The 6th Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan6) would be held virtually from the 22nd to 26th of November 2021. AfricaSan6 would be jointly organized with the 8th Africa Water Week as Africa Water and Sanitation Week (AWSW). The conference is convened by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) in conjunction with the African Union Commission and organized with other development partners.
The AWSW will be convened under unprecedented circumstances that the continent has never experienced before. From the beginning of the year 2020, the world including Africa has been hit by a public health emergency: the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across Africa and all over the world, and hence introducing a new dynamic in the challenges faced by the sector.
The unpredictability of public health pandemics and the role of water, sanitation and hygiene in response and mitigation efforts introduces a completely new complexity to the sector. The COVID-19 pandemic affects the sector both directly and indirectly. The direct effect involves prevention and mitigation efforts where water is used directly for personal hygiene and the aspect of behaviour change towards the adoption of safe hygiene practices like handwashing and other personal hygiene practices. This therefore means that in times like this, there is excessive pressure on water resources and infrastructure for provision of clean water for hygiene and personal use.
The Africa Water Week and AfricaSan are Africa’s flagship water and sanitation events and represent a political commitment at the highest level. They are institutionalized platforms to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water and sanitation challenges.
The Conference provides an excellent opportunity for you to be part of shaping policy direction for both water resources and related sector management in Africa, and sanitation and hygiene; influence science, technology and innovation, network with decision makers and implementers, scientists, development specialists, knowledge managers, industrialists and manufacturers, civil society and other major stakeholders in water and related sectors. It is also an opportunity to participate in over 60 sessions including High-level plenaries, technical sessions, and side events, with high level speakers and panellists drawn from diverse areas of specializations. It is also an excellent platform to network virtually and get to know many diverse participants drawn from thousands participants across 100 countries around the globe.
The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) was formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development and poverty eradication among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and provision of water supply services.
In 2008, at the 11th ordinary session of the Africa Union (AU) Assembly in Sharm el-Sheikh, Heads of State and Government of the AU agreed on commitments to accelerate the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa and mandated AMCOW to develop and follow up an implementation strategy for these commitments. AMCOW has also being accorded the status of a Specialized Committee for Water and Sanitation in the African Union.
This is a great place to add a tagline.
We believe that we have the responsibility to effectively and efficiently coordinate actions of key water and sanitation players, facilitate the strengthening of regional cooperation on water resources management and development, and capacity building of relevant institutions and agencies.
Dr Canisius Kanangire
Former Executive Secretary
BUILDING ON PROGRESS
The 1st AfricaSan conference was hosted in 2002 in Johannesburg by the then South African Minister of Water, Ronnie Kasrils, with 12 fellow African Ministers. Held just before the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it helped to build the groundswell which achieved the inclusion of sanitation as a specific MDG target. The concept of a political, technical, mobilizing event focusing on specifically on sanitation caught the imagination and concept was replicated in South Asia, Latin America and East Asia.
Just over five years later, AfricanSan 2 was a bigger, more inclusive event, hosted by AMCOW and other partners in Durban, South Africa in 2008. AfricaSan 2 attracted 32 African Ministers and produced the eThekwini declaration which makes 11 important commitments by African government to improve the performance of the sanitation and hygiene sector. The eThekwini declaration was subsequently endorsed by Heads of State at the 2008 AU Summit in the Sharm el Sheik Declaration and has been reaffirmed in subsequent declarations such as the Libreville Declaration on Health and the Environment in Africa.
AfricaSan 3 Conference was held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2011 and demonstrated that AfricaSan has become a global brand with extraordinary interest: over 900 attended from a total of 67 countries, including representatives of 42 African countries. Participants included 23 African Ministers and deputy Ministers in charge of Sanitation, Water, Local Government, Health, or Infrastructure; and many of the leading thinkers and practitioners in sanitation and hygiene on the continent. AfricaSan3 received the highest political support from the government of Rwanda with His Excellency the President of Rwanda gracing the AfricaSan Awards with his presence and receiving a special Award from AMCOW, acknowledging his outstanding personal contribution to the improvement of sanitation and hygiene in Rwanda. AfricaSan 3 also provided the opportunity for alignment with key global sanitation initiatives, in particular the Sustainable Sanitation: Five year drive announced by the UN Secretary General where the drive was launched.
AfricaSan 4, held in Dakar, Senegal is 2015 had the overall objectives of assisting African countries in achieving universal access to improved sanitation and adoption of good hygiene behaviors, improving service management across the whole value chain, eliminating open defecation and helping all Africans up the sanitation ladder. Participants at AfricaSan reviewed progress against the eThikwini Declaration set in 2008 at AfricaSan, the first set of high-level commitments made by African governments to sanitation. In parallel, delegations from African governments conducted formal negotiations for a new set of shared commitments which came to be known as the Ngor Commitments.
The 5th Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan5) was held in Cape Town, South Africa from February 18-22. AfricaSan5 partnered with the 5th International Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) Conference to deliver a uniquely rich blend of stakeholder dialogues and knowledge exchanges. The joint AfricaSan5 and FSM5 conference brought together more than 1,300 delegates from 82 countries. The preparatory AfricaSan5 process reviewed progress against the Ngor Vision and Commitments and SDG6, and generated a report — “Is Africa on Track to Achieve the SDGs on Sanitation? A review of progress on the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene”—which provides a baseline to measure progress towards achieving the Ngor Vision and Commitments.