The First African Water Week (AWW-1) being hosted by the A frican Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) opens in Tunis on Wednessay .
An AfDB statement received in Accra on Tuesday said the AWW-1 from 26-28 March would be under the theme “Accelerating Water Security for Socio-Economic Development of Africa” and would be opened by AfDB president, Dr Donald Kaberuka.
Water security is the capacity to provide sufficient and sustainable quantity and quality of water for all types of water services and protect society and the environment from water-related disasters.
The statement said the main objective of AWW-1 was to create a forum for African water sector professionals, stakeholders and partners to discuss the opportunities and challenges of achieving water security for the socio-economic development of Africa.
It would also formulate concrete policies, strategies and actions to accelerate water resources development and provision of services taking into consideration the challenges and impacts of climate change and variability.
It said the theme was in line with the Heads of States and Governments of Africa “Sirte Declaration” of 27 February 2004, which identified achieving water security as a priority deserving significant investments in infrastructure such as storage dams, water harvesting, irrigation and hydropower structures.
The statement said the AWW-1 would also focus on -Lessons of world experiences on achieving water security; Water security challenges and the sanitation gap;-Infrastructure investment requirements to achieve desired water security; Investing in water information and knowledge in Africa; The challenges of environmental and social impacts for water infrastructure and The roles of main stakeholders and the development of appropriate partnerships.
AMCOW is composed of all African Ministers in charge of water and provides political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable socio-economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems in Africa.
At its Sixth Ordinary Session held in Congo Brazzaville, from 28-31 May 2007, AM COW decided to institutionalize the African Water Week, with the first event to be held in Tunis and hosted by AfDB.