The Steering Committee meeting was attended by all the chairs of the five Country Water Partnerships (Sao Tome and Principe, Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad) of the GWP-CAf network, the representatives of GWPO and different colleges notably; financial and technical partners (UNESCO), youths (RECOJAC), civil society organizations, River Basin Organizations (Lake Chad Basin Commission), water operators and observers.
While opening the meeting, the GWP-CAf Chair, Mr. Sylvain Guebanda said, “this year is indeed a remarkable year as it marks the 25th Anniversary of the GWP network – 25 years of creating and facilitating change in the water sector across the world”
The meeting was marked by three main presentations respectively: GWP-CAf’s Annual Regional Assessment Grid (ARAG) by Global Water Partnership(GWPO) presented by GWPO’s Sara Oppenheimer, the level of implementation of the 2021 Regional and Country Work Plan and the 2022 Regional and Country Work Plans. Overall, CWPs made significant progress towards the implementation of their workplans despite common challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and limited human and financial resources.
Gender related activities have also increased at the country level with some CWPs supporting the regional implementation of the Water, Climate, Development -Gender (WACDEP-G) program and others supporting their governments in the implementation of gender in ongoing projects in the water and climate sector.
CWPs expressed future actions to be carried out which centered around growing the network, youth engagement, knowledge sharing, continuous support to programs implemented at regional and at different country levels (WACDEP-G, Global Water Leadership, GCF Readiness etc). A memorable moment of the meeting was the decision by the steering committee members to extend the mandate of GWP-CAf’s current Chair, Mr. Sylvain Guebanda for the next two years. This decision was supported with a loud applause and a promise by the chair to use his final mandate to create and even bigger impact while moving forward GWP-CAf’s mission of a water secure Central Africa.
At the end of the two-day discussions, some recommendations were made notably ;
- Develop a strategy for mobilizing financial resources at the regional level following the example of the strategy elaborated by GWPO
- Organize capacity building and experience sharing sessions between CWPs in Central Africa and between regions
Sharing knowledge for a stronger network
The 7th General Assembly of GWP-CAf partners was held the following day under the theme “Improving the Funding Framework for the Water Sector”. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, CWP executive secretaries represented their partners at the extraordinary General Assembly. The main objective of the meeting was to assess the level of implementation of recommendations from the 2019 General Assembly, present the level of progress towards the financial and institutional autonomy of the regional secretariat and the CWPs.
Concerning the accreditation of the GWP-Chad, it was noted that the process has greatly advanced and should be completed by the first quarter of 2022. The partners supported the decision to extend the Regional Chair’s mandate, validated the 2021 regional financial report, the regional budget and 2022 workplan. Particularly, the participants expressed interest in knowledge sharing between the CWPs on resource mobilization and strategic partnerships and a request was made to the regional secretariat to facilitate training on the new GWP Toolbox: IWRM Hub.