UN-HABITAT hosted a meeting of women’s networks from 20-21 February 2010 to develop a strategy for a “Women for Water Decade” in Africa—a new platform for advocacy to promote women’s involvement in solving the region’s water and sanitation problems.
“We want to see women of Africa as agents of change as opposed to being victims,” said Mary Rusmbi, Chair of the meeting, and a steering committee member of the Women for Water Partnership. The Partnership is an alliance of women’s networks and development partners working on water and sanitation issues.
Women’s advocates identified a need for the Women for Water Decade as part of a new advocacy campaign to maintain focus on gender issues in the development of African water and sanitation programmes. Although the United Nations declared the “Decade on Water,” it will end in 2015, while it is predicted that millions of Africans will still have inadequate access to clean water and basic sanitation.
Lucia Kiwala, Chief of UN-HABITAT’s Gender Mainstreaming Unit, emphasized the importance of the campaign on women in slums, since more and more Africans are residing in unhygienic living conditions within poor urban areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, 62 per cent of the urban population live in slums.
“Although as we speak, most of the population in Africa is rural, the world is not standing still. Africa is the fastest urbanizing region.” About 40 per cent of the population currently live in urban areas, but at the current rate of urbanization, half of Africans will be living in town and cities by 2023.
Over the coming months, the Women for Water Partnership will continue to elaborate on plans for the Women for Water Decade.
Source: UN-HABITAT, 22 Feb 2010
“The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Executive Committee (ExCOM), meeting in extraordinary session, has appointed Mr. Bai-Mass Taal as the first Executive Secretary on 10 May 2008 after conducting interviews of six candidates short-listed from a field of over thirty applicants by its Technical Advisory Committee (AMCOWTAC). Bai-Mass Taal served as a Cabinet Minister in The Gambia, first as Secretary of State for Fisheries, Natural Resources and the Environment in 2004-2005 and later as Secretary of State for Fisheries and Water Resources from 2005 to 2006″.
Bai-Mass Taal should assume duty in July 2008 and will be based at the AMCOW Secretariat in Abuja.
Source: The Point, 01 Jul 2008
Senior officials representing governments, local authorities and NGOs from 29 African countries gathered from 10-14 March 2008 in Durban, South Africa, for the first Africa Regional Seminar on Participatory Budgeting – participatory budgeting (PB) is a system that gives the public a say and an eye on how municipal funds are spent. From an experimental innovation in Brazil, PB initiatives have been growing exponentially in many countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and more recently in Africa.
At the Seminar, the ministers responsible for local government in Rwanda and Somalia said they intended to see how they could introduce public participation into their municipal budgeting cycles.
The Conference was organized by the Harare based Municipal Development Partnership Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (MDP-ESA), with support from The World Bank and others.
UN-HABITAT and the MDP-ESA launched their new publication, Participatory budgeting in Africa – a training companion with cases from eastern and southern Africa.
Read more: UN-Habitat, 18 Mar 2008