African Ministers Council on Water

African Ministers' Council on Water
African Ministers' Council on Water
Conseil des Ministres Africains Chargés de L'eau
WP: AMCOW Office Headquarter
AMCOW Office Headquarter in Abuja
NicknameWater and sanitation support mechanism for the African Union’s Specialised Technical Committee.
FounderAfrican Ministers in charge of Water and Sanitation
Founded atAbuja
TypeNonprofit, Intergovernmental Organisation
Legal statusLegal
PurposeSupport delivery of Africa’s water resources management and sustainable water supply and sanitation services.
  • Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria
Region served
55 Countries of African Union
Parent organization
African Union

The African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) (French: Conseil des Ministres Africains Chargés de L'eau), is considered by the African Union as the support mechanism to its Specialised Technical Committee (STC) to drive achievement in the water and sanitation sectors. It is a regional development network of 55 African countries that promotes socioeconomic development and the abolition of poverty through effective cooperation, management of water supply services, and provision of the continent's water resources to its members.


In April 2002, the African Ministers responsible for water meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, formed the African Ministerial Conference on Water (AMCOW) following the adoption of the "Abuja Ministerial Declaration on Water - a key to Sustainable Development". The organization was formed as a commitment to accelerate the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa. In 2008, at the 11th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly in Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt, African Heads of State and Government, mandated AMCOW to establish and monitor a strategy for the implementation of their commitments on accelerating sanitation and hygiene.

Governing structure

The institutional structure of the AMCOW consists of a Council of Ministers (the Ministers responsible for water in each Member Country), an executive committee (EXCO) with a President/Chair, and a Board of Directors (currently Namibia). Each of the five sub-regions is represented on the executive committee by three representatives/water Ministers (AMCOW member states are divided into five sub-regions: West Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, North Africa, and Southern Africa) for the coordination of sub-regional activities.

A vice president oversees each sub-region. The AMCOW Secretariat is based in Abuja, Nigeria, and is led by an interim Executive Secretary and a team of professional and support workers. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) serves as the Executive Committee's advisor. The executive committee is responsible for ensuring that the council's decisions are carried out, as well as developing work programs/budgets for approval by the council, mobilizing necessary funding, and supervising the Secretariat's activities.

The primary functions of AMCOW are to facilitate regional and international cooperation by coordinating policies and actions among African countries on water resources issues, to review and mobilize additional financing for the African water sector, providing a mechanism for monitoring the progress of major regional and global water resources, water supply, and sanitation initiatives.

AMCOW also serves as a forum for dialogue on water issues with UN agencies and other partners. It encourages participation in regional studies on climate change, the development of observation networks, the exchange of information, and the development of policies and strategies to address water issues in Africa.

The major AMCOW achievements

The Major AMCOW Achievements includes:

  • Developing a 10 years Water Strategic plan for implementation between 2018 and 2030.
  • Establishment of a ministerial mechanism supported by a network of senior water officials for systematic consideration of water policy challenges in Africa.
  • Providing support for regional integration.
  • Adopting a triennial work program that provides strategic direction for national, regional, and international cooperation.
  • Providing organizational, political, and institutional support for the implementation of major water initiatives.
  • Compilation of key water portfolios for the five sub-regions of Africa, the establishment of the African Water Facility (AWF) which is hosted and managed by the African Development Bank, and establishment of a Trust Fund under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • commemorated its 15th anniversary in November, 2017. It will be commemorating its 20th anniversary during the World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2022.

Member states

See Also

This page was last updated at 2022-03-08 13:36 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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