The Government of Senegal is the convener and organizer of the AfricaSan 4 holding in Dakar, Senegal from May 25 - 27 2015. AMCOW and the AfricaSan International Task Force will provide technical support to the Government of Senegal in the organization of the AfricaSan 4. The conference is expected to attract about 40 Ministers responsible for sanitation from across Africa, along with about 1000 participants drawn from government agencies, civil society, donors and development banks, multilaterals, research organizations and the private sector.

AfricaSan 4 continues the AfricaSan tradition, building on approaches that have worked. It is essentially a political meeting seeking to raise the priority of sanitation amongst the new generation of san leaders. The timing is AfricaSan 4 is fortuitous both as the last AfricaSan meeting to assess progress against the MDGs; as well as being well-positioned to build momentum on sanitation and hygiene for the SDGs.

The theme of AfricaSan 4 “Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa” responds to the visionary ideals of a new generation of Africa’s sanitation ministers. It sets the bar high so that the highly successful eThekwini commitment process can consider a new set of targets and indicators to help accelerate progress towards universal coverage.

The AfricaSan 4 theme not only concerns itself with sanitation access. It seeks to address the full sanitation value chain (containment, emptying, transport, treatment, disposal and reuse). Moreover it also focuses on a full sanitation ladder of access, including making Africa open-defecation free. By sanitation is also implied hygiene: AfricaSan 4 will host a specific discussion on how to accelerate good hygiene behaviour change.

AfricaSan 4 has also had a strong regional and country process leading up to the Dakar meeting. Led by the chair of AMCOW’s AfricaSan Task Force Subcommittee, WSP, countries have engaged in three substantial sub-regional meetings in which countries have been involved in a peer-to-peer exchange on progress and sector bottlenecks in country action plans. Progress on country action plans and against the eThekwini commitments have been mapped and the results will be presented at AfricaSan 4. A feature of this preparatory process was the conscious effort to align the different sanitation sector monitoring processes in Africa.

AfricaSan 4 Objectives and Outputs

The overall objective of AfricaSan 4 is to assist African countries achieve universal access to improved sanitation and adoption of good hygiene behaviours, to improve service management across the whole value chain, eliminate open defecation and help all Africans up the sanitation ladder.

The specific objectives of AfricaSan 4 are to:

  • Launch a new pan-African, ministerial endorsed commitment to reach universal access to sanitation and eliminate open defecation: the meeting will review progress on implementing the eThekwini Declaration and extend the eThekwini targets and refine indicators based on experience thus far and to reflect these new political commitments.
  • Provide country peer support: Africasan 4 will enable participating African countries to share experiences in implementing country action plans and achieve the eThekwini and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) high-level meeting commitments. The meeting will given an opportunity for countries to present reviews of country sanitation and hygiene action plans, in order to improve their quality, realism and potential for impact. Peer support will enable countries that have made progress to support those lagging behind. 
  • Track progress: Taking stock of progress made by African countries since AfricaSan 3 in 2008 and the progress needed to meet the MDG on sanitation by 2015 and to work towards the post 2015 development agenda, so that no-one in Africa is denied their right to sanitation.
  • Promote a stronger evidence-base and learning exchange across Africa: Increase the evidence base on sanitation and hygiene in Africa and exchange knowledge on strategies to overcome key blockages to assist decision-makers in implementing large-scale sanitation and hygiene programs.
  • Advocate for sanitation and hygiene: Raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene as a determinant to sustainable development in the region; and strengthen leadership and advocacy for sustained sanitation and behavior changes in order to ensure that the most excluded groups are reached. AfricaSan will re-affirm its alignment with the UNSGAB 5 year Drive for Sanitation and the recent UN Secretary General’s Call to Action for sanitation.


The main output from AfricaSan 4 will be a new ministerial statement with new trackable continent-wide commitments on key steps to making sanitation for all a reality in Africa.

Other outputs will be:

  • Ministerial agreement on how sanitation is supported within AMCOW
  • Individual country action plans and a summary of progress achieved by all countries.
  • Media statements per country
  • Renewed advocacy for sanitation and hygiene 
  • The AfricaSan awards, to recognise exceptional contributions to sanitation and hygiene in Africa.
  • Thematic papers and learning issue presentations
  • A joint AMCOW/JMP 2014 snapshot on sanitation and hygiene in Africa
  • A report on the findings of GLAAS 2014 in Africa