Friday, 13 November 2009

A true sprint to April starts now

Africa Water Week draws to a close today and I’m catching my flight back to wintry London. Brrr! Just time to sum up some highlights of the week:

Traffic lights paper: Produced by WaterAid, WSP and UNICEF, this paper was shown to delegates for the first time. It measures whether African states are implementing their eThekwini commitments – and it looks very promising. What’s largely missing is the funding – and that’s where the Global Framework for Action can really help to accelerate progress.

Strong civil society presence: Many civil society organisations attended the whole week – taking opportunities to lobby Ministers and build networks. A civil society statement was also read out as part of official proceedings. I really enjoyed meeting with so many members and networks from all over Africa – and am really excited to see plans taking shape for the World’s Longest Toilet Queue – including South Africa, Benin, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Burkina Faso and Ghana!

Global Framework for Action: some really important and progressive ‘corridor’ meetings took place through the week – and new donors and developing country governments attended a dedicated jam packed side meeting. A panel of speakers from the South spoke about the benefits of engaging with the Framework, and a real momentum of action has taken flight – with a true sprint to April and the High-Level Meeting in Washington.

And finally, being back in South Africa: brilliant – we enjoyed great hospitality and warmth from people in Johannesburg, and with the South African Minister for Water taking the chair of AMCOW, we are sure to be engaging with this great country more in the near future.

And now to catch that flight, and find my woolly cardigan...

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