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Fourth AfricaSan: May 2015 in Dakar!

25th May 2015 to 27th May 2015

AfricaSan in Dakar

The long-awaited fourth AfricaSan will be held from 25 - 27 May 2015 in Dakar. This path-breaking conference will this year continue to raise the priority of sanitation amongst the new generation of political leaders. 

AfricaSan is one of AMCOW's path-breaker initiatives to promote political prioritization of sanitation and hygiene and attended by Ministers responsible for sanitation and the key agencies working in sanitation and water in Africa. With the theme "Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa", the conference is expected to attract about 40 Ministers responsible for sanitation from across Africa, along with about 1000 participants drawn from government agencies, civil society, donors and development banks, multilaterals, research organizations and the private sector.

 As a member of the International Task Force for AfricaSan, IRC is co-convening the Finance and Monitoring Theme with WSUP on 26 May 2015.

This theme includes the following four sessions:

  1. Financing sanitation: achieving 0.5% of GDP (led by WSUP)
  2. Monitoring sanitation progress (led by IRC), 11:00-12:30. Read the session outline
  3. Financing sanitation: a local government perspective (led by WSUP)
  4. Influencing decision makers - finance, equity, institutional leadership (led by IRC), 16:00-17:30. Read the session outline

In addition IRC is co-convening a side event that will launch the AMCOW-IRC MoU on joint learning and the UNICEF-IRC West- and Central Africa knowledge management and sector learning initiative.

Side event 19 on “Strengthening Learning in Africa: Coordinated learning for sustainable WASH services in partnership with AMCOW” will be held during the lunch break on Wednesday 27 May from 12:30-14:00. Read the side event outline.

AfricaSan 4 - Sanitation in Africa: How far? How much more?

Venue: King Fahd Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

Host: Government of Senegal and AMCOW (African Ministers' Council on Water) 

Convenor: AMCOW supported by Partners

Objective: The overall objective of the conference is to improve hygiene and access to safe sanitation in Africa. 

Specific objectives are:

  • Evidence-base and Learning Exchange: Increase the evidence base on sanitation and hygiene in Africa and exchange knowledge on strategies to overcome key blockages to assist decision-makers in implementing large-scale sanitation and hygiene programs.
  • Tracking progress: Take stock of progress made by African countries since AfricaSan 3 in 2011 and the progress needed to meet the MDG on sanitation by 2015 and to work towards the post 2015 development agenda and targets so that no-one in Africa is denied their right to sanitation.
  • Track Progress on Commitments: Review progress on implementing the eThekwini Declaration, update and re-confirm these commitments by African Ministers.  Also prepare new commitments for measurable action by all key stakeholders, including donors, financing institutions, multilaterals and civil society.

Design: AfricaSan 4 is designed to consolidate the progress made in AfricaSan 3, reflecting new progress and concerns with respect to:

  • Regional meetings
  • Sanitation and Hygiene Post 2015: Refining targets and indicators
  • Aligning AfricaSan with the SWA High Level Commitment Dialogue Process
  • Refining and building on Current Action Plan for follow up

Outcome: The desired outcome of the conference is that enhanced political commitment, knowledge and leadership will lead to good policies, high quality action plans, strong motivation to implement them, and increased investment. The program implemented from these plans will contribute to poverty alleviation, health improvements, social development and economic growth.

IRC is a member of the International Task Force for AfricaSan 4 and is working with WSUP in the monitoring and finance theme.


  • Enabling environment
  • Financing and monitoring
  • Demand and supply
  • Cross-cutting issues

Streams and outputs:

  1. Political Stream: Tracking eThekwini achievements and developing political commitments by Ministers, donors/banks, multilaterals and civil society around getting Africa ODF by 2025.
  2. Country Action Plan Stream: developing realistic country plans.
  3. Thematic Learning Stream: focusing on finding solutions to OD and key problems that hinder services at scale and building on existing best practices and approaches in Africa and beyond.
  4. Seminars and Side Meetings: encouraging information exchange on topics selected by commissioning agencies and furthering agency business.
  5. Technical Fair, Advocacy and Awards: providing opportunities for information exchange, sales, networking and advocacy events.

Inputs and Preparatory Activities:

Status of Sanitation and Hygiene Assessments: International and African agencies will be encouraged to develop and present overviews of the sanitation and hygiene in Africa, including presentation of Country Sector Overviews (CSO) and WASH-BATs, JMP Snapshots and analytic overviews from the World Bank. 

Country Preparatory Meetings: Each participating African country will host a preparatory meeting supported by an AfricaSan partner to review and validate country action plans, prior to bringing them to the Country Forums for peer review.

Thematic Papers: The Conference will commission agencies to prepare key papers for the selected learning themes.

Seminar and Side Meeting Selection: A call for seminar proposals and side meetings will be made and a program developed based on content and commercial criteria.

Technical Fair: The event organiser will call for companies and organizations to hosts booths in the technical fair on a commercial basis.

Conference live web site: A live web site for the conference will be developed to enable interactive participation of clients and partners during the meeting preparation, implementation and follow-up activities. The site will include a database of knowledge resources on sanitation, hygiene and related topics, thematic papers, discussion forum on thematic issues, call for papers, conference logistics, etc. It will also provide a platform for country delegates and representatives to provide inputs to the conference and load information and knowledge resources directly to the site for public disclosure. The site will be a follow-up tool to the conference and to further strengthen networking and partnership development for sanitation and hygiene. 

By Alana Potter