AMCOW, SADC lauds partnership with GWP in Africa

The African Ministers Council on Water recently (AMCOW) acknowledged the value of its partnership with GWP at their General Assembly in Cairo, Egypt, on May 14, 2012, where the AMCOW Framework for Water Security and Climate Resilient Development was launched. Honourable S.S. Nkomo, Vice President of AMCOW, and Minister of Water Resources and Development, Zimbabwe, said, ‘we have good partners, AMCOW values the partnership with GWP and partners, and hereby welcomes this Framework’. (Photo: 33 water ministers and their representatives witnessed the launch of the Framework.)

Presenting the Framework to the AMCOW Vice President, GWP’s Executive Secretary Dr. Ania Grobicki referred to it as ‘key for supporting on-going efforts to achieve the Africa Water Vision and contributing to climate resilient growth and development in Africa.’

The AMCOW General Assembly, attended by 33 water ministers and their representatives, noted with satisfaction the work undertaken by GWP to address Africa’s twin challenge of water security and climate change. The Ministers welcomed the framework as an important document to ‘provide guidance to countries on building climate resilience and water security’.

The Framework is an output of the Water, Climate Development Programme (WACDEP), an AMCOW programme implemented by GWP, and also the first milestone of the African Climate Change Target presented at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France. It contributes to the implementation of climate change related commitments expressed by African heads of state in the 2008 Sharm el Sheikh declaration on water and sanitation. It is AMCOW’s contribution to Africa’s efforts in implementing economic growth and social development programs. It was developed by GWP with funding from the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).

GWP Senior Network Officer and Coordinator for WACDEP, Mr. Alex Simalabwi, stressed the importance of the Framework in helping to make wise investment choices, embed water security, and make climate resilient investments in national development plans in support of economic growth and development. ‘Uncertainty over the impact of climate change should not stand in the way of immediate steps to improve climate resilience. Robust Decision Making (RDM) is an approach that aims to produce decisions that governments will not regret, no matter how the future turns out. No/low regret investment decisions will deliver benefits whichever climate change scenario materializes-this Framework shows how’, said Mr. Simalabwi.

Earlier on May 11, 2012, in Cairo during the AMCOW Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, the AMCOW TAC President, Mr Maxwell Sirenya, also Director General of South African Department of Water Affairs, acknowledged the contribution by GWP on ensuring climate resilient development. He said: ‘As the current president of COP17, we are pleased to report the considerable progress made by AMCOW in partnership with GWP through the development of the Strategic Framework for Water Security and Climate Resilient Development’. Read the statement by Mr Maxwell Sirenya here.

The Head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Division, Mr. Phera Ramoeli, also noted the solid partnership with GWP Southern Africa (GWPSA) in addressing climate change adaptation as part of the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan II.

On behalf of AMCOW TAC Southern Africa, Ms. Felismina Antia from the National Directorate of Water in Mozambique reported with satisfaction the progress made in the inception phase of the Water, Climate and Development Programme. ‘We are happy to report the progress we are making with GWPSA and the Limpopo Basin Commission (LIMCOM) to support implementation of WACDEP in the Limpopo Basin’, Ms. Felismina Antia reported to the AMCOW TAC.

The AMCOW General Assembly also noted the efforts by GWP to implement the AMCOW Gender Strategy in developing a concept note with the United States Government to explore opportunities to provide scholarships to African Women Scientists and Engineers to study in the USA.