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Mexico City, 20 March 2006 (Joint Press release: AMCOW, ADB, AWF, UNECA, NEPAD) - Following the launch of the three major documents- African Water Development Report, African Regional Document - Water Resources Development in Africa and the African Ministerial Declaration on Water- African stakeholders and other partners met today in Mexico City to discuss the challenges, responses and prospects of water resources development in Africa.
Addressed by eminent panelists including Prof. Albert Wright, the multi-stakeholder session was declared open by Hon. Paul Smit, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry of Namibia. Its objective was to provide an opportunity for wider participation of African stakeholders on water issues.
Representatives of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), NGOs and regional and international organizations offered perspectives on water resources development priorities in Africa. The session was also an opportunity to consolidate the knowledge base of the African water stakeholders on issues such as transboundary resources management in Africa, investment in agricultural water use, and the experiences of other regions, such as Asia, on water governance.
Exchanges between the panelists and the audience centered on the importance of financing mechanisms in the water sector, political commitment in the prioritization of water issues, empowerment of local actors and the need for integrated management of water resources at the national and regional levels.
The session recommended the development and promotion of water resources through support for infrastructure projects such as storage dams, water harvesting, irrigation and hydropower structures; Strengthening of global partnership with a common framework of action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa; and promotion of integrated water resources management principles, including cooperative frameworks for shared management of transboundary water.
It also called on development partners to enhance their financial and technical support to investment in water infrastructure in Africa and recommended redoubled efforts in water supply and sanitation, a comprehensive approach to climate change risk management, good governance and capacity building at all levels.