Second African Water Week: AfDB sets the scene

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The AfDB delegation led by Vice President Bobby Pittman attended the opening ceremony of the Second African Water Week which is being held in Midrand, South Africa from 9-13 November 2009.

This major event has brought together African Ministers, international organizations, civil society, NGOs, etc. The South African Minister of water and environmental affairs, Buyelwa Patience Sonjica, in her welcome address reminded the participants of the importance of tackling some of the challenges facing Africa, namely meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), building peace, prosperity and democracy for the betterment of the African people. She therefore added that the thematic session of this second edition of the African Water Week will help all Africans play a role in helping accelerate the implementation of all national and sub-regional Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) to meet the Sharm El Sheikh’s targets.

In July 2009, the African Heads of State and Government at the Sharm El Sheikh summit in Egypt made a commitment to meet the MDG targets on water and sanitation. For this reason, Minister Buyelwa urged the participants to take ownership of all the challenging sectors as the African populations expect to have access to clean and safe drinking water, well resourced sanitation facilities, modern infrastructure of dams, irrigation systems, etc.

The AfDB was among chosen organizations called upon to set the scene for the conference. It is in this line that an overview of the sub-themes on “Delivering on water security and sanitation commitments: Action Plan for reporting to the African Union” was presented by Mr. Woudeneh Tefera, from the African Water Facility, an organization hosted by AfDB.

This international event is expected to be results driven, and it should therefore provide compelling reasons for the all participants to undertake a comprehensive stock-taking of progress needed in pursuit of the water and sanitation goals.