A sprint to the finish line

Posted: 2009-12-22

Address by GWP Executive Secretary Dr Ania Grobicki's at the 2nd Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water Supply and Sanitation, 11 November 2009, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The message of this high‐level conference is that while the Millennium Development Goal on providing adequate drinking water is on track, that for sanitation will require a massive and coordinated input in order to deliver by 2015. While the political will to do this was expressed in the Sharm el Shaik declaration of 2008, Africa now needs action on the ground and partnerships for implementation.

Chaired by the AMCOW President, Bruno Itoua, and held in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander, Crown Prince of the Netherlands, together with many African Ministers of water, PanAfCon 2 brought strong statements of support for Africa’s efforts in water supply and sanitation. Among the donors pledging their support for the “sprint to the finish line” were the USA, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Statements were also delivered on behalf of the G8 and the European Union. Mr Jon Lane of the WSSCC stated that the Global Framework for Action is bringing together all committed donors together with national governments, development actors and implementing agencies in order to ensure a coherent effort.

The ES of GWP, Dr Ania Grobicki, made the following statement on behalf of GWP:

Monsieur le President d´AMCOW, Your Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander, Honourable Patron of GWP, Your Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, my African brothers and sisters :

Partnership is what the Global Water Partnership is all about. GWP is proud to be a partner of AMCOW and we are committed to strengthening our support. AMCOW is providing the essential leadership for better water resources management in Africa. Our five Regional Water Partnerships are aligned with AMCOW´s sub‐regions, and work together with them to given water resources management a higher priority in national and regional policies, strategies and development planning. Through our Country Water Partnerships, GWP has facilitated the development and implementation of IWRM plans in 11 African countries, and has recently completed a review of the progress of IWRM planning and implementation in a further 26 countries in Africa. Together with the African Development Bank, we are supporting AMCOW as a technical partner in implementing the Sharm el Shaik declaration on water supply and sanitation.

No water, no future.

To ensure water security, we are working with many partners and stakeholders to protect our precious water resources from the devastating impacts of climate variability and climate change. As my old friend and ANC colleague Trevor Manuel said in his eloquent speech this morning, “absence of rain is now a matter of national security”. We need to work together at all levels to ensure that there is enough water for all people. But this is not enough! We must also supply enough water for agriculture, to ensure food security and nutritional security in Africa. We need to ensure enough water to support economic growth and industrialization, as well as for energy generation, and for the ecosystems of which we are a part, and on which we all depend. These are critical issues for the future of our continent, which demand a holistic and integrated approach to water policy, to water financing, and to water management.

GWP´s strong commitment to AMCOW is evident from GWP´s participation here in the 2nd Africa Water Week, as co‐convenor and contributor to the thematic sessions on Finance, on Transboundary Waters, on Climate Change Adaptation, and supporting AMCOW´s strategy on mainstreaming gender issues in water resources management which will be launched this evening.

We salute the magnificent work and commitment of our partner organizations who work on the life‐saving tasks of providing water supply and sanitation to the people of Africa and we stand ready to support you in your “sprint to the finish line”.

In conclusion, on behalf of GWP, I wish to reaffirm our commitment to AMCOW, through the Regional Water Partnerships who work together, supported by the global secretariat whom I represent here, to implement closer inter‐regional co‐operation and a pan‐African vision.

Thank you very much.

Dr Ania Grobicki

GWP Executive Secretary

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