Interview : Mansour Faye, Minister of Infrastructure and Land Transport
Mr Minister, first of all, what does the organisation of the 9th World Water Forum in March 2022 mean to you?
First of all, I would like to express my satisfaction that, under the leadership of the Executive Secretariat and in collaboration with the World Water Council, the preparation of the Dakar Forum is taking place under good conditions and everything leads us to believe that the challenge of organisation and participation will be met. During the selection process that led to the choice of Dakar, I was Minister of Water and the decision of the Board of Governors of the World Water Council filled us with pride because it is the first time that the Forum is organised in sub-Saharan Africa.
We are happy to note that the debates of the 9th World Forum will focus on water in our region, where the challenges are the greatest and the populations the most deprived. This choice of Senegal is the consecration of our country's achievement of the MDGs on water, without forgetting our commitment to hydro-diplomacy and related issues at the highest international level. Senegal has much to share with the world in the fields of water and sanitation.
What arrangements have been made to ensure that the transport of all participants is well provided for?
If Senegal was chosen to host the 9th World Water Forum, it is also due to the fact that Dakar has a great deal of experience in organising world-class events such as the OIC and Francophonie Summits, with a good command of the key success factors of transport, accommodation, telecommunications, etc.
As far as transport is concerned, all the necessary measures have already been taken to ensure the mobility of the participants between the airport, the hotels, the sites of the Forum, the sites of visits and cultural events, etc. In this regard, it is worth noting that a fluid transport system will be put in place between these different places with shuttles inspired by the best practices of similar events. Particular attention will be paid to the Diamniadio hub, where most of the events will take place, with major routes to Dakar city, the Saly hotels zone, etc.
It is important to emphasise that the TER (Regional Express Train) will be put into service before the Forum, allowing participants to be transported from Dakar to Diamniadio in the best possible conditions with the highest standards of comfort and quality of service in this area.
In terms of road infrastructure, Diamniadio is already well served by the toll highway. However, between now and the Forum, new developments will be made to facilitate mobility and to further improve access to the Forum sites.
What appeal do you make for a strong participation in the Forum?
Senegal is an open country, the country of Teranga, which means hospitality in Wolof, and everything is being done to make the participants' stay useful and pleasant. It is an experience not to be missed, as Dakar 2022 will be a historic Forum that will allow participants to discover the many cultural riches of Senegal and Africa.