By Edmund Smith-Asante
The government of Cote d’Ivoire is collaborating with Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA), to organise this year’s High-Level Forum on Water and Sanitation for All
Scheduled for November 21 to November 23, 2013, the third of such forums to be held in the past three years will be on the theme: “To promote vibrant and effective South-South cooperation to accelerate access to hygiene, sanitation, and drinking water for all in Africa”.
Originally set up by the Pan-African Intergovernmental Agency for Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA), the objective of the forum is to provide a platform for various decision-makers and stakeholders involved in this sector in Africa to exchange information and exert their influence, thus encouraging decisions and concrete action in support of WASH in Africa.
According to the organisers, about 800 participants are expected in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan for this year’s forum which has three main objectives.
These are to find the best way to take advantage of South-South partnerships for the development of business opportunities in terms of financial cooperation for the implementation of priority projects beyond the reach of national budgets in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector (WASH); develop strategic alliances and partnerships to strengthen the technical and institutional capacities of southern countries in the WASH sector and stimulate the sharing of experiences and know-how between southern countries in the WASH sector.
Touching on the significance of the forum to Africa, WSA says it is of interest to all stakeholders and senior officials in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene sector in Africa including African heads of state, ministers responsible for water and sanitation issues in Africa, African finance ministers, as well as technical and financial partners from the North and South, mainly consisting of export-import banks, researchers, investors, NGOs, and integration and development organisations.
Formally known as CREPA, Water and Sanitation for Africa has 32 member countries and has been working in Africa for 25 years to develop solutions to address the problems of water and sanitation on the continent.
Its mission is based on the establishment of integrated systems combining the optimisation of technical and scientific approaches with innovative funding mechanisms.
The first two forums were held in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and Dakar in Senegal.