Second African Water Week held

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The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) hosted the second African Water Week in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 9 to 13 November to focus on implementation and partnerships on the road to the 2015 MDG targets.

The week aimed to bring together African countries and UN agencies, civil society groups, the private sector and development cooperation partners to address the critical issue of water and sanitation on the continent. This conference was also organized in direct response to the Sharm El Sheikh Commitments on water and sanitation adopted by the African Union Heads of State and Government (Egypt, July 2008). Four parallel technical sessions were organized on financing water and sanitation infrastructure, closing the sanitation gap, climate change and water adaptation and managing Africa's transboundary water.

The first edition of the AfricaSan Awards took place during the week, hosted by AMCOW. Awards were attributed for sanitation and hygiene excellence in three categories: technical innovations to Peter Morgan, leadership to Chief Macha from Zambia, and the NGO/civil society award was awarded to the Ethiopia WASH Movement, or WSSCC National WASH Coalition, which we congratulate whole-heartedly! Dr. Albert Wright and his Excellency Willem-Alexander Prince of Orange were honoured with a lifetime award. WSSCC was represented in Johannesburg by its Advocacy Officer Saskia Castelein and Executive Director Jon Lane, who presented the lessons learned from the International Year of Sanitation and future directions for sanitation advocacy in Africa and chaired a session on leadership and financing.

For more information contact Saskia Castelein at saskia.castelein@wsscc.org.