AMCOW-GWP-Africa Consultative Meeting Abidjan, 28 January 2009
The AMCOW president, Hon Bruno Itoua; Minister for Environment and Water, Daniel Aka Ahizi of Cote dIvoire; with GWP Chair, Letitia Obeng led over a hundred representatives of water institutions from government, civil society, research institutions and media from the west African region, and representatives of other GWP regions in Africa, in identifying opportunities offered by cooperation between AMCOW and GWP since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in November 2007.
The purpose was to utilize the meeting of GWP West African partners to familiarize participants with the aspirations of both parties and operational requirements for effecting increased collaboration at the subsidiary levels where implementation takes place, and to find ways of positive feedback that will strengthen AMCOW’s policy oversight and support to Africa’s water needs.
The parties took stock of the cooperation between AMCOW subregions and GWP regional partnerships since 2003. They took note of the strategic importance of the MoU signed between AMCOW and GWP in 2007, and all parties confirmed their willingness and commitment to strengthen the cooperation and consolidate joint activities.
Parties to the partnership confirmed appreciation of the collaboration, which is appropriate to the demands from the regions. The cooperation was affirmed within the framework of the Africa Water Vision and in the pursuit of the AMCOW Programme of Action.
As a prerequisite to achieving the main goal of water security and the attendant economic and social benefits, it is necessary to develop physical infrastructure, enhance institutional capacities and human capital.
There was an agreement that synergies and collaboration will build on a closer cooperation with the Regional Economic Commissions at the sub-regions. AMCOW, GWP and the RECs will create the structures at subregional levels to consolidate the outputs from their collaboration in water issues. The message was confirmed by delegates of SADC and ECOWAS.
The need for a stronger relationship and better synergies are driven by the felt impacts of climate change and the variability that impact the water resources at continental level. This was also affirmed by the joint understanding that the people of Africa are amongst the most vulnerable from this impact.
Three main areas to focus the cooperation were agreed on:
1. Adaptation to climate change and mitigating the impact,
2. Ensuring funding for proper infrastructure that addresses the three Es for improved water security, and
3. Improving water governance.
The African Water Vision will be adapted to sub-regional context as appropriate, even where this may require engaging with national governments to enhance the shared basin development objectives.
There is an agreement to continue working under the current modalities where the AMCOW sub regions work closely with their respective GWP regional partnerships in addressing those three areas. Each region and sub region will work within the modality that best fits their regional perspectives, priorities, and capacities. The sub-regions were encouraged to exchange experiences and to replicate these where appropriate.
The parties agreed to prioritize realization of decisions made at Sharm el Sheikh, with the first set of actions to ensure Ministers of Finance meet their Water counterparts this year.