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Published on: 18/10/2022

ACCRA, GHANA – 18 OCTOBER 2022 – The Government of Ghana, IRC and UNICEF are challenging systems thinkers and public experts to advance a strong and clear agenda for system strengthening if African governments are to achieve and sustain the ambitious targets for water, sanitation and hygiene services for all by 2030.

In March 2000, African leaders signed up to the vision of an Africa where there is sustainable access to drinking water and sanitation that are safe and adequate to meet basic needs of all by 2025

22 years on, 395 million Africans still lack access to safely managed drinking water and 504 million live without safe sanitation services. While there remains a huge deficit in infrastructure, many of the available facilities are inadequately managed, breakdown prematurely, or are poorly regulated, underfunded, and fall short of the dignified public service standards put forward in the human right to water and sanitation.

So why has so little progress been made during the past 20 years? The response is that without strong and resilient systems that work well, the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in Africa, as elsewhere else, fails.

Systems are all around us, delivering essential services that we rely on. Education, health, road traffic – in each case, we interact with these systems daily. When they work well, systems are unnoticed by the people they serve. When they don’t, the failure is obvious: the flight is cancelled, the electricity shuts down, the tap opens but no water comes out. 

“We are all very aware of the complex systems and interrelationships the water and sanitation sector have with our economies. The All systems go Africa symposium provides the platform to make key strategic decisions that will deliver better value to the people we serve. I am convinced that with your inputs, this symposium will be an important turning point for the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector in Africa." 

Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Republic of Ghana.

The All systems go Africa symposium happening from 19-21 October hosted by the Government of Ghana in Accra, and organised in partnership with IRC and UNICEF, provides Africa the opportunity to kick-start a continental agenda that will focus efforts towards achieving effective and resilient governance, management and operating systems for water, sanitation and hygiene. 

Editor’s notes

About All systems go Africa

Uniting systems thinking with technical expertise and public policy to accelerate the vision of universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene

Systems thinkers and public experts will unite to challenge one another to make the changes required to achieve the ambitious water, sanitation and hygiene targets that have been set by national governments across the continent. Through a mix of high-profile panel discussions, creative workshops, and technical conference sessions, the event will showcase promising initiatives, convene strategic conversations, and inject momentum into ongoing initiatives to strengthen water, sanitation, and hygiene systems across the 54 countries of Africa.
Join us for an inspiring, interactive and memorable event.

When: Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 October 2022
Where: Kempinski Hotel | Accra, Ghana

Social media: @mswrgovgh @IRCWASH @UNICEF @UNICEFAfrica #AllSystemsGoAfrica

Abubakari Wumbei, Communications Learning and Advocacy Coordinator, IRC Ghana
T +233 (0) 302 797473/74 Email:

Juste Nansi, IRC Director Africa Regional Programme

All systems go Africa pages

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