African Ministers’ Council on Water assembly opens today

The 12th General Assembly of the Governing Council of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) opens virtually today brings together the 55 Ministers responsible for Water and Sanitation otherwise called the Governing Council.

The biennial Assembly, which also involves the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the Member States Focal Point Officials, as well as representatives of the Africa Union Commission, will be preceded by the Technical Advisory Committee Session from the 15th to 17th. At the General Assembly, the Governing Council will consider recommendations from the Technical Advisory Committee and make decisions which will guide policy and strategic directions for AMCOW for the next two years.

During the meeting, Alain-Claude BILIE-BY-NZE, State Minister & Minister for Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Gabon and current AMCOW President, will formally hand over the presidency of AMCOW to Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia.

The General Assembly is also expected to consider the adoption of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines which aims to provide the necessary guidance to African countries develop Sanitation and Hygiene policies necessary in creating a firm foundation for improving access to sanitation and hygiene services thereby improving the health and wellbeing of the African population, and strengthen continent’s resilience to pandemics like the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which has put increased pressure on existing water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, and slowed down investments in the water and sanitation sector.

The Governing Council will further provide guidance on AMCOW’s strategic pathway and coordination to drive Africa’s resilience, recovery and growth through improved access to water and sanitation services.