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Published on: 26/01/2015

The timing of AfricaSan 4 is fortuitous both as the last AfricaSan meeting to assess progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); as well as being well-positioned to build momentum on sanitation and hygiene for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The theme of AfricaSan 4 "Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa" responds to the visionary ideals of a new generation of Africa's sanitation ministers. It sets the bar high so that the highly successful eThekwini commitment process can consider a new set of targets and indicators to help accelerate progress towards universal coverage.

The AfricaSan 4 theme not only concerns itself with sanitation access. It seeks to address the full sanitation value chain (containment, emptying, transport, treatment, disposal and reuse). Moreover it also focuses on a full sanitation ladder of access, including making Africa open-defecation free. By sanitation is also implied hygiene: AfricaSan 4 will host a specific discussion on how to accelerate good hygiene behaviour change.

AfricaSan 4 has also had a strong regional and country process leading up to the Dakar meeting. Led by the chair of AMCOW's AfricaSan Task Force Subcommittee, WSP, countries have engaged in three substantial sub-regional meetings in which countries have been involved in a peer-to-peer exchange on progress and sector bottlenecks in country action plans. Progress on country action plans and against the eThekwini commitments have been mapped and the results will be presented at AfricaSan 4. A feature of this preparatory process was the conscious effort to align the different sanitation sector monitoring processes in Africa. Get in engaged with this important opportunity for sanitation in Africa!

Hosted by the Government of Senegal and AMCOW and convened by AMCOW with partner support, 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.

Specific objectives are:

  • To 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.
  • To track 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.
  • To track progress on implementing the eThekwini Declaration, update and re-confirm these commitments by African Ministers, and prepare new commitments for measurable action by all key stakeholders, including donors, financing institutions, multilaterals and civil society.

IRC is a member of the AfricaSan 4 International Task Force and is working with WSUP to co-convene the monitoring and finance theme and sessions.

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