Creating an enabling environment to accelerate access to WASH in Africa; AfricaSan7 Session Outcomes

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Creating an enabling environment to accelerate access to WASH in Africa; AfricaSan7 Session Outcomes

This session at the 2023 AfricaSan7 conference was convened by the Pan African Association of Sanitation Actors (PASA) and co-convened by the Kenya Private Sector Sanitation Actors; Sheer Sanitation, Varet Products and African Renascence. The session highlighted and zoomed in on Initiatives that have supported sanitation interventions on the African continent, particularly to create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, but also how collaborative efforts in the sanitation sector setting have influenced government policy and interventions on sanitation. 

The session panel of experts representing government, civil society and private sector players unbundled how the sector should focus on key enabling areas including Governance, Financing, Data, Capacity building and Innovation as necessary actions to allow for the sanitation sector to thrive. 

Scalability:
The session highlighted the growing awareness on the need for concerted and more focused action on sanitation rather than seeing it as a sub-set of the Water sector. In many respects this has facilitated the rebranding and creation of  Ministries that are focused on sanitation in many countries e.g Senegal, Ivory coast etc. Financing that was meant for water needed to cover sanitation too, but with this specific focus on sanitation, the sector will see more specific funding focus on sanitation.

Transferability:
A notable example of the change of the African Water Association (AfWA) to the African Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA) which was launched during the World Water Forum in Dakar in 2022 sanitation was one of the many indications on the sectors recognition of the importance of an enhanced focus and address on the sanitation sector this change and focus will facilitate a ripple effect among AfWASAs network members. 

Inclusive Service Provision:
Particularly looking at the private sector environment, the session highlighted that a thriving private sector environment not only leads to increased job opportunities but also increases access to sanitation services in hard to reach settings that are not yet serviced/ fully serviced by the public sector. As businesses grow, they tend to hire more employees, thereby reducing unemployment rates for marginalised populations. 

Following these outcomes it would be great to hear accounts of other contexts and what enabling environments and approaches have been created for a more conducive environment to accelerate WASH access. 

Regards,
Chaiwe
 
SuSanA Forum Moderator
Skat Foundation (With financial support by GIZ and SIRWASH up to November 2023)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
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