By Atayi Babs
In recognition of the critical role of monitoring and reporting in evidence-based decision-making in the water and sanitation sector at national, basin and regional levels, the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has called on African member-states to adopt and strengthen the web-based Pan-Africa water sector monitoring and reporting system recently launched in Stockholm, Sweden during the World Water Week.
Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AMCOW Executive Secretary made this call today at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, venue of the training workshop on water and sanitation sector monitoring for member-states and stakeholders.
According to Dr. Kanangire, the web-based Pan Africa Monitoring and Reporting System “represents AMCOW’s innovative response to addressing the data challenge in Africa where Member-states use different data management methodologies and standards which do not permit effective comparison of countries’ efforts in achieving regional commitments.”
The newly launched M&E framework aspires to assist Member-states, working in collaboration with the AMCOW Secretariat and the AUC, in adopting and perfecting a common reporting format that will facilitate annual reports to the AU on the basis of data and information collected at national and sub-regional levels.
“This will, in the long run, result in a continent-wide credible monitoring and reporting system that will regularly provide critical and strategic information on the status of water development and its use (usage) for various purposes to facilitate informed decision making by African Governments,” says the AMCOW Executive Secretary.
Commending the workshop initiative as being of timely essence, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, in her welcome remarks expressed optimism that the web-based monitoring and reporting system will “significantly reduce the reporting requirements on our already overburdened statistical departments across Africa.”
The AUC Commissioner restated the need for Africa to stay on course towards realizing the target of the Africa Water Vision 2025 which envisages “an Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation, and the environment.”
“Translating that vision of the Africa we want into reality makes it incumbent upon us to consolidate the gains of our achievements to-date by utilising the opportunity presented by this web-based Monitoring and Reporting System to revitalise our on-going efforts at developing, managing and utilising our water resources in a way that unleashes Africa’s development potential,” Hon Tumusiime added.
An appreciable number of the workshop participants from South Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana described the training as very crucial and timely as it kick-starts the process of developing the 2016 Africa Water and Sanitation Report for submission to the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Governments in Africa.
Organised by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the series of workshops which began today comprises Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Persons from Water Resources Ministries in Anglophone countries in East, North and West Africa will end tomorrow while that of English speaking countries in Southern Africa will follow immediately at the same venue.
Francophone countries from Central, East, North and West Africa will converge in Abidjan from the 26th to the 27th of September 2016 for French version of the training.