Namibia's Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Carl-Hermann Gustav handed over AMCOW presidency to Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Hani Sewilam.
During the virtual session, Gustav encouraged Sewilam to carry on the work of AMCOW to facilitate the delivery of the African water agenda.
In a speech after the handover, Sewilam affirmed Egypt’s aspiration to cooperate with all African countries to enhance economic integration and ensure prosperity, security, peace, and stability for the continent.
The Egyptian minister also affirmed keenness to prioritise the water axis within the context of the issues that serve the development goals in Africa.
He stressed his belief in African countries’ ability to turn challenges into opportunities for ensuring cooperation, exchanging expertise, addressing the informational and technological gap, and boosting investments in the water sector.
The minister also highlighted the importance of building the capacities of workers in the water sector and raising awareness on the importance of water to improve water management and tackle the issues of overpopulation and water scarcity.
Sewilam highlighted the vital role played by the AMCOW through its ambitious programmes and initiatives to provide the necessary directives to implement measures that achieve sustainable social and economic development.
He also hailed the role of AMCOW’s programmes in preserving the African ecological systems and confronting challenges that obstruct the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Africa Water Vision 2025, and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
During his speech, Sewilam stressed the need to translate policies in this regard into actual measures on the ground, boost the reliance on innovative policies and practices, and develop technology in order to reach tangible results in water management and to face climate change.
The minister called for all countries to support the global initiative that Egypt launched along with international partners at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh city last November, which aims to encourage comprehensive cooperation in the field of water amid climate change.
During the COP, Sewilam had announced the launch of the Action on Water, Adaptation, and Resilience (AWARe) initiative in partnership with several international parties, including the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The initiative seeks to offer transitional adaptation solutions for the planet and people, starting with the world’s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems in Africa.
In his Thursday speech, Sewilam affirmed Egypt’s keenness to become an African hub for training and capacity building under the initiative to train African technical cadres in the water field.
Founded in 2002 in Nigeria, 55-member AMCOW aims to promote cooperation and development and eliminate poverty among the African Union’s member states through effective water resources management in Africa.