief panel presentations on experiences from various basin authorities. In the ensuing discussion, participants noted the need to consider both traditional ‘water-sharing’ transboundary water management mechanisms and exploring opportunities presented by emerging ‘Parallel National Action’ models that are at the core of the more open benefit-sharing paradigm. Several participants expressed interest in learning more about the experience of SADC countries in implementing this new model. In conclusion, it was noted that countries have multiple needs and should adopt approaches that are as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. Participants also noted the need to develop regional infrastructure to maximize the benefits of shared resources.

ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL CHALLENGES, INCLUDING CLIMATE: Thomas Hurley, AfDB, chaired this session. Gregory Thomas, Natural Heritage Institute, presented on optimizing water management systems (dams) to restore ecosystems and livelihoods and the attendant challenges. Reiterating the messages of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, Rupa Kolli, WMO, underlined the significant impacts of climate change, suggested that the Regional Climate Outlook Forums could provide the products needed for adaptation to climate change and variability, and called for climate information to aid decision-making in the water sector.

Yazon Gnoumou presented on IUCN’s Water and Nature Initiative, which aims to mainstream the ecosystem approach in water management, and stressed the need to understand the benefits of this approach when developing infrastructure. Barbara Schreiner, Pegasys Strategy and Development, examined the social challenges of providing infrastructure for water security in Africa. She underlined the need for functioning, pro-poor, sustainable infrastructure development. Anselme Vodounhessi, Regional Center for Water Supply and Sanitation, presented on the benefits of adopting ecological sanitation to protect water resources and of using human waste as a resource with economic benefits.

WATER SECURITY FOR AGRICULTURAL WATER USE: Paul Smit, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Water and Forestry (Namibia) and Zeinab El Bakri, AfDB, co-chaired this working group. A brief discussion followed presentations on new agricultural initiatives in Africa, including the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) of NEPAD, the AWF of AMCOW, and the inter-governmental Initiative for Agricultural Water in Africa (AgWA). Moise Sonou, FAO, presented a study mapping the distribution of rural poverty and hydro-agriculture across Africa to better target-related investments. Arguing that large-scale projects are slower in delivering outputs, Douglas Merrey, Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, stressed the need for parallel reforms supporting small-scale initiatives that can help realize the water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs by 2015.

During the discussion, participants suggested that: choices for large or small-scale investment should be driven by a country’s potential; preference should be given to country-driven programmes; the addition of training to the programmes; regulations that prohibit irrigation by small dams should be repealed; and in assessing technology, the full cost of its use should be taken into account.

LAUNCHING OF THE ROAD MAP FOR THE AFRICAN GROUND WATER COMMISSION: Co-chaired by Minister Asfaw Dingamo and AU Director Babagana Ahmadu, the session focused on the role of the newly constituted African Ground Water Commission (AGWC). Salif Diop, UNEP, and Eberhard Braune, UNESCO, provided an overview of the development and possible roles of the AGWC, with a tentative roadmap for its future activities. Drawing on a scoping study of Southern Africa, Yongxin Xu, UNESCO, emphasized learning from past failures. Robert Bisson, EarthWater Global, discussed the vast potential to marry the latest technologies and hydrological discoveries with venture capital and other innovative funding sources to exploit ‘megawatersheds’ of freshwater deposits buried deep in the Earth’s crust. He said the business model ensures that clients do not make payments upfront, but underlined the importance of institutional stability in attracting private capital. Other presentations touched on the work of UNESCO’s International Shared Aquifer Resource Management (ISARM) Programme, the International Ground Water Resources Assessment Center, IGRAC (the Netherlands) and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources.

In their remarks, participants commended the AGWC initiative, emphasizing its potential role in raising the profile of groundwater management for water security in many arid and semi-arid countries. However, some participants emphasized avoiding duplication of initiatives and stressed that AGWC should go beyond stock-taking of ongoing initiatives and provide strategic direction and coordinate actions by a broad range of actors.

INVESTING IN INFORMATION SHARING, MONITORING AND KNOWLEDGE: Bert Diphorn, UN-HABITAT, chaired this working group. William Cosgrove, World Water Council (WWC), noted that as a public good, information deserves public support at national and international levels and investing in information is as important as investing in infrastructure. He outlined the benefits and required standards of information, but noted that research and data collection are easily postponed. David Kirugara, TIGER Executive Bureau, examined the challenges facing Africa in the application of space technology for IWRM, key achievements to date and potential benefits as it moves to implementation. Mohamed Tawfik, WMO, observed that while hydrological data is crucial for water security and planning and efficient management, knowledge about ground water availability and the ability of hydrological services to provide information and long-term data are declining. Noting that no country in Africa meets WMO standards of hydrological data collection, he emphasized installing new technologies to complement existing and traditional networks. Mohamadou Baba Sy, Sahara and Sahel Observatory, presented on tools and methods developed for the integrated management of two transboundary aquifers, the North-western Sahara and the Iullemeden Aquifer Systems.

Participants’ concerns focused on the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha Basin (CICOS), on which Charles Kabobo, CICOS Commission, presented, and specifically on the lack of information on the Congo basin and plans to transfer water from that basin to Lake Chad. Responding to Co-Chair Diphorn’s request for contributions to an AWW-1 Ministerial Declaration, participants proposed emphasizing information as a precondition for achieving water security given its economic value, including in infrastructure investments.

CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION: Philibert Afrika, AfDB, chaired this working group.

Daniel Sighomnou, Niger Basin Authority, presented the WMO World Hydrological Cycle Observation System (WHYCOS) in Niger, listing key achievements, including modernization of the data collection and transmission system. Rose Osinde, UN-HABITAT, underlined the need to build synergies within and between sectors and operational levels, develop sound monitoring tools and strengthen awareness and preparedness at the local level, and outlined UN-HABITAT’s Cities and Climate Change pilot project. Giacomo Teruggi, WMO, reported on the Climate Outlook in the Greater Horn of Africa (IGAD region) project that monitors real-time evolution of temperature and rainfall and analyzes potential impacts of climate change in the region. Teruggi also provided an overview of climate change and variability impacts on water resources in Africa. Noting that an estimated 30% of Africa’s coastal infrastructure is at risk from sea-level rise and flooding, Hany Shalaby, AfDB, said climate change is a development issue, and outlined the adaptation measures incorporated in AfDB projects.

In their remarks, participants emphasized: enhancing water harvesting and storage measures; improving monitoring to develop a sound analytical base for policymaking; the importance of focusing on human-induced climate change; and expanding studies on groundwater as an adaptation strategy.

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAPACITY BUILDING: Introducing this subject, Co-Chair Jean-François Donzier, International Office for Water, stressed that the implementation of IWRM and institutional reform are prerequisites for the attainment of water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs. On how science can contribute to water security, Maurius Claasseen, CSIR, and Heidi Synman, Water Research Commission, recommended, inter alia, inter-disciplinary cooperation, sufficient financing and establishment of networks of centers of excellence. Hamma Yaocouba, International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE Group) in Burkina Faso, described the organizational restructuring of the Institute, which was aimed at enhancing its training capacity. Using Senegal as his case study, Babacar Dieng, consultant, argued that reforms in the management of resources and of infrastructure could improve water security. Sylvie Barra, AfDB, highlighted the socio-cultural relations such as discrimination and low levels of education that constrain women’s contribution to water security. Abby Mgugu, Women’s Land and Water Rights Southern Africa, presented the results of the report of the AfricanSan+5 Conference, and highlighted women’s perspectives on integrated approaches of linking water, sanitation and land tenure.

In their remarks, participants highlighted the need to focus on end-users and to develop capacity in diverse areas, including basin management, IWRM, provision of drinking water and sanitation, the social sciences, irrigation and water for pasture. Other concerns highlighted the need to: link water, land use and land ownership; initiate and enhance on-going training; employ applied research for outputs utilized by users and operators; provide access to information; strengthen the role of women; continue research in investment; and find simple solutions without ignoring systems that supply water to consumers.

WATER HARVESTING AND REUSE: This session was co-chaired by Maria Mutagamba and Christopher Chiza, Minister of Water (Tanzania). Co-Chair Mutagamba noted that since AMCOW-6 initiated a rainwater harvesting programme to promote best practices, this working group should focus on implementation at the community, country and regional levels.

Maimbo Malesu, International Center for Research in Agro-Forestry, emphasized the need to tap the potential of green water. Moise Sonou, FAO, underlined the importance of improving rainfed agriculture for food security. Elizabeth Khaka, UNEP, highlighted the ecosystem benefits of rainwater harvesting, from improving ecosystems through groundwater recharge to climate adaptation. Akica Bahri, IWMI, focused on the value of wastewater reuse. Paul Smit underlined the need for clean, affordable water in cities for economic growth and gave an overview of water saving and water demand management in water scarce Namibia. Dennis Mwanza, World Bank, emphasized the need to disseminate a variety of rainwater harvesting technologies and to address affordability for domestic water supply.

After the presentations, Smit presented a model programme for rainwater harvesting in Africa, comprising mainstreaming rainwater harvesting into policy, building capacity, improving access to information and scaling-up best practices. He suggested developing a 200-year vision for water development in Africa, and outlined possible next steps. Responding, panel members made the following points: good information and motivation is essential for decision-making; AMCOW could play a role in the organization of existing information on technologies and skills; providing massive investment in infrastructure is not required; civil society and the private sector must be an integral part of programme development and implementation; rainwater harvesting is attractive due to its affordability, simplicity and economic potential; and creating synergies in work conducted by all the players and interconnectivity is challenging. Participants recommended underscoring the importance of water harvesting in the global context of river basin development and follow-up after training to ensure standards are maintained.


During the closing plenary on Friday, AMCOW President Bruno Itoua invited the Lead Rapporteur, Kabwena Manu, to present the meeting’s report, entitled ‘Summary of Proceedings and Outcomes’.

Manu said the report is based on the presentations made, and discussions held, in the plenary and working groups, and read through the 11-page report, following which AMCOW President Itoua invited comments from participants. Some speakers said the report was a fair reflection of the proceedings, several identified gaps, and others inquired about the report’s silence on a ministerial declaration from AWW-1.

AMCOW President Itoua concurred with the participants’ proposal on the need for more “aggressive financial commitments,” but explained that the ministers had decided to separate the two outputs to allow for all the participants’ views to be reflected in the report, separate from the commitments that ministers wish to bring to the July 2008 AU Summit for political support. Co-Chair Rakotobe invited participants to submit their comments on the report in the next seven days, emphasizing however, that only input that was debated would be included.

Final Report: The report is divided into three sections: an introduction, the opening session and thematic deliberations, and recommended actions. The introduction covers the background to the meeting, its objectives, participation, content and purpose. The opening session summarizes the main points made during the opening plenary.

The thematic deliberations cover the main issues and make the following recommendations for the themes of the Week:

  • Infrastructure platform for achieving water security:
  • expand and rehabilitate Africa’s water infrastructure;
  • promote high-level, operational partnerships between AMCOW Ministers and water-use sectors;
  • continue to develop and apply IWRM;
  • protect public interests by ensuring African ownership, public control and legal frameworks;
  • work within national Poverty Reduction Strategy processes to match infrastructure development with MDG targets and post-2015 development to attain the Africa Water Vision 2025;
  • reduce potential tensions over new infrastructure;
  • pursue opportunities for sharing regionally important infrastructure and water benefits;
  • pursue opportunities for community-owned infrastructure; and
  • invest in data and information.

Meeting the Water and Sanitation Millennium Development Goals:

  • mobilize financial and technical resources for water and sanitation infrastructure and capacity-building;
  • leverage more support from development partners;
  • increase resources for local governments for implementation;
  • prioritize and improve the effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation systems;
  • build on momentum and follow through on local commitments;
  • improve effectiveness of partnerships between utilities and the energy sector;
  • focus on the poor and vulnerable and adopt gender-sensitive strategies;
  • develop monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at all levels;
  • improve governance, transparency and public accountability;
  • request the AfDB and WSP to continue undertaking country sector reviews; and
  • update AMCOW on progress and bottlenecks in achieving MDG targets.

Financing infrastructure for water security objectives:

  • development partners to meet existing commitments to African water and sanitation, with an increasing proportion of multilateral finance to be directed into infrastructure and G8 initiatives to be implemented;
  • nurture on-going dialogue with the EU and G8 and facilitate regular review meetings on implementation progress;
  • enable better flows, predictability and coordination of existing finances;
  • secure greater cost-recovery from water users;
  • mobilize resources into existing African-led initiatives;
  • target funds towards coverage improvements for poor and disadvantaged communities using sector-wide approaches and national plans;
  • pursue private-public partnership opportunities;
  • enable AMCOW Ministers to engage in high-level dialogues with finance ministries and development partners on financing of new and rehabilitated water-use infrastructure;
  • innovate distinctive financing approaches in fragile states;
  • improve modalities for government and ODA investment in regionally important infrastructure;
  • support AMCOW ministers to work at all levels to mobilize funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation in poverty-reducing investments, and in their engagement with NEPAD and counterparts in agriculture to increase national and ODA finance for agricultural water management, as well as with private sector investors; and
  • conduct financial reporting matched with economic and social impacts.

Addressing the social and environmental challenges:

  • ensure water-use infrastructure development takes due regard of environmental and social implications using IWRM principles;
  • assess and integrate the costs of social and environmental mitigation measures and plans into water projects; and
  • develop infrastructure to consider environmental impacts and implement Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Management Plans.
  • Climate change and adaptation:
  • put in place adaptation measures to ensure sustainable water security for social, economic and environmental needs;
  • promote cooperation in the development of effective early warning systems;
  • encourage water use efficiency to optimize limited water availability;
  • adapt to climate change and variability through improved knowledge of impacts, strengthened international cooperation, capacity-building and increased investments;
  • coordinate actions on climate change and variability on the regional level through Regional Economic Communities in close cooperation with River Basin Organizations;
  • develop capacities within Regional Economic Communities and River Basin Organizations to establish databases to capture information; and
  • disseminate best practices and develop guidance documents.

Groundwater management:

  • harness local groundwater resources to improve livelihoods and manage climate change risks;
  • institutionalize dialogue on groundwater management in Africa; and
  • launch the African Groundwater Commission.

Rainwater harvesting to assure agriculture, food security, domestic use and environmental sustainability:

  • include rainwater management in national water management plans that support social and economic development outcomes;
  • promote awareness and uptake of cost-effective, pro-poor micro agricultural water management technologies and management practices;
  • build skills and capacity to share knowledge on rainwater and management strategies among farmers and other beneficiaries; and
  • tackle persistent land degradation in support of national commitments under the UN Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification.

Stakeholders' roles and partnerships:

  • ensure greater involvement of civil society from the earliest stages through to implementation and beyond;
  • create platforms for the poor to be heard;
  • strengthen opportunities for Asian-African interactions on lessons and experiences; and
  • determine clear roles and responsibilities for service provision within a decentralized framework.

Investing in information and knowledge management:

  • encourage investments in water resources development and management infrastructure and capacity-building for National Hydrological Services;
  • encourage and support international initiatives like WHYCOS and TIGER; and
  • sensitize decision-makers on the importance of hydrological data and water information and attempt an economic evaluation of hydrological data in order to ensure adequate budget allocations for hydrological networks and services.

Upcoming events and contribution of AMCOW:

  • request the G8 to implement G8 initiatives on water for Africa;
  • canvass international support for implementation of the eThekwini Declaration on Sanitation in pursuit of the MDGs;
  • implement measures to address Africa’s special needs for adaptation to climate change; and
  • mobilize substantial resources for the African Water Facility.


On Friday afternoon, 29 March, participants convened in plenary to launch the regional preparatory processes for WWF-5, in a session moderated by Jerome Priscoli. In his introductory remarks, Co-Chair Minta Aboagye, Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (Ghana), said institutional arrangements are critical in achieving water security. Co-Chair William Cosgrove, WWC, underlined that WWF-5 is not about water, but about livelihoods.

Ahmet Saatçi, Vice Secretary General of WWF-5, provided an overview of preparations for WWF-5, stating that it will take place in Istanbul in August 2009 and will address six themes organized in 100 sessions, and will include an exclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue. Daniel Zimmer, WWC Executive Director, provided an overview of the preparatory process and meetings leading up to WWF-5, and said the expected key outputs are a global appeal from the Heads of State and Government, a Ministerial Agenda, and an Istanbul Urban Water Consensus by local governments.

Olcay Ünver, WWAP, briefed participants on the status of the 3rd World Water Development Report that will be launched at WWF-5, and the process that led to its production. Amhayesus Metaferia, AWW-1 resource person, reviewed Africa’s preparatory process in WWF-4 held in Mexico, and drew lessons for the region’s participation at WWF-5.

WWF-5 organizers said in order to facilitate civil society participation, an online platform will be operational from 15 April 2008, with a specific “zone” designated for Africa’s organizations, and that facilitation support will be provided. They would also consider the proposal for cultural programmes to inspire participants. Daniel Zimmer said that while the involvement of ministers and the organization of regional water meetings in all five regions demonstrates the impact of past Forums, a report on the follow-up activities of stakeholders since WWF-4 will be presented at WWF-5, which, together with the Consensus from WWF-5, will provide a more concrete framework for future follow-up. Ünver said the World Water Development Report is validated by the UN agencies operating in the water sector, the scientific community and relevant professional organizations, a peer-review, and consultation with stakeholders. He said for future studies, UNESCO would no longer use letters of invitation to countries and will interact directly with the countries in order to solicit interest.

Concluding this discussion, Co-Chair Aboagye reiterated the need for WWF-5 to enhance the participation of African bodies, including civil society organizations.


Co-Chairs Rakotobe and Itoua convened the closing plenary late afternoon Friday, 28 March. After concluding the discussion of the ‘Summary of Proceedings and Outcomes’, plenary considered the Ministerial Declaration, which was prepared by the ministers during their informal consultations.

MINISTERIAL DECLARATION: Charles Ngangoue, TAC Chair, read out the ministerial statement. Following participants’ comments, Halifa Drammeh provided supplementary input highlighting a call to international partners, through the G8 and other forums, to scale-up investments in the water and sanitation sector to ensure a more reliable broadly based flow of funds. Other speakers noted with appreciation the Kenyan Government’s offer to host the 2nd Africa Water Week, in collaboration with UNEP, UN-HABITAT and UNESCO. AMCOW President Itoua said Morocco’s request to reformulate references to the AU in relation to AMCOW, as it is not a full member of that body, would be addressed. In response to inquiries about the lack of reference in the declaration to AfDB’s involvement in the organization of AWW-2 to be held in Kenya in 2009, AMCOW President Itoua, recalling the 2007 decisions of AMCOW and its EXCO, noted that the AfDB had fulfilled its obligation by organizing AWW-1.

Final Declaration: The Ministerial Declaration on Accelerating Water Security for Africa’s Socioeconomic Development has four parts on the efforts and achievements on water, global partnership with the international community, key messages and suggested decisions at the upcoming July 2008 AU Summit and the G8 Summit.

On the achievements, the ministers emphasize the increased political commitment and leadership to the water sector exhibited by the adoption of various initiatives such as the African Water Vision 2025, a number of recent declarations on water by Africa’s Heads of State and Government, and the institution of various enabling mechanisms such as the AMCOW Trust Fund and the collaborative initiatives with civil society and the G8.

On the global partnership to meet the special needs of Africa, the declaration calls on the international community to extend concrete, substantial, and tangible support to quick impact initiatives on infrastructure for achieving water security, the water and sanitation targets of the MDGs, finance for infrastructure, climate change and adaptation, ground water use, agricultural water use, rainwater harvesting and reuse, capacity building and institutional development, and social and environmental challenges. They specify, inter alia:

  • giving greater attention to investments in water infrastructure, facilitating transboundary infrastructure development, and developing national plans and strategies for achieving water security;
  • prioritizing and increasing water and sanitation expenditures in national budgets, systematically increasing resources allocated to local governments, and developing appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for water supply and sanitation;
  • placing the benefits of water use and sanitation infrastructure at the core of finance strategies, strengthening the case for water use and sanitation infrastructure in national development plans and public expenditures, and matching financial reporting with the economic and social impacts that have been delivered;
  • establishing climate adaptation measures, promoting cooperation in the development of early warning systems, and encouraging water efficiency;
  • harnessing local groundwater resources to improve livelihoods and institutionalizing dialogue on groundwater management in Africa;
  • re-engaging in agricultural water in Africa and supporting NEPAD in the implementation of the AgWA and CAADP;
  • building institutional and human resource capacity at all levels and building the capacity and supporting the empowerment of local government;
  • supporting water harvesting strategies in the context of climate change adaptation and water and sanitation-related targets under the MDGs, and supporting the development and implementation of water reuse; and
  • balancing social, environmental and economic components of infrastructure and operationalizing the IWRM principles.

In their key messages to the July 2008 AU Summit, the ministers request Heads of State and Government to:

  • finalize the status of the TAC;
  • institutionalize the AWF and RWSSI in their agenda items on deliberations with their international partners;
  • encourage member countries to urgently develop climate change adaptation strategies and mainstream them in their development strategies;
  • provide political support for the continued implementation of the Sirte Declaration on Agriculture and Water;
  • prioritize and increase the allocation of resources to water and sanitation in national budgets; and
  • strengthen cooperation among riparian states for the mutual benefit of parties.

In their message to the G8, the ministers call on delegates at the upcoming G8 Summit to:

  • implement the respective G8 initiatives on water for Africa;
  • support the implementation of the eThikweni Declaration on Sanitation;
  • implement measures to address the special needs of Africa on adaptation to climate change; and
  • honor their commitments, and assist in mobilizing substantial resources for the AWF.

The Declaration also endorses the AWW-1 outcomes, expresses appreciation to various entities that supported the AWW-1, and requests the Government of Kenya, in close cooperation with UNEP, UN-HABITAT and UNESCO, to initiate the necessary processes for hosting AWW-2 in 2009/2010, in Nairobi, Kenya, under the main theme of ‘Bridging the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Gap in Africa’.

CLOSING REMARKS: In his closing statement, Adrianarison Rakotobe, on behalf of AfDB Vice President Mandla Gantsho, thanked AMCOW for dedicating a week to deliberate on water and sanitation issues and lauded the active participation of African water ministers and the more than 500 high-level experts attending the events. Restating AfDB’s view that a “business as usual” approach cannot achieve water security, he urged African governments and their international partners to encourage private sector investments and increase their funding commitments to the sector. Mounir Bomessouer, Head of Cabinet in the Ministry of Agriculture and Hydrological Resources (Tunisia), on behalf of Minister Mohamed Haddad, said AWW-1 was a historic event for Africa, noting that sustainable development is closely tied to water security. AMCOW President Itoua said AWW-1 was an outright success, emphasized that implementing the declaration will require a readjustment of water policies and the mobilization of substantial financial resources, encouraged regular consultations between the Africa Water Group and AMCOW, and then called the First African Water Week to a close at 6.53 pm.


33RD WATER ENGINEERING AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER (WEDC) INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: ACCESS TO SANITATION AND SAFE WATER: GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS AND LOCAL ACTIONS: Taking place from 7-11 April 2008 in Accra, Ghana, this conference will provide a forum for engagement among practitioners, policy makers, academics and researchers from a wide range of disciplines working in the water and environmental sanitation sectors. For more information, contact: Conference Administrator; tel: +44-1-509-228304; fax: +44-1-509-211079; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

SADC INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE ON POVERTY AND DEVELOPMENT: The SADC Consultative Conference will be held from 18-20 April 2008 in Mauritius with the theme ‘Regional Economic Integration: A Strategy for Poverty Eradication towards Sustainable Development’. The SADC Consultative Conference is a bi-annual platform for SADC and its international cooperating partners to discuss the implementation of the SADC agenda and resource needs. For more information, contact: Bester Ncube or Janah Ncube; email: [email protected] or [email protected]; tel: +267-395-1863 or +267-361-1954; fax: +267-397-2848 or +267-392-4099; internet:

SADC-EU INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM ON LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT: Held annually, this year’s Symposium will take place from 26-31 May 2008 in Lusaka, Zambia, and will address the theme, ‘Institutional structures and best practices in land and water management in Southern Africa – towards meeting the challenges of climate change’. For further information, contact: SADC/EU Land and Water Management Applied Research and Training Programme; tel: +267-395-1863 or +267-361-1954; fax: +267-397-2848 or +267-392-4099; e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

43RD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the AfDB and 34th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund will take place from 14-15 May 2008 in Maputo, Mozambique. The theme of the meeting is ‘Urbanization, Growth and Poverty in Africa’. For more information, contact: AfDB, tel: +216-71-333-511 or +216-71-103-450; fax: +216-71-351-933; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:,26740393&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

FOURTH TOKYO INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT (TICAD IV): This meeting will take place from 28-30 May 2008 in Yokohama, Japan, with the theme, ‘Towards a Vibrant Africa: A Continent of Hope and Opportunity’. TICAD IV will address the following priority areas: boosting economic growth; ensuring “human security,” including the achievement of the MDGs, consolidation of peace and democratization, and addressing environmental issues and climate change. For more information, contact: Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; tel: +81-3-3580-331 or Nicholas Gouede, Programme Specialist, TICAD/UNDP Africa Bureau; tel: +1-212-906-5954; fax: +1-212-906-6958; email: [email protected]; internet:

THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MANAGING SHARED AQUIFER RESOURCES IN AFRICA: Taking place in Tripoli, Libya, from 25-27 May 2008, the conference will review the preliminary inventory of shared aquifer resources developed at the 2nd Tripoli Conference held in 2002, consider the formulation of inputs and recommendations for the Regional Center currently being established in Libya, and develop a Plan of Action for Shared Aquifer systems in Africa. For more information, contact: Youba Sokona, OSS; tel: +216-71-206489; fax: +216-71-206634; email: [email protected]; internet:

FIFTH AFRICAN ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABILITY CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION (ARSCP-5): Taking place from 4-6 June 2008 at the Conference Facility of the Development Bank of South Africa in Johannesburg, the overall objective of the ARSCP-5 is to review lessons from on-going activities related to the African 10-Year Framework and identify the key steps that need to be taken in order to strengthen activities. ARSCP-5 will be held back-to-back with the regular session of AMCEN thereby providing an opportunity for further consolidation of political support for these processes. For more information, contact: Desta Mebratu, UNEP; tel: +254-20-762-4044; fax: +254-20-762-3928; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

12TH SESSION OF THE AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT (AMCEN): The 12th Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) will take place from 7-12 June 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. AMCEN is a permanent forum with the broad mandate of advocating environmental protection in Africa and providing overall guidance in respect of key political tools related to the environment, including multilateral environmental agreements. For more information, contact: Peter Acquah; tel: +254-20-7624289; email: [email protected] or [email protected]; internet:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GROUNDWATER AND CLIMATE IN AFRICA: Co-organized by UNESCO, the Directorate of Water Development of Uganda and University College London, from 24-28 June 2008 in Kampala, Uganda, the conference will bring together water and climate scientists from a broad range of sectors to discuss and share knowledge and expertise in order to improve understanding of the impact of climate and development on groundwater resources in Africa. For more information contact the Conference Secretariat; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

SIXTEENTH SESSION OF THE UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 5-16 May 2008 at UN Headquarters in New York, United States. The meeting is the review session for the six thematic areas on agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa. For more information, contact: UN DESA; tel: + 1-212-963-8102; fax: + 1-212-963-4260; internet:

ELEVENTH AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT: The eleventh African Union Summit will take place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from 30 June – 2 July 2008 and will be dedicated to the theme of “Water and Sanitation”. It is organized in collaboration with UNSGAB and AMCOW. For more information, contact: Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture; tel: +251-11-551-7700; fax: +251-11-552-5845; email: [email protected]

HEALTH AND SAFE WATER FOR THE WORLD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Taking place from 8-11 July 2008 in Mubende, Uganda, this conference aims to provide a global forum for practitioners, organizations, donors and agencies from a wide range of disciplines working in the water and environmental sanitation sectors. For more information, contact: Walusimbi Willy; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

5th WORLD WATER WEEK: Organized by the Swedish International Water Institute (SIWI) the meeting will take place from 17-23 August 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, on the theme ‘Progress and Prospects on Water: For a Clean and Healthy World’. For more information, contact: the Secretariat; tel: +46-8-522-139-60; fax: +46-8-522-139-61; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

13TH WORLD WATER CONGRESS: Taking place from 1-4 September 2008 in Montpellier, France, the main theme of this year’s Congress will be ‘Global Changes and Water Resources: Confronting the Expanding and Diversifying Pressures’. A key objective will be to enhance knowledge and raise global consciousness of the impact of global changes on water resources in the 30 years since the UN Conference on Water held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1977. For more information, contact: International Water Resources Association (IWRA); e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGH LEVEL SESSION ON AFRICA: The UN General Assembly will hold a high level event on ‘Africa’s development needs: State of implementation of various commitments, challenges and the way forward’ on 22 September 2008 in New York. The meeting will result in a formal political declaration. For more information, see:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE SANITATION IN AFRICA: This conference will take place from 24-26 September 2008 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. An initiative of the EU-funded Concerted Action NETSAF Consortium consisting of 19 European and African organizations, the project will develop a participative multistakeholder sanitation management support tool based on a series of case studies carried out in peri-urban and rural areas in West Africa. For more information contact; Orokia Sanon, NETSSAF; tel: +226-50-36-62-10/11; fax: +226-50-36-62-08; e-mail: [email protected]; internet:

5TH WORLD WATER FORUM: This conference is scheduled to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from 16-22 March 2009 under the theme of ‘Bridging Divides for Water’. It will be preceded by regional water summits in Africa (July 2008), Europe (October 2008), the Americas (November 2008), and the Arab region (November 2008), and four preparatory conferences. PrepCom 1 will take place from 11-12 September 2008 in UNESCO, Paris. PrepCom II will be held in November 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. PrepCom III will take place from 21-23 January 2009 at FAO Headquarters in Rome, and PrepCom IV will take place from 18-20 February 2009, in Istanbul, Turkey. For more information, contact: WWF-5 Secretariat; tel: Tel: +90-216-325- 4- 992; Fax: +90-216-428-0-992; email: [email protected]

SECOND AFRICAN WATER WEEK: The Second African Water Week (AWW-2) is tentatively scheduled to take place in 2009/2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme, ‘Bridging the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Gap in Africa’. For more information, contact: AMCOW President; tel: +242-810-290; fax: +242-815-077; email: [email protected]
African Commission on Sustainable Development
African Development Bank
African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene
African Ministersí Council on Water
African Ministerial Conference on the Environment
African Network of Basin Organizations
African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation
African Water Facility
Africa Water Week
African Union
African Union Commission
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Regional Center for Water Supply and Sanitation
Environment and Development of the Third World
European Commission
Council of Ministers and Executive Committee (AMCOW)
Global Water Partnership
Infrastructure Consortium for Africa
International Water Monitoring Institute
Integrated Water Resources Management
Millennium Development Goals
Nile Basin Initiative
New Partnership for Africaís Development
Non-governmental organization
Official Development Assistance
Sahara and Sahel Observatory
Volta Water Governance Project
Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative
Southern African Development Community
Specialized Technical Committee (AU)
Technical Advisory Committee (AMCOW)
UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UN Secretary-Generalís Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation
World Hydrological Cycle Observing System
World Meteorological Organization
World Wide Fund for Nature
World Summit on Sustainable Development

The AWW-1 Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <[email protected]>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <[email protected]>. This issue was written by Vanessa Goad, Wagaki Mwangi, and Wangu Mwangi. The editor is Hugh Wilkins. The AWW-1 Bulletin is part of IISD Reporting Service’s African Regional Coverage (ARC) Project in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Africa (UNEP ROA) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. The Programme Manager of the African Regional Coverage Project is Richard Sherman <[email protected]>. Funding for the AWW-1 Bulletin has been provided by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, through the African Regional Coverage Project for IISD Reporting Service’s coverage of African regional meetings. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to electronic distribution lists (in HTML and PDF formats) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For information on the ARC, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11A, New York, NY 10022, USA.
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