MINISTER BRUNO WELCOME NOTEOn behalf of The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) I welcome you the the Second Africa Water Week (AWW-2) in Midrands, Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 – 13 November 2009. During the AWW-2 there will be three main events. The first tw2 days will address four sub themes: financing water infrastructure, closing the sanitation gap, climate adaptation in water resources and transboundary waters. These subthemes will be addressed in four parallel sessions. On Wednesday 11 Nov. will be the opening ceremony for the PANAFCON and closing of the AWW-2. On Friday at the General Assembly I will be handing of the Presidency to the Hon Minister Buyelwa Sonjica of South Africa. Hon. Sonjica is an experience Minister. She has been with AMCOW before. She is currently chairing AMCEN. I know I am putting AMCOW in very capable hands.
AMCOW was established in April 2002 to promote cooperation, security, socioeconomic development and poverty eradication through the management of water resources and the provision of water supply services in Africa. AMCOW is actively engaged in keeping the state of Africa’s water under review and in promoting actions of common African interest by all stakeholders.
African Heads of State and Government, Summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, July 2009 made commitment to meet the MDG targets on water and sanitation. Based on the Sharm El Sheikh Commitments, the AWW-2 will focus on how to translate the commitment into action on the ground. Over 340 million Africans do not have access to portable water, and over 500,000million lack decent sanitation facilities. With population growth in Africa we may not meet the MDG targets on water and sanitation as well as the Africa Water vision 2025.
We started the Water Week series in Tunis in 2008 AWW-1
- The 1st African Water Week
• To provide a forum for key actors in Africa’s water sector to discuss the opportunities and challenges of achieving water security for Africa’s socio-economic development;
• Take stock of the status of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and related targets on water in Africa; and
• Make recommendations for consideration by the AU and the G8 summits.
- The 2nd African Water Week
This international event should therefore be results driven. It should provide compelling reasons for each and every country to participate fully and claim ownership and undertake a very comprehensive stock-taking of progress made and needed in pursuit of the water and sanitation goals and targets.
The AWW-2 also provides a suitable framework for the involvement of all stakeholders in taking stock of how the MDGs have affected their lives and livelihoods, and what additional commitments are needed to achieve the stated targets by 2015. The AWW-2 also gives us a unique opportunity to look forward to and commit ourselves to needed actions to implement the Sharm El Sheikh Commitments.
The AWW-2 should be an occasion to reflect on the efforts made in translating into reality the international commitments in the areas of water and sanitation, so that we and our partners can re-commit ourselves to the emerging Africa roadmap for implementation.
I therefore call on all African Ministers in charge of water and sanitation, our development partners, civil society organisations, women groups, journalist to join us in South Africa.