A Note from the AMCOW Executive Secretary
On behalf of AMCOW and the AfricaSan International Task Force, it was a great honor and pleasure to host the 5th AfricaSan Regional Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene in Cape Town, South Africa.
Following in the tradition and successes of previous AfricaSan conferences, the concept of AfricaSan5 was to generate political momentum for sanitation and hygiene as well as provide a pan-African forum to showcase best practices and support problem solving.
AfricaSan5 partnered with the 5th International Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) Conference to deliver a uniquely rich blend of political dialogues and knowledge exchanges. Specifically, AfricaSan5 featured country and multi-sector dialogues, interactive technical sessions, exhibition fairs, and the AMCOW AfricaSan Awards. We hope that the outcomes will give impetus towards achieving commitments from the previous AfricaSan Conference—the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene—in which African countries and partners committed to accelerate access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation in Africa by 2030.
Dr. Canisius Kanangire
The 5th Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan5) was held in Cape Town, South Africa from February 18-22. AfricaSan5 partnered with the 5th International Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) Conference to deliver a uniquely rich blend of stakeholder dialogues and knowledge exchanges.
The joint AfricaSan5 and FSM5 conference brought together more than 1,300 delegates from 82 countries, representing governments, development agencies, regional and international civil society institutions, interest groups, utilities, research institutions and thinks tanks, private sector, consumer and community bodies, finance institutions, women and youth groups, among others.
The preparatory AfricaSan5 process reviewed progress against the Ngor Vision and Commitments and SDG6, and generated a report — “Is Africa on Track to Achieve the SDGs on Sanitation? A review of progress on the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene”—which provides a baseline to measure progress towards achieving the Ngor Vision and Commitments.
AfricaSan5 featured country and multi-sector dialogues (for the private sector, development agencies, local authorities and civil society), interactive technical sessions and exhibition fairs for knowledge exchanges, and the fifth edition of the AMCOW AfricaSan Awards to honor outstanding efforts and achievements in sanitation and hygiene.
The conference secured fresh commitments from stakeholders towards achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and ending open defecation. A key output from AfricaSan5 is the Camissa Statement, a Multi-Stakeholder Declaration aligned to advancing partners’ commitments towards achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation in Africa.
The AfricaSan5 process generated immense goodwill and financial, technical and knowledge support from partners and stakeholders. Post AfricaSan5 evaluation indicates positive feedback and general satisfaction from delegates on conference organization, facilitation, networking, collaboration and value.
This is a great place to add a tagline.
We believe that we have the responsibility to effectively and efficiently coordinate actions of key water and sanitation players, facilitate the strengthening of regional cooperation on water resources management and development, and capacity building of relevant institutions and agencies.
Dr Canisius Kanangire
BUILDING ON PROGRESS
The 1st AfricaSan conference was hosted in 2002 in Johannesburg by the then South African Minister of Water, Ronnie Kasrils, with 12 fellow African Ministers. Held just before the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it helped to build the groundswell which achieved the inclusion of sanitation as a specific MDG target. The concept of a political, technical, mobilizing event focusing on specifically on sanitation caught the imagination and concept was replicated in South Asia, Latin America and East Asia.
Just over five years later, AfricanSan 2 was a bigger, more inclusive event, hosted by AMCOW and other partners in Durban, South Africa in 2008. AfricaSan 2 attracted 32 African Ministers and produced the eThekwini declaration which makes 11 important commitments by African government to improve the performance of the sanitation and hygiene sector. The eThekwini declaration was subsequently endorsed by Heads of State at the 2008 AU Summit in the Sharm el Sheik Declaration and has been reaffirmed in subsequent declarations such as the Libreville Declaration on Health and the Environment in Africa.
AfricaSan 3 Conference was held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2011 and demonstrated that AfricaSan has become a global brand with extraordinary interest: over 900 attended from a total of 67 countries, including representatives of 42 African countries. Participants included 23 African Ministers and deputy Ministers in charge of Sanitation, Water, Local Government, Health, or Infrastructure; and many of the leading thinkers and practitioners in sanitation and hygiene on the continent. AfricaSan3 received the highest political support from the government of Rwanda with His Excellency the President of Rwanda gracing the AfricaSan Awards with his presence and receiving a special Award from AMCOW, acknowledging his outstanding personal contribution to the improvement of sanitation and hygiene in Rwanda. AfricaSan 3 also provided the opportunity for alignment with key global sanitation initiatives, in particular the Sustainable Sanitation: Five year drive announced by the UN Secretary General where the drive was launched.
AfricaSan 4, held in Dakar, Senegal is 2015 had the overall objectives of assisting African countries in achieving universal access to improved sanitation and adoption of good hygiene behaviors, improving service management across the whole value chain, eliminating open defecation and helping all Africans up the sanitation ladder. Participants at AfricaSan reviewed progress against the eThikwini Declaration set in 2008 at AfricaSan, the first set of high-level commitments made by African governments to sanitation. In parallel, delegations from African governments conducted formal negotiations for a new set of shared commitments which came to be known as the Ngor Commitments.
The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) was formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development and poverty eradication among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and provision of water supply services.
In 2008, at the 11th ordinary session of the Africa Union (AU) Assembly in Sharm el-Sheikh, Heads of State and Government of the AU agreed on commitments to accelerate the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa and mandated AMCOW to develop and follow up an implementation strategy for these commitments. AMCOW has also being accorded the status of a Specialized Committee for Water and Sanitation in the African Union.