For the first time in its history, the World Water Forum is being held in sub-Saharan Africa. It is an opportunity for our organization to pay a vibrant tribute to the Senegalese government, which dared to take up the challenge and committed itself on behalf of all Africa to make this event a major success. The 4 axes identified within the framework of this Forum, namely, water and sanitation security, cooperation, water for rural development and tools and means, are themes that are in perfect alignment with the purpose of our continental institution.
As the Dakar 2021 Forum is meant to be a forum for solutions and actions, the actors of the water and sanitation sector in Africa must seize this unique opportunity, bringing together on African soil and in the same place, all the world's water and sanitation Gotha, in order to sensitize our authorities to make decisions, leading to concrete and sustainable actions for the development of the sector in Africa. As far as we are concerned, the World Water Forum is a platform for high-level advocacy, promotion of strategic, operational and financial partnerships, a give and take meeting that will enable AfWA to meet and identify its potential partners with which it will be able to develop joint actions on these 4 axes.
It will also be an opportunity for AfWA to present what it does, with whom it does the work, and how it does it; as well as to show the state of the art in water and sanitation services management by operators in Africa.
At the technological level, the exhibitions, alongside the discussions and B to B meetings, will also be an opportunity for AfWA and its members to exchange with manufacturers and promoters of innovative solutions, to identify this external know-how, and to identify technologies that could be adapted for Africa, especially in the context of the current health crisis.
Through an agreement between AfWA and the organizers of the Dakar 2021 Forum signed in February 2020, the Association and its members have committed themselves to take a very active part in various working groups and actions set up as part of the preparatory process for this Forum. In addition, the Association is committed to mobilizing its members and stakeholders in the sector for a massive participation in this meeting held for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We hope that many partners from all over the world - political decision makers, operational partners, and financing and development institutions - will participate in this forum so that water and sanitation stakeholders in Africa will have the opportunity to build partnerships, engage in advocacy, and participate in high-level discussions on African issues in the sector. Finally, we are counting on the massive and effective participation of young people who make up the majority of the African population, as well as women, the two population slices primarily affected by the water and sanitation issues.
Sylvain USHER, Executive Director of AfWA
The African Water Association, created in 1980, is a professional organization of institutions, corporations, and operators working in water, sanitation and environment in Africa. It develops programs and supports knowledge sharing in the sustainable management of water and sanitation services through the development and management of professional networks and advocacy. It is now recognized by international organizations as a key player in the WASH sector in Africa, and its members benefit greatly from this. Indeed, several donors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the African Development Bank through the African Water Facility, the German Water Partnership, etc., support it through the implementation of innovative projects to improve the performance of its members, and the results are tangible for those members.