The 13th Ordinary Session of the Executive Committee of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) will begin tomorrow in Windhoek, Namibia.
AMCOW is expected to bring together 25 countries and 15 Ministers to discuss Africa’s water, food, and environment security ahead of the post 2025 Africa Water Vision.
In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Governing Council of AMCOW, the EXCO comprise of 15 members including the AMCOW President. On a rotational basis, each sub-region nominates into the Council, three representatives – one of whom shall be designated as Vice President – in the EXCO session preceding the General Assembly.
This 13th Ordinary Session will bring together 15 African Ministers responsible for water and sanitation affairs in Member States of Nigeria, Namibia, Cameroun, Republic of Central Africa, Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt, Lybia, Mauritania, Malawi, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal.
Also, in attendance will be 25 members of AMCOW’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) from same Member States with addition of Gabon, Chad, Tanzania, South Sudan, Kenya, Tunisia, Algeria, Botswana, South Africa, Mali, and Sierra Leone and AMCOW development and donor partners.
The 13th EXCO is timely in many ways – coming at a time when we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic adding to the devastating water related disasters that have ravaged every corner of the continent.
The ministers will deliberate on ways to tackle the impacts of the cyclones, droughts, floods, sharp rises in food and commodity prices and other climate change challenges experienced this year.
In line with the aspirations of Agenda 2063, and the SDGs – the ministers will make decisions that will galvanise action to ensure equitable availability of water for all purposes and sanitation for all. They plan to strengthen ability to reduce the disease burden and mortality rates associated with failures in sanitation and hygiene services provision;
AMCOW also sought investment in water to create greater resilience to climate, health and food system shocks; and improve management of water related disaster risks.The EXCO meeting comprises of two components including: the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) session and the ministerial session.
During the session of the EXCO, delegates will be receiving and considering reports on the implementation of previous Governing Council and EXCO Decisions: Proposed amendments to the Staff and Financial Rules and Regulations; Revised AMCOW Governance Framework Document and Draft Framework for AMCOW Strategic Programme on Groundwater for Water Security and Resilience in Africa.
During the course of planning for the EXCO, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr. Rashid Mbaziira, stated that, “the EXCO will take decisions on behalf of the Council in the interim of the General Assembly.” Also, he explained, “the EXCO will deliberate on the advice and recommendations of the TAC and forward to the Council of Ministers its suggestions for consideration and further guidance.”
These decisions are to provide further impetus to assuring water security and safely managed sanitation for the continent.
The host, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and AMCOW President, H.E Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, said that during the sessions, “the EXCO is convened to provide strategic directions and guidance for the achievement of the Africa Water and Sanitation Agenda.”
AMCOW provides 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.
Since its establishment in 2002 and as a Specialized Technical Committee for Water and Sanitation in the African Union, AMCOW works with the African Union Commission, United Nations system and other inter-governmental / regional organizations, development and co-operation partners, financial institutions, and civil society groups to spearhead efforts at addressing Africa’s water and sanitation policy challenges.
AMCOW is mandated with the development of an implementation strategy and reporting mechanism for the AU Heads of State and Government Sharm el-Sheikh commitments on water and sanitation.