Highlights from the recently concluded joint AfricaSan and FSM sanitation conference in Cape Town, South Africa


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Highlights from the recently concluded joint AfricaSan and FSM sanitation conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Dear All,

Two of the world’s most significant sanitation conferences, AfricaSan and Faecal Sludge Management (FSM), joined forces in Cape Town, South Africa, from 18th to 22nd February 2019, in what can only be described as an inspiring, unique and exciting setting that flawlessly amalgamated the political governmental focus of the AfricaSan conferences and the technical expertise of the FSM community. More than 1000 conference attendees from 79 countries, comprising of sector professionals, government, policy makers, investors, service providers and development partners, joined in political dialogues and technical sessions. The sessions focused on providing affordable, sustainable sanitation solutions, in line with the legal and institutional framework of the respective African member states.

The AfricaSan Conference

The AfricaSan conference continuously and assertively remains the key Pan African sanitation flagship initiative organized by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW). Prior to the fifth edition of the AfricaSan conference in Cape Town, the fourth AfricaSan conference (in Dakar, Senegal, 2015) saw member states adopting the Ngor Vision and Commitments. These bold commitments are fully in line with SDG 6.2, which emphasizes on adequate, equitable sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030. Within the conference, African ministerial and country dialogues focused on the progress of the commitments and its interlinkages with the SDGs.

AMCOW furthermore, has made concerted efforts to initiate the development of foundational progressive sanitation policy guidelines, which can be utilized by individual countries. This is in collaboration with WHO, The Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

FSM Conference
The 5th Edition of the FSM conference, further intensified its vision and mission in advocating and addressing the demands and challenges of the sanitation sector with a focus on potential solutions and identifying lessons learned in how to make FSM an integral part of sanitation service delivery. The 5th FSM conference saw the official launch of the anticipated FSM Alliance comprising of key organizations such as BORDA, The Water Research Commission of South Africa, BORDA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The collective mission of the FSM Alliance is to champion and promote the development of inclusive sanitation approaches in particular non-sewered sanitation. These approaches complement centralized, off-site sewerage systems and are an intrinsic part of urban sanitation. Additionally, the Alliance has a strong focus on attracting investment capital and providing guidance on business models and service provision along the sanitation chain.


With revitalized and energetic pan African spirit culminating in a sense of unity and togetherness, there was acknowledgement and reaffirmation of the shared responsibility to ensure achievement of the Ngor Commitments and the 2030 Agenda. The private sector was acknowledged within the stakeholder declaration as a key force in creating and scaling up innovative sanitation solutions. To attain this, an enabling environment is essential.

Furthermore, the Minister of Water and Sanitation of the Republic of South Africa, Hon. Gugile Ernest Nkwinti closed the successful joint conference by expressing strong sentiments of harmonization and consensus building among African political leaders and technical experts, to ascertain inclusive sanitation approaches that leave no one behind.

The 27th Sustainable Sanitation (SuSanA) Meeting also took place prior to the conference with over 80 participants focusing on policy, enabling environment, financing, gender and the SDG interlinkages.

Best regards,

Doreen Mbalo

GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Programme
Policy Advisor in Bonn, Germany
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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