Message to African finance ministers ahead of crucial summit

AquaFed has set out critical factors to African finance ministers on how to mobilise more finance for utilities ahead of a crucial meeting on water and sanitation being organised by the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership (SWA).

The Finance Ministers Meeting will focus on how ministers of finance together with other government and development partners can transform access to water and sanitation in their country and unleash economic and social benefits.

In a letter from AquaFed President, Fred Van Heems, he has urged finance ministers to focus on the building blocks of a strong national WASH system. In particular, he highlights the need for strong control from public authorities – but calls on ministers to help ensure officials are given the skills and capabilities to do the job.

On utilities specifically, Mr Van Heems also urged renewed focus on the ‘fundamentals’ – using existing knowledge and tried and tested programmes to support utilities to be more credit-worthy and make progress towards being able to recover costs.

At the SWA meeting, participants will be presented with inspiring and aspirational examples of countries that have benefited from prioritizing water and sanitation to achieve their development and climate goals.

The examples will show how investing in water and sanitation supports economic development, sustainable climate action, and effective public health preparedness, building from the discussions held in 2022 at the SWA Sector Ministers' Meeting.

Mr Van Heems will also address the ministers at the meeting next week, during a discussion on how private operators can help mobilise domestic finance.