The Africa Water Week (aww) is convened by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) in conjunction with the African Union Commission and organized with other development partners. It represents a political commitment at the highest level with over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society, and the media from all over the world,
and in particular Africa, meeting to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water resources, and sanitation challenges. It is now held biennially in keeping with the decision of the AMCOW to institutionalize AWW in order to build momentum on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to water security and sanitation by 2030, and the 2025 Africa Water Vision as well as crystalizing the way to actualizing Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The 7th Africa Water Week (aww-7)
The 7th Africa Water Week (AWW-7) holds from 29th October to 2nd November, 2018 in Libreville, Gabon.
AWW-7 has as its theme “Toward Achieving Water Security and Safely Managed Sanitation for Africa”. Water security is defined as the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development; for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability. (UN-Water, 2013) Safely managed sanitation services are defined as those enabling the population to use an improved sanitation facility, which is not shared with other households and where excreta are safely disposed in situ or transported and treated off-site. (https://washdata.org/monitoring/sanitation)
The choice of the theme is an amplification of the current perspective of AMCOW in its recently approved strategy 2018-2030 concerning what needs to be done to improve water security and safely managed sanitation in the continent. AMCOW posits that sustainable development in Africa will not be achieved without greatly improved water security; while significant investment must be made in Africa’s water management institutions, its infrastructure, and its ability to make trade-offs where needed, compromises when possible, and synergies that show how to achieve “win-win” situations between water, agriculture, and energy.