Concerned by the growing scarcity of water resources and by the dramatic lack of sustainable access to water and sanitation in many African countries, which we consider major impediments to sustainable development, wealth creation and the eradication of poverty,
Aware of the fact that while much of the world is on track to meet the internationally agreed goals on water and sanitation, many countries in Africa are not,
Convinced that meeting these goals will be an important step forward in the fight against poverty in Africa and would also represent a crucial factor in promoting human dignity, reducing suffering associated with child mortality, facilitating school attendance and in empowering women,
Responding to the reciprocal call for improving joint work on water and sanitation made at the G8 and AU Summits in 2008,
We are determined to build a stronger partnership between African and G8 countries to increase access to water and sanitation, based on the principles of shared responsibility and mutual accountability. Through the joint political weight of the G8 and the AU, we will ensure adequate momentum and commitment on water and sanitation improvements at national and international levels, for concrete results on the ground.
In the context of this Partnership African countries, under the leadership of the AU through the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), will continue working, on the basis of commitments previously undertaken, which include: make water-related MDGs a top development priority; implement national water and sanitation plans; implement financial plans for mobilizing resources to the sector, including allocating resources within national budgets; enhance their leading role in guiding development assistance through donor coordination processes and the definition of water and sanitation investment plans in line with the Paris declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action.
To support the implementation of the African commitments, G8 countries will: assist the building of capacity in African countries to develop and implement national water and sanitation plans; improve coordination within multi-donor platforms to promote aid effectiveness; align assistance to better reflect national priorities; improve bilateral and multilateral contributions to financial mechanisms aimed at mobilizing investment; assist the AU Commission, AMCOW and Regional Economic Communities in response to the African demands for institutional support.
While recognising that each country has the primary responsibility of its own development success, both parties will prioritise the achievement of water-related MDGs in the political agenda. This entails supporting dialogue on water that involves a number of stakeholders, including Water Ministers and Finance and Planning Ministers, together with development partners. Our partnership is not aimed at creating new structures but will complement and enhance ongoing initiatives of all relevant African partners and international donors.
We will continue working at all levels to consolidate and develop this cooperation with a view to present a strengthened Africa-G8 Partnership on Water and Sanitation by the end of 2009. The Africa Water Week due to take place in November in South Africa might provide an opportunity for tangible progress towards our common goal of meeting our water and sanitation challenges.