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Tunis, 30 October 2008 - The African Water Facility (AWF) seminar on sustainable water resources management opened on Tuesday in Tunis, under the chairmanship of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Water and Sanitation Department, R. A. Rakotobe.
The purpose of the seminar on the themes: "Towards equitable and sustainable water resources use and management: Progress on contribution of current AWF portfolio", is to provide members of the Facility’s Governing Council and observers with an overall picture on progress in the performance of the AWF. The session is also designed to spur enthusiasm and goodwill, and encourage Governing Council members to engage actively in the enhancement of the Facility’s performance.
The event began with a presentation which reviewed current water issues in Africa and how the emerging results of initiatives supported by the Facility were responding to the African Water Vision. AWF reports indicate that "Social equity in access to and control over water is a critical factor in promoting poverty eradication and sustainable socio-economic development." Other thematic presentations were made to highlight progress made in the implementation of specific ongoing projects, and to show how specific issues are being addressed through interventions supported by the AWF.
Participants also shared views on the ways in which the AWF’s projects contribute to catalyzing the implementation of the African Water Vision. Using various projects examples, demonstrations were made on the role of the Facility as a broker and facilitator for the intensification of equitable and sustainable water resources management and water development investments in Africa. According to AWF reports, "Improvement of the environment for sustainable financing of water sector development and operation is another area in which the Facility is planning to reinforce its portfolio."
The African Water Facility, an initiative of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), was created to promote the development of the water sector in Africa and to mobilize the necessary financial resources for the implementation of its activities. The Facility started its operations in 2006. Its overall goal is to add momentum to the implementation of the African Water Vision 2025: "An Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation and the environment."
Apart from members of the AWF’s Governing Council, the meeting also brought together AMCOW representatives, donors and partners, as well as observers.
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