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.
 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oct 2012
 WSP, 2008. The eThekwini declaration and AfricaSan action plan. Nairobi, Kenya: Water and Sanitation Program – African Region.
Available at: <www.wsp.org/UserFiles/file/eThekwiniAfricaSan.pdf>
 Reinventing the toilet: Gates Foundation launches new sanitation strategy and grants, Sanitation Updates, 19 Jul 2011
Source: AMCOW, 18 Dec 2012