These meetings brought together the presidents of the five Country Water Partnerships (CWP) of Cameroon, Congo, Chad, Central Africa Republic, and Sao Tome and Principe, and representatives of ECCAS, REFADD and WWF Cameroon, the new host institution of the GWP CAf. The signing of the Host Institution Agreement with WWF Cameroon, the creation of Republic of Chad CWP, the accreditation of the Cameroon and Sao Tome and Principe CWPs, and the signing of a MoU with ECCAS provided the context for these meetings.
After the official opening of these meetings, the Regional Coordinator of GWP CAf presented on the status of implementation of the GWP CAf 2017 work plan, and evaluated that the work plan was 90% implemented, with close synergies between CORE and WACDEP. He highlighted that strategic technical support provided to the Cameroon CWP resulted in the mobilisation of US$200,000 from UNICEF for a project developed to pilot the implementation of the GWP-UNICEF WASH Climate Resilience Strategic Framework document, which has resulted in a 20.000 Euros increase of the GWP CAf CORE budget for 2018.
The GWP CAf 2017 - 2019 work program; (developed according to the strategic objectives of the GWP CAf 2014-2019 Strategy), and the 2018 work plan were also presented. He emphasised that in 2018, priority will be given to activities oriented towards strengthening the CWPs and resource mobilisation.
The meeting was also an opportunity for Mr Johnwren Fonge, Head of Administration and Finance of WWF Cameroon, to give an update on the collaboration between GWP CAf and WWF Cameroon that started in March 2017. He outlined the objectives of the collaboration and the respective responsibilities of the two parties in this partnership. According to him, the major challenge has been the management of GWP Country Water Partnerships, especially the one that is not a member of the Central Africa Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). He stressed the importance of strengthening the governance of the CWPs through the granting of GWP accreditation, and emphasised that strengthening financial management capacity and elaboration of administrative and financial procedures manuals for CWPs will be critical to improving their program delivery capacity.
At the end of the meetings, the statutory documents of the GWP CAf, the statutes and internal regulations, were reviewed and approved by the participants. Decisions were taken at the Steering Committee and ratified by the General Assembly. The major decisions included the renewal of the mandate of the Chair, Ms. Ligia Cristian Soares de BARROS for a further two years as Chair of GWP CAf, giving ECCAS the status of permanent member of the Steering Committee, and the entry into the Steering Committee of the “Association of Journalists for Environment of Congo” as representative of the civil society (replacing REFADD).