This statutory meeting of GWP-CAf SC brought together the GWP-CAf Regional Chair, Chairs of four Country Water Partnerships (Congo, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Sao Tome and Principe), representatives of Regional partners (ECCAS, CBLT), Representation of Technical and Financial Partners (UNESCO Regional Office for Central Africa), Representatives of GWPO , Youths and the Civil Society, as well as the Chair of the GWP CAf Regional Technical Committee. The two day meeting had as principal objective to evaluate the level of implementation of GWP-CAf’s 2020 Work Plan and discuss and approve the proposed work plan for 2021.
In his first official address to the Steering Committee since his election as GWP-CAf Chair in 2019, Mr. Sylvain Guebanda thanked the members for entrusting him with the responsibility to lead GWP-CAf’s activities in the region. He also expressed his appreciation to GWPO for the continuous technical and financial support which pivotal to the success of GWP-CAf’s work.
After highlighting the challenges in the implementation of the 2020 workplan posed by the COVID-19 crisis, the chair pointed out some key results of the year such as; GWP-CAf’s support towards the implementation of indicator 6.5.1 and 6.5.2 of the SDGs in the region, government endorsement of the National Water Policy in the Central Africa Republic, the accreditation of CWP-Congo , key partnerships formed at the country and regional level to advance the water security agenda amongst others. He concluded by setting the pace for next year saying, “Next year we will continue our efforts, counting on your support so that together we can strive to achieve our vision of a water-secure Central Africa”.
The meeting featured different presentations by the GWP-CAf secretariat and the CWP Chairs notably on the level of implementation of the 2019 SC meeting recommendations and 2020 workplan, challenges faced, planned activities/budget for 2021.
One highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the GWPO representative , Julienne Roux during which she pointed out GWPO’s appreciation to GWP-CAf for the increase mobilization of resources (financial and human) , support to the implementation of GWP’s mission and Strategy 2020-2025 and capacity building of regional and national partners.
Another key presentation was on the WACDEP-G program which is in its start-up phase at the regional and national (Cameroon) level. In line with this program, the WACDEP-G Regional Gender Advisor, Henriette Bikie made recommendations on how the steering committee can institutionalize gender to ensure that GWP-CAf as an institution is gender-transformative.
At the end of the two day meeting, the steering committee members made the following key decisions : approved of the selection of the National Water Company of Sao Tome and Principe as the Steering Committee representative of the “Water Operators College”, approved the 2021 Workplan and WACDEP-G activities, put in place a small committee of SC members to review GWP-CAf’s draft Procedure Manual. Some recommendations were made with regards to capitalizing GWP-CAf’s partnership with ECCAS in 2021, improving private sector engagement as well as strengthening Country Water Partnerships at the institutional and financial level – through the conceptualization of bankable projects.
During the closing session, GWP-CAf Executive Secretary, Mr. Hycinth BANSEKA expressed gratitude to all SC members for their participation, contributions and rich recommendations which will be implemented to advance water security in the region. The first virtual Steering Committee meeting came to a close on a high note with a congratulatory message from the Chair to the Steering Committee members and GWP-CAf secretariat for their efforts and achievements in 2020 while looking forward to achieving greater results in 2021.