|Uniting for systems change to achieve clean water and sanitation for all in Africa
|ACCRA, GHANA | 18 OCTOBER 2022 – The Government of Ghana, IRC and UNICEF are challenging systems thinkers and public experts to advance a strong and clear agenda for system strengthening if African governments are to achieve and sustain the ambitious targets for water, sanitation and hygiene services for all by 2030.
In March 2000, African leaders signed up to the vision of an Africa where there is sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation that are safe and adequate to meet basic needs of all by 2025.
22 years on, 395 million African still lack access to safely managed drinking water and 504 million live without safe sanitation services. While there remains a huge deficit in infrastructure, many of the available facilities are inadequately managed, breakdown prematurely, or are poorly regulated, underfunded, and fall short of the dignified public service standards put forward in the human right to water and sanitation.
So why has so little progress been made during the past 20 years? The response is that without strong and resilient systems that work well, the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in Africa, as elsewhere, fails.
Systems are all around us, delivering essential services that we rely on. Education, health, road traffic – in each case, we interact with these systems daily. When they work well, systems are unnoticed by the people they serve. When they don’t, the failure is obvious: the flight is cancelled, the electricity shuts down, the tap opens but no water comes out.
“We are all very aware of the complex systems and interrelationships the water and sanitation sector have with our economies. The All systems go Africa symposium provides the platform to make key strategic decisions that will deliver better value to the people we serve. I am convinced that with your inputs, this symposium will be a turning point for the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector in Africa.” said Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources of the Republic of Ghana.
The All systems go Africa symposium happening from 19-21 October hosted by the Government of Ghana in Accra, and organised in partnership with IRC and UNICEF, provides Africa the opportunity to kick-start a continental agenda that will focus efforts towards achieving effective and resilient governance, management and operating systems for water, sanitation and hygiene.