Tag Archives: AMCOW

Monitoring Africa’s sanitation commitments

IRC helps AMCOW develop a new process to monitor the N’gor declaration

At the 2016 Africa Water Week, civil society called on the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to honour the region’s commitments on water, sanitation and hygiene, including those agreed in the 2015 N’gor declaration. The four partner organisations in Watershed – empowering citizens, Akvo, IRC, Simavi and Wetlands International, were among those that endorsed the collective statement submitted to AMCOW by the African Network for Water (ANEW).

Progress especially on sanitation has so far been poor; only 4% between from 2000 to 2015, according to Al-hassan Adam from End Water Poverty. A recent IRC/WSUP finance brief stated that only eight African countries provide data on sanitation expenditure. All of them are falling behind on their N’gor declaration commitment to spend 0.5% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on sanitation. Exerting pressure to speed up progress on sanitation is an obvious task for those civil society organisations (CSOs) that Watershed aims to support.

Next to lobbying AMCOW to honour its sanitation commitments, IRC is also advising the ministerial council on the development of a new process to monitor the N’gor declaration. The aim of the new monitoring process is to create reflective dialogue processes at country and subregional levels and strengthen mechanisms for accountability to citizens and political leaders informed by evidence.

So far a Regional Action Plan has been developed, and indicators and scoring criteria have been reviewed through a series of sub-regional consultations led by AMCOW in Nairobi, Dakar and Johannesburg in May and June 2016. See below an example of an indicator with scoring criteria.

For more information, read the background paper prepared by Alana Potter.

Ngor indicator typology

This news item was originally published on the IRC website.

African Ministers renew commitment to sanitation and hygiene

The AfricaSan4 conference (25-27 May) ended with a declaration defining the vision and aspirations of the African Ministers in charge of hygiene and sanitation.


African ministers in charge of sanitation and hygiene under their umbrella body African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) have expressed their commitment to achieve universal access to adequate and sustainable sanitation and hygiene services and eliminate open defecation by 2030. They reinforce their committment by promising to increase annually the sanitation and hygiene budget lines “to reach a minimum of 0.5% GDP by 2020”. This is contained in a declaration issued by the ministers at the closure of AfricaSan4 in Ngor, Dakar, Senegal.

The declaration acknowledges that while 133 million people living in Africa have gained access to sanitation since 1990, over 500 million still lack access and many more still defecate in the open.

The Ministers’ commitments address a wide range of issues that must be tackled to improve sanitation and hygiene including: political leadership; financing; monitoring and evaluation; equity and inclusion; research and learning among others. The Ministers also call upon all stakeholders to play different roles to achieve the vision. The commitments contained in the Ngor Declaration 2015, replace the eThekwini commitments of 2008.

Lydia IRC UgandaBy Lydia Mirembe, Communication and knowlegde management advisor | IRC Uganda

This news item was originally published on the IRC website, 29 May 2015

AMCOW AfricaSan Awards 2014: call for nominations

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) is pleased to invite entries for the AMCOW AfricaSan Awards to be announced on the 10th October 2014 at AfricaSan 4.

The AMCOW AfricaSan Awards are dedicated to recognizing outstanding efforts and achievements in sanitation and hygiene in Africa which result in large-scale, sustainable behavior changes and tangible impacts. The aim is to raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene by drawing attention to successful approaches, promoting excellence in leadership, innovation and sanitation and hygiene improvements in Africa.

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AfricaSan 4 dates and venue confirmed!


The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and the Government of Senegal are pleased to announce the dates and venue of the fourth AfricaSan conference, AfricaSan 4.
Date: 8 – 10 October 2014
Location: Dakar, Senegal (King Fahd Hotel)

Registration website: coming soon, watch this space!

AMCOW training consultancy on sanitation & hygiene policy development

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) needs the services of a training service provider to carry out a sanitation and hygiene policy training.  Focal persons in Burundi, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe need to be brought up to speed on drawing up plans and strategies .

The aim of this small (20 days) but interesting assignment is to:

train the focal countries on the process of developing a policy document and costed implementation plans and strategies for ending open defecation in those countries, and how to operationalise them.

The assignment supports a US$ 2 million Gates Foundation funded policy and advocacy project being implemented by AMCOW .

Closing date for receipt of applications is March 7, 2014.

Read the full Terms of Reference.

Please do not submit applications or requests for information to Sanitation Updates.

Africa: AMCOW gets US$ 2 million Gates grant to build national sanitation capacities

The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has been awarded a US$ 2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help countries build capacities for sanitation policy development, monitoring and advocacy.

AMCOW will use the 3-year grant for:

  • technical guidance and training to four fragile counties to develop and adopt national sanitation and hygiene policies and plans
  • organising the 4th AfricaSan conference and awards to boost implementation of the AfricaSan Action Plan and eThekwini ministerial commitments
  • country support in using the African mechanism for water and sanitation monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

“Across the globe, about 2.6 billion do not have access to safe sanitation. Africa accounts for almost 40 percent of these figures.” said Bai Mass Taal, AMCOW Executive Secretary.

AMCOW is an initiative of African Ministers responsible for water and a Specialized Technical Committee on water and sanitation for the African Union.

In 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched its Reinvent the Toilet initiative at AfricaSan 3 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Source: AMCOW, 18 Dec 2012

Sanitation at the 4th Africa Water Week, 14-18 May 2012, Cairo, Egypt

Marking the 10th anniversary of the formation of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), the 4th Africa Water Week will celebrate AMCOW’s achievements and reflect on opportunities for achieving water security and adequate sanitation in Africa. Over 1,000 participants are expected.

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