Africa Water Week targets stand-alone goal for water, says Council


The African Ministers’ Council on Water said on Thursday that the 2014 Africa Water Week would focus on making water a stand-alone goal in the upcoming global Sustainable Development Programme.

Mr Bai-Mass Taal, the Executive Secretary of the council,  said the programme, slated to hold in Dakar, Senegal, from May 26 to May 31, would attract 54 African Ministers of Water to deliberate and advocate for water as a major global objective.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), also known as the post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is a global initiative to get commitments of world leaders in consolidating the gains of the MDGs.

The SDGs, still under consideration by world leaders, should be undertaken in another 15 years from 2015 to 2030.

African ministers of water have argued that muchwas not achieved in many African countries because water was only made an aspect of the MDGs Goal 7- Environmental Sustainability.

They insist that funding, political will and commitment would be increased, if water was made a fullfledged goal in the upcoming SDGs.

Taal also explained that the Africa Water Week, the fifth edition of the programme, would bring stakeholders, civil society organisations and policy makers in Africa and beyond, to discuss water issues.

“This period, we will discuss the challenges, solutions and way forward for water issues in Africa.

“It is not only for governments and ministers; the first three days is the forum for dialogue but the ministers have the whole week for the General Assembly where 54 ministers meet.

“They will be talking about the major water challenges in Africa and whatever the decision makers agree on, will be endorsed as Africa’s priority programme for the next two years.

“The world is developing other goals for the next 15 years from 2015 to 2030, so this particular week in Dakar, AMCOW should set a goal in the SDGs.

“When it is accepted globally, we will have to domesticate it,’’ he said.