The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Ministers Council (AMCOW) have convened in Nairobi with a singular focus: harnessing the continent’s water resources to drive socio-economic development and alleviate poverty. This gathering, which commenced on Monday at a hotel in Nairobi, aims to strategize on the effective provision of water supply services and the management of water resources to foster cooperation and security among member states.

Zachariah Njeru, the Cabinet Secretary for Water Sanitation and Irrigation, emphasized the pivotal role of water across various sectors such as education, agriculture, transportation, energy, and tourism. He stressed the importance for ministries in member states to articulate a clear vision on leveraging water resources to address challenges and seize opportunities in these areas.

Referring to the Dakar-Senegal 2022 Water and Sanitation Implementation Plan, Njeru underscored its significance in advancing sustainable development and aligning with the African Union’s agenda on water, sanitation, and hygiene. He revealed that the Executive Council had appealed to the African Union Assembly to adopt water and sanitation as a thematic focus by 2026, demonstrating a collective commitment to these critical issues.

Building on previous decisions by the Executive Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers related to water and sanitation, Njeru called for concerted efforts to integrate water and sanitation issues into the heart of socio-economic development strategies. He emphasized the need for stakeholders to prioritize these vital sectors to drive inclusive growth and development across the continent.

Highlighting the importance of private sector involvement in water and sanitation initiatives, Njeru noted that investors were instrumental in fostering discussions and promoting business opportunities aimed at achieving sustainable access to water and sanitation services for all. The ongoing three-day meeting, which has brought together stakeholders from member states, regional economic communities, private sectors, and water and sanitation sectors, seeks to generate investments that will facilitate sustainable access to water and sanitation across Africa.

Julius Korir, the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Water and Sanitation, emphasized the essential role of water in domestic use and sanitation, emphasizing its unifying effect on communities. He reiterated the ministry’s commitment to addressing water challenges and leaving a lasting impact on people’s lives through strategic interventions and partnerships.

Dr. Tahani Sileet, Chair of AMCOW, underscored the organization’s commitment to accelerating action on leadership, gender equality, and capacity building to achieve their targets within the stipulated timeframe. With less than two years remaining to achieve their objectives, AMCOW is intensifying efforts to mobilize resources and drive impactful initiatives across the continent.

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