Parallel Technical Sessions Overview

Sub Themes:

1Achieving Universal and Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation for All
Lead Convener(s):
Amanda Robertson, USAID Water Advisor; Richard Pollard, WALIS Chief of Party; Piers Cross, WALIS Senior Institutional Development and Program Implementation Advisor; Rachel Tkachuk, WALIS, Senior Operations Manager
International Centre for Water and Sanitation (IRC) for the Africa Joint, WASH Learning Initiative; World Health Organization (WHO); Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC); The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; SKAT Consulting; Unilever; The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and UN Development Programme (UNDP); The Government of Tanzania; AMCOW and WaterAid
Sub-theme 1 focuses on SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2. The theme title is “Achieving Universal and Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation for All”. The theme is in line with one of the key focus of the Africa Water Vision 2025 which seeks to ensure that, ‘there is sustainable access to a safe and adequate water supply and sanitation to meet the basic needs of all’. In 2014 and 2015, African ministers responsible for water and sanitation agreed on the Dakar declarations for Water Security and Sanitation and the N’gor declarations for sanitation and hygiene respectively, which articulated together has been taken as the tool for helping Africa to achieve the Africa Water Vision 2025, the SDG 6, and ultimately the agenda 2063. The efforts to towards achieving the Africa Water Vision and thus the SDG 6 for Africa as a continent, further received a boost at the meeting of the Ministers responsible for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene held in Addis Ababa in March 2016. At this meeting of global sector Ministers most of whom were African, 5 key building blocks for tackling the SDGs were endorsed. They include: sector policy and strategies; institutional arrangements; financing; planning monitoring and review and capacity development. In addition to these building blocks, four collaborative behaviours were also agreed upon, they are: enhance government leadership of sector planning processes; strengthen and use country systems; use one information and mutual accountability platform; build sustainable water and sanitation sector financing strategies.
2Ensuring water security and climate resilience
Lead Convener(s):
Alex Simalabwi (GWP); Timothy O. Williams (IWMI)
The Africa Water Vision 2025 recognizes the pivotal role that sustainable use and management of water can play in poverty alleviation, socioeconomic development and sustenance of ecosystems and biodiversity. The vision also calls for effective and sustainable strategies to address water resources problems due to climate variability and change.

With the ratification of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), African countries along with the global community have committed to ‘end poverty’, ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’ and ‘ensure healthy lives’. Sustainable water management is a key step towards attainment of these goals. It is equally central to efforts to combat climate change and make African agriculture, livelihoods and communities more resilient. The solution to the intermittent cycle of droughts and floods that continues to plague the African continent partly lies in water management. The linkages between water and several SDGs make the task of ‘ensuring availability and sustainable management of water’ particularly complex.

This sub-theme explores this complex and multifaceted challenge through a series of technical sessions that show case fact-based evidence, governance arrangements, innovative tools, practical actions and solutions that can be implemented at country and/or regional level to move African countries towards the achievement of water-related SDG
3Strengthening Productive Wastewater Management and Improved Water Quality
Lead Convener(s):
Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa (, Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy (
AMCOW, GWP, African Development Bank (ADB), African Water Facility (AWF), UNEP
Water resources in Africa are threatened by increasing population, rapid urbanization and economic development. Pollution of both surface water and groundwater resources of Africa has increased drastically due to insufficiently treated domestic wastewater. As industrial and agricultural activities have grown significantly over the recent years, many rivers and groundwater systems are polluted by toxic and hazardous pollutants such as industrial chemicals, pesticides, etc. The resulting degradation of water quality poses serious risks to human and ecosystem health.

Improving water quality and wastewater management is essential for achievement of 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa. In particular, the SDG Target 6.3 aims “to improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally”. Improved water quality contributes also to the achievement of other SDGs such as those on poverty, health, sustainable consumption and production, ecosystems and biodiversity.

The region’s challenge to respond this ever-increasing water quality degradation and water pollution needs not only renewed efforts at the political level, but also effective strategies at the regional and national levels. To achieve the SDG targets related to water quality and wastewater, there is a need to spur action through comprehensive policies that:
  • prevent, reduce and control water pollution from different sources;
  • promote a more integrated approach to urban water management, considering interventions across the entire urban water cycle rethinking the way water is used and reused.
  • that view wastewater as a valuable resource and encourage interventions that maximize the resource recovery and reuse potential
  • protect water quality from human and economic activities through robust regulatory and monitoring approaches
It is essential to enhance capacities of African countries to effectively address these challenges by promoting effective policies, approaches, tools, and best practices. As the region’s countries face similar challenges and problems, collective efforts are needed through strengthened international cooperation and strong partnerships among key stakeholders. The role of science, research, knowledge and capacity building is key in developing sound policies based on realistic understanding of the priorities and needs to be addressed. The Sub-theme will facilitate discussions on the way to move towards the implementation of SDG targets related to water quality and wastewater in Africa involving all stakeholders, including policy-makers, researchers, international organizations, NGOs, etc. The Sub-theme discussions will also contribute to regional commitments such as AMCOW Work Plan and the N’gor Declaration on Water Security and Sanitation.
4Improving Policy, Financing and Monitoring
Lead Convener(s):
African Development Bank, UNICEF
Jochen Rudolph, Kelly Ann Naylor
WHO, WIN, IRC, ICA, World Bank, WSP,
This technical session covers the 4th parallel track, “Improving Policy, Financing and Monitoring”.

OBJECTIVE: While there is overall consensus that we need to do things differently to achieve the SDGs, as a Sector, we are still in early days to determine concretely what needs to be done to achieve the ambitious SDG6 goal. This sub-theme aims to explore three key building blocks- Policy, Financing, and Monitoring- and determine what are the main “game changers” for the water and sanitation sector in Africa that are needed to reach the SDG6 end-line to “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”.

EXPECTED OUTCOME: By the end of Track 4, participants will identify key game changers and challenges related to policy, financing and monitoring to improve water security and sanitation sector performance in pursuit of SDG Goal6 targets across Africa and formulate recommendations for countries and regional actors on how to address them.

The session will explore the three building blocks:

  • Policy - Session 3, 4, 5: The session will provide participants with the latest thinking on sector strengthening and examine key components of the sector enabling environment, as well as discuss policy shifts needed to reach SDGs. (ICA proposal can be integrated here to widen the scope of Sub-theme 4 to WRM and transboundary cooperation. Seems to be best placed in policy context)
  • Financing - Sessions 6 and 7: These sessions will cover costing and financing of SDG6, as well as possibilities for mobilising resources domestically and using innovative financing mechanisms, including climate financing.
  • Case Studies-Sessions 8 and 9: Session 8 will cover Climate-related policy, finance and monitoring. Session 9, the Government of Senegal will present their experience and strategies on policy, financing and monitoring.
  • Monitoring - 10 and 11: This series of sessions will look at monitoring from a country view on national and sub-national monitoring and from a regional and global perspective.