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88th AfWA STC meeting: Strategies to accelerate access to water and sanitation for African populations

Thursday, 23 December 2021
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On Monday, November 15, 2021, the 88th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council (STC) of the African Water Association (AfWA) opened by videoconference, under the theme: "Promoting cooperation in support of innovations for the development of the water and sanitation sector in Africa". These works which were held a few months before the 9th World Water Forum Dakar 2022, and which lasted three days, allowed experts and different actors of the sector, to consider once again, the issue of access of African populations to drinking water and sanitation services, and to define new strategies for the achievement of the goal 6 of Sustainable Development.

 Proceeding to the official launch of the meeting on behalf of the Minister of Water and Sanitation of Burkina Faso, Ousmane Nacro, the Secretary General of the Ministry, Mr. Alassoun Sori, said that the water and sanitation sector occupies an important place in the programs and projects of the government. He therefore reaffirmed the willingness of the government, through the Ministry, to support the AfWA in its mission and the achievement of its objectives.

According to the STC President, Dr. Papa Samba DIOP, despite the efforts made by the Association and political authorities to improve access to water in Africa, difficulties remain. "There are still about 320 million people on the continent who do not have access to safe drinking water, and 695 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who do not have access to adequate sanitation services. This means that we still have a long way to go. The STC President called for the involvement of all actors to "leave to future generations a world in which the issue of lack of water and sanitation will be told in the history books, because we adults will have succeeded in solving the problem for our descendants.

Following the STC president, AfWA Executive Director, Mr. Sylvain Usher, presented the strategic objectives of the Association, as well as the assessment of the activities carried out during the period from July to October 2021. Among others, we note the signing of an agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to develop a database on performance indicators of water and sanitation utilities and knowledge sharing; the inauguration of the first sludge station in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on September 20, 2021, the training of 27 representatives of Wolaita Sodo and Blantyre on various topics.

The work of the specialized committees as well as all the discussions that took place during these meetings have allowed the African experts to refine new strategies to further promote access to water and sanitation to populations. All eyes are now on the 9th World Water Forum, to be held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2022.

 The 21st Congress of the AfWA invites itself to the meeting

Beyond the reflections on the improvement of the access of the populations to drinking water and sanitation, the 88th STC meetings, also allowed to review the preparations of the 21st AfWA congress, to be held in Guinea Conakry in February 2023. Thus, for the Local Organizing Committee, the preparations are going well. With the advent of the CNRD (National Committee for Recovery and Development) on September 5, 2021, we had to wait for the establishment of the new government to restart the information and awareness for their involvement in the process of organizing the congress. To date, the new government being constituted, all the arrangements are made including the letters to the attention of the new authorities", reassured Mr. OUO OUO Koulémou, President of the local organizing committee. The theme of the 21st Congress of the AfWA will be: "Supporting human development in Africa through innovations in the water and sanitation sector".

Let’s note that the 88th Congress of the Scientific and Technical Council of AfWA was supported by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation of Burkina Faso, as well as the sponsorship of the National Water and Sanitation Corporation (ONEA) of Burkina Faso. The 89th STC meeting is Scheduled for May 2022.

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