On 31 August 2022, the Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and the President of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein launched the African Water and Sanitation Knowledge Management Challenge.
The idea is to raise the ability to generate and share indigenous water and sanitation sector information and knowledge – among the Member States, Regional Economic Communities and River and Lake Basin Organisations. The event took place on the sidelines of the World Water Week 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden, and it responds to the Africa Water Vision 2025’s call to improve water wisdom in the continent.
The KM initiative will encourage sharing of ideas, collaboration, and access to the latest information and innovation among Africa’s water and sanitation stakeholders. Also, it will complement AMCOW’s water and sanitation sector monitoring (WASSMO) report to the AU heads of state – supported by the African Water Facility through the African Development Bank.
The Challenge is structured as follows:
i. The Member States, Regional Communities, and River and Lake Basins will identify and nominate focal persons comprising the youth and women.
ii. The nominees will be trained through a scheme to become certified knowledge managers.
iii. Then, they will collectively develop an Africa Water and Sanitation Knowledge Agenda (AWSKA) and tailored KM Strategies for their institutions.
iv. The group will get inaugurated as Africa’s Water and Sanitation Community of Practice (AWACoP)
v. And they will contribute to Africa’s Voice on Water and Sanitation (AVOWS) – a unified platform for accessing Africa’s water and sanitation experiences and stories.
In his remarks during the launching, AMCOW’s Executive Secretariat, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, highlighted knowledge’s critical role in water and sanitation development in Africa. He underlined that better decisions and policies depend on the quality of data, information and the resultant knowledge made available to the sector.
While presenting the Challenge, AMCOW’s Knowledge Management Officer, Obinna Richfield Anah, listed the initiative’s value propositions, including adequate shared data, information and wisdom, improved decision/policy-making, knowledge brokerage, and increased collaboration, among others. The KM leader called on donor agencies and development partners to support the initiative.
The high point came when the Namibian Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, in his capacity as AMCOW President, launched the Challenge. H.E. Carl Schlettwein called on all Ministers responsible for water and sanitation in Africa to nominate two focal persons. He requested that they are gender sensitive in their selection of those who will get trained to advance the African water and sanitation story.
AMCOW established a robust knowledge management system supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to create a one-stop point for collecting and sharing Africa’s water and sanitation information and knowledge.
AMCOW reports to the African Union heads of state and governments on Africa’s water and sanitation status. This report is developed yearly under the Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring (WASSMO) project supported by the African Water Facility (AWF) through African Development Bank (AfDB).
Ministers responsible for water in Africa formed the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) in 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria. The purpose was to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development, and poverty eradication among member states by effectively managing the continent’s water resources and water supply services. AMCOW’s mission is to provide political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems.
For further details, contact:
Obinna Anah Richfield
Knowledge Management, Communications and Visibility Officer
African Ministers’ Council on Water