*African ministers spotlight benefit
By Godwin Oritse
African Water and Sanitation Ministers attending the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden have underlined the importance of waste water to the region’s aspirations for economic growth and sustainable development.
Speaking at the opening plenary in Central Stockholm, water and sanitation minsters from the five sub-regions in Africa were unanimous in their resolve to adopt and promote effective wastewater management across Africa.
According to them, improved wastewater management is not only critical to achieving the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), but also to other goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In an address to over 3,100 delegates at the annual water event in Stockholm, Engr. Gerson Lwenge, the Tanzanian minister for Water and Irrigation and President of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), recalled that African Ministers responsible for sanitation took proactive steps before the end of the MDGs era in 2015 by adopting the N’gor Declaration with a commitment that Africa will “progressively eliminate untreated waste by encouraging its productive use.”
Of equal importance to this commitment according to Engr. Lwenge, is “the fact that to actualize the potentials of turning waste to benefits, Africa needs to create the right policy environment and move from policy to effective implementation.” “It is on this basis that the High Level Ministerial Panel at this year’s Africa Focus Sessions will explore possibilities of using science to enrich policy making and increase policy implementation efficiency,” the AMCOW president added.