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The 90th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council of AfWA, started this Monday, November 21, 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Tuesday, 22 November 2022
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Under the aegis of the Société de Distribution d’Eau de Côte d’Ivoire, the Water Utility of Côte d'Ivoire (SODECI), the 90th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council of AfWA, started this Monday, November 21, 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on the theme: ''Innovative systems, approaches and tools to accelerate access to sustainable water and sanitation services for all''.

During the opening ceremony presided over by the Ivorian Minister of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Mr. Bouaké Fofana, the Managing Director of SODECI, Mr. Ahmadou Bakayoko, expressed his delight at the trust placed in Côte d'Ivoire to hold the meeting. He said that "the challenges to meet in order to promote access to drinking water and sanitation services to all are overriding but not insurmountable". That is why he thanked the delegates for their massive presence, a sign of their faith in the importance of consultation and knowledge sharing to identify and implement appropriate solutions to get the continent out of its difficulties.

Dr. Papa Samba Diop, President of the Scientific and Technical Council, said that "water and sanitation issues have long remained one of the most difficult equations to solve in Africa. This should no longer be the case, now that we have quality human resources to transcend them''. He also emphasized the importance of innovation and tailor-made responses adapted to each local problem, pragmatic and agile responses, relying on local partnerships.

Mr. Sylvain Usher, Executive Director of AfWA, pointed to endogenous and exogenous factors as the cause of Africa's delay in achieving the SDGs. He cited, among other factors, the poor control over the reduction of Non-Revenue Water by water utilities, the poor control over sanitation management, the impacts of climate change. Then, referring to the COP 27 which has just ended in Egypt and which AfWA attended, he added: "it is high time for the African Water Association through its Scientific and Technical Council to get involved in the COP process to present its specific challenges to the sector, so that together with all the other experts from all sides, we can hope for solutions to our problems.

For Minister Bouaké Fofana, the situation of water and sanitation in Africa is at the heart of African leaders’ concerns. Crisis situations, natural disasters, conflicts in Africa require that the international community and particularly African experts meet to assess the nature of the relief and coordinate its implementation for the welfare of African populations,'' which calls for self-sufficiency in drinking water and sanitation security. Speaking about the water sector in Côte d'Ivoire, the Minister said that several actions have been undertaken to mobilize water resources for the development of the water and sanitation sector. In addition, discussions are being held to implement a better governance of water and sanitation. A rational management of resources and means will allow the achievement of the commitments related to SDG 6. The Minister concluded his speech by inviting SODECI to spearhead innovative initiatives for which Côte d'Ivoire will be able to put forward its leadership  to advance the issue of water and sanitation on the continent.

It should be noted that about 200 delegates from 17 African and European countries are taking part in this meeting in Abidjan from November 21 to 24, 2022.