- The West African Water and Sanitation Journalists Network held its first General Assembly in Accra, Ghana, between April 27-29, 2011 at M Plaza Hotel, Accra, Ghana
- In attendance at the meeting were Water and Sanitation Journalists working in Television, Newspapers, Radio and Online media in fourteen West African Countries- Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cote d Ivoire, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Guinea. Each
Media Network was represented by two representatives.
- The Ghana meeting was organized with the support of WaterAid and Water and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).
- The meeting was a follow up to two earlier meetings- The inaugural meeting of the Network in December 2010 in Bamako, Mali, which brought together journalists from nine countries in West Africa as well as representatives from the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting and WASH United; and the 3 man Steering Committee meeting held in Dakar to finalise the draft constitution of the of West African Water and Sanitation Journalists Network for presentation to this first General Assembly meeting.
- Prior to the 1st AGM, a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Network took place on April 26, 2011 at the Regional office of WaterAid in Accra, Ghana, which the agenda for the AGM meeting was discussed and fine-tuned
- The AGM kicked off on April 27th with presentation of progress reports by representatives of the Media Networks of the member countries. This was followed by general discussion on the lessons learnt, challenges, and problems faced by each of the countries. All the 14 participating countries presented country reports
- In the afternoon session, participants reviewed the draft constitution of the West African Water and Sanitation Journalists Network and amendments to various articles were adopted. This exercise could not be concluded and was postponed till the second day, April 28, 2011
- The review of the draft constitution was concluded on April 28, 2011 and the amended constitution was adopted by a consensus. One of the major changes is the decision that the Secretariat of the Network should be hosted by Ghana.
- The second day’s session was rounded up with the elections of members of the Coordination Committee of the Network.
- On the last day, April 29th, participants discussed the three year Technical proposal of the Network and changes were made based on participants’ inputs. The Technical proposal highlights the goals, objectives, and programmes of the Network for the next three years, and plans for sustainability thereafter. The first phase of the Technical proposal outlines start up programmes of the Network up and modalities for participation in the Afrisan3 in Kigali Rwanda, July 2011.
- WaterAid West Africa and WSSCC committed themselves to funding the Network till December 31 2013.
- A communiqué was issued at the end of the meeting by the General Assembly.
New offices of the West Africa Water and Sanitation Journalists’ Network
|2.||Babatope Babalobi-Nigeria||General Secretary|
|3.||Dauda Traore Anapo-Niger||Focal point for fundraising and partnerships|
|4.||Anegniegnon Koami Francois-Togo||Focal point for sanitation and hygiene|
|6.||D’alneida Dede F. Celia – Mali||Information and Communications Secretary|
|7.||Emelia Abbey- Ghana||Focal person for water|
Babatope Babalobi, General Secretary