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Yes, we can

Friday, 07 April 2017
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Black Africa is not well poised to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the area of sanitation?bulletin 105 min

The afro-pessimists will unreservedly answer: YES. Are they wrong in believing it? We will also plainly answer: YES.

Our participation in the 3rd African Conference on Hygiene and Sanitation (AfricaSan 3) in Kigali enabled us to discover with pleasure and delight a country that has made considerable progress in the area of sanitation. The pays des Mille Collines, which came out of the trauma of the 1994 genocide, will achieve the sanitation-related MDGs in 2012.

The collective commitment of the Rwandan people and the leadership of President Paul Kagame have undoubtedly contributed to improving health and sanitation services. As if to say that where there is a will, it is possible in unison to overcome all difficulties, to take up the challenges.


Rwanda’s good example in the area of hygiene and sanitation clearly shows that if the policy-makers of our respective States really get involved and our fellow citizens change their behaviour, we can meet the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs.

The Rwandan example also shows that we can no longer use the excuse of inadequate financial resources not to improve our hygiene. In fact, the innovative “reinventing the toilet” challenge initiated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will make sanitation services accessible at affordable cost.

Let us show our determination and desire by getting down to work. Yes, let us prove to the scaremongers of afro-pessimism that we can. The respect of the first right of a decent sanitation service for all must be our daily reminder.

Let us meet in 2015 to present an Africa that can take a pride in the improvement of its hygiene and sanitation services. This is the challenge to which we are committing our policy-makers, our partners, our fellow citizens and our donors. The count-down has started and the time for action is now.