By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, President Macky Sall of Senegal and Mukthar Shehu Shagari are to be honoured by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) during the ocassion of its 20th Anniversary celebration at the 9th World Water Forum which holds in Senegal’s new city, Diamniadio.
Sundiata Post recalls that this year, Africa is hosting the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal which is also the second time in the 25-year history of the World Water Forum that the event is being held in Africa.
The 9th Forum is titled “Water Security for Peace and Development.”
Moreover, H E President Macky Sall, who is hosting the Forum, is one of the founding Vice Presidents of the Council of Ministers of AMCOW.
As part of the Forum programme, the Republic of Senegal will also be convening a session of the Heads of State and Government to discuss Water and Sanitation issues.
Against the background of the above, commemorating 20years of AMCOW leverages ongoing processes to refocus AMCOW’s ambition in the face of current global trends, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
The events will include dialogue and discussion sessions that collectively contribute to strengthening and ensuring the sustainability of AMCOW.
This was contained in a statement signed by the AMCOW Knowledge Management and Information Sharing Officer, African Ministers’ Council on Water, Mr. Obinna Anah sent to Sundiata Post.
The commemorations will also launch activities to formulate the post-2025 Africa Water Vision towards a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
One significant occasion to expect is the AMCOW @20 celebration on Tuesday, March 22, from 9:00 to 12:15 and a special Luncheon from 12:15, Dakar time. The event will host African Heads of State, Ministers responsible for water and sanitation, and other friends of AMCOW.
During the morning session, the Council will honour some of its founding leaders. These include:
The former President of Nigeria H E Olusegun Obasanjo, whose foresight and benevolence established the AMCOW Secretariat in Abuja, Nigeria; H E President Macky Sall of Senegal, a former AMCOW Vice President who is at the forefront of initiatives to promote water and sanitation issues at continental and global levels. Key among these initiatives is the establishment of a Blue Fund to expand sources of capital for sustainable, climate-resilient WASH infrastructure investment; and H. E. Mukthar Shehu Shagari who served as the first President of the AMCOW Council of Ministers.
The water community will also celebrate working in partnerships with AMCOW’s various funding, implementation and technical partners. Highlights of this will include announcements of implementation and funding arrangements for – among others:
facilitating alignment of Member States' sanitation and hygiene policy environments with global and continental commitments and international best practice; and translating into action the AMCOW Secretariat Work Programme for the period 2022 - 2024.
In a recent consultation, Mr Abdoulaye Sene, the Executive Secretary of the 9th World Water Forum Secretariat in Senegal, underscored the significance of AMCOW’s activities during the Forum. He said, “AMCOW is unique. It is the only platform on water established by a continent. We need to celebrate this uniqueness and encourage other continents to emulate such initiative.”
AMCOW, therefore, calls on all its Member States, Ministers, partners, donors, and other stakeholders to participate in the 9th World Water Forum and AMCOW @20 celebration.
Further recall that in 2002, the African Ministers responsible for water – after critically examining the global water situation and its implication for Africa – adopted the “Abuja Ministerial Declaration on Water – a key to Sustainable Development in Africa”. This declaration established the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW). AMCOW is thus an intergovernmental institution of the African Union. The vision of AMCOW is an Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional co-operation and the environment.
AMCOW has the mandate to provide political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems. AMCOW’s organs and structures serve as the Working Group on Water and Sanitation of the Specialised Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE) of the African Union.
Also, the World Water Forum, also called the Forum, is organised by the World Water Council in collaboration with a host country every three years. It is the largest water event globally. It mobilises governments, water sector leaders and professionals, development agencies, civil societies, students, youth, the academic and research community and the media for joint action for change in the sector.