The African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) and the Water Integrity Network signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on August 28, 2019 to guide the development and implementation of strategic collaborative programmes. Besides being a common agreement on principles and mutual commitment to the partnership, the MoU has an operational side: it paves the way for a concrete annual plan of activities and joint efforts to mobilize resources.
Globally, only seven out of ten people used safely managed drinking water services in 2017 . The figures vary widely across the world and across the African continent. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 3 in 10 people used safely managed drinking water services in 2017, while 4 in 10 did not even have access to basic water services. Despite the positive steps taken towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 and significant progress in the past decade, weak governance and a lack of resources and funds are still jeopardizing the delivery of services to many , especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
With this MoU, AMCOW and WIN are building a framework to work together to address these issues with more integrity in pan-African water sector institutions and in the water sector of the 55 African states. The African Union declared 2018 the year of combatting corruption. The 2019 agreement between AMCOW and WIN shows continued willingness on the part of AMCOW to take action for integrity and against corruption in the water sector specifically.
As a first step, a workshop is planned on October 7-8 in Abuja, Nigeria, during which AMCOW and WIN will work together on the development of an integrity risk management framework for the AMCOW secretariat and define their joint work plan for 2020.
The MoU focuses on strategic areas of collaboration including sustainable infrastructure, safely managed sanitation, and groundwater. AMCOW and WIN will explore these areas of collaboration with an integrity lens and in line with the strategic priorities of AMCOW outlined in its Strategy 2018-2030: ensuring water security, ensuring safely managed sanitation, promoting good water governance, and strengthening AMCOW governance and operational effectiveness.
 Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Special focus on inequalities. New York: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), 2019.
 National systems to support drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene: global status report 2019. UN-Water global analysis and assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GLAAS) 2019 report. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019.
The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) was formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development and poverty eradication among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources and provision of water supply services. AMCOW brings together, under a formal Secretariat, the line Ministers of Water for all 55 African States. http://www.amcow-online.org
The Water Integrity Network (WIN) promotes integrity to eliminate corruption and increase performance in the water sector worldwide. To achieve this mission, WIN connects, enables, and promotes the work of organizations and individuals who recognize the impact of corruption—especially on poor and marginalized communities—and work to assess risk and promote practical responses.
Claire Grandadam / Communications Coordinator / Water Integrity Network Association e.V. Alt-Moabit 91 B, 10559 Berlin, Germany / info[at]win-s[dot]org