ADDIS ABABA. – The African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini -Zuma, in her remarks at the closing session for the Meeting of Ministers of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene said; “Water is the source by which Africa’s development can be driven.”
The meeting was held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from March 15-16.
Commenting on the African Union’s theme of “Human Rights with a particular focus on the Rights of Women”, Dr Dlamini-Zuma appealed for the centralisation of women and children in all strategies since in “the African context they have the primary responsibility of providing water, health and food. After all women constitute 70 percent of the agriculture work force”, emphasiSed Dr Dlamini-Zuma.
The AU Commission Chairperson also called for the inclusion of women and girls in all development projects “not just as passive beneficiaries but as legitimate participants”.
The closing session, which was attended by African and world Ministers and officials responsible for water and sanitation as well AS civil society was also addressed by Mr Anthony Lake, executive director for UNICEF, who called on the participants to “turn up the volume” in implementing and providing momentum for the Vision 2030 SDG goals and Agenda 2063. Mr Lake also committed UNICEF to accelerating its efforts in providing “every child with equal chances”.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – who also addressed the closing session – called for ownership and joint resourcing of all programmes developed to address water, sanitation and hygiene, all of which will require community involvement and contributions. – AU Commission.