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Positive Synergies

Friday, 07 April 2017
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Above all expectations, the 15th Congress of the African Water Association (AfWA), held in Kampala, on the shores of Lake Victoria, testified to the fact that our Association now occupies a key place in all actions aimed at improving access of African populations to potable water and basic sanitation services.

Never in the history of the ex-Union of African Water Suppliers (ex-UAWS) and AfWA, has a Congress had such international effect. Drawn from Africa and other continents, our members and partners of the Association had in depth and high-level discussions aimed at addressing a single concern:

identifying the best ways for ensuring that the crusade against poverty is not just a vain word in the areas of potable water supply, sanitation and environment. Many presentations on the central theme demonstrated, in the face of the climate change and energy crisis, that it is imperative to adapt and efficiently to react to ensure a sustainable public water supply and sanitation service with the required quality and optimum energy.

Described as a historical event, the 15th Congress was more than a historical event for many reasons, including the record participation, the great qualitative leap in the organization of the session, the strong involvement of international organizations, the AfWA-ESAR/IWA merger, the signing of an Agreement with AMCOW, etc. One is tempted to say that nothing will be the same as before, going by the great event of the Kampala meeting, which coincided with the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Association. It was a nice opportunity to pay homage to the founding members and to remain faithful to the initial ambition to re s o l u t e l y contribute to the development of the potable water supply and sanitation sectors on the continent.

The shining success of the Kampala Congress is the outcome of positive synergies. The great African water family, therefore, wishes to express their sincerest thanks to all those who responded to our appeal: AfWA members, p o l i c y -ma k e r s , operators, donors, researchers, NGOs, etc. Their participation was of quality and highly appreciated. Our special thanks go to the Ugandan authorities led by His Excellency, President Yoweri MUSEVENI, who graced the occasion by personally presiding over the opening ceremony, and also to the NWSC, whose Managing Director, William Muhairwe, and his staff took all necessary measures to ensure that our Congress was held under very favourable conditions.

The bar has been raised so high that our responsibility is still greater in the face of the present and future challenges. However, as Nelson MANDELA, whose perseverance should inspire us, put it: “it is on arriving at the top of a great mountain that you realize that there are several others to climb”.

When we think about our populations, we are motivated to overcome all obstacles to ensure that from Ouagadougou to Djibuti, from Kampala to Casablanca, they enjoy long life in dignity thanks to potable water and sanitation.

Mamadou DIA President of AfWA