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GWP-WA strengthens links with CILSS and WAEMU

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Global Water Partnership West Africa (GWP-WA), has signed two memorandums of understanding with the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

Both official ceremonies were held in Ouagadougou on Wednesday in the conference room of CILSS in its headquarters of Ouaga 2000, and the conference room of the WAEMU respectively.

The MOU with CILSS, which aims to strengthen collaboration ties between the two institutions was initialled by the Executive Secretary of CILSS, Professor Alhousseini Bretaudeau and Mr. Hama Arba Diallo, Chairman of GWP-WA.

After signing the MOU, the Executive Secretary of CILSS, Prof. Bretaudeau, said the signing of the document is “a very important step that commits both institutions to more common actions for achieving MDGs.”

Mr. Hama Arba Diallo, GWP-WA Chairman, for his part, after recalling the specifics of each organisation, requested that both organisations would share their “specificity together to help our countries to accelerate the access of populations to welfare”.

It is stated in the MOU that both parties establish among themselves “close ties of cooperation and partnership, to promote the coordination and harmonisation of their respective actions in support to CILSS member countries in their efforts for achieving the Millennium Development Goals”.

The areas of cooperation defined, range from human development to the exchange of information, data, expertise and experience in the form of cooperation between experts and technicians, joint organisation of seminars for food security, natural resources management and the fight against desertification and the integrated water resources management.

Each organisation is required to identify “specific actions to be undertaken on a biennial Basis, which actions will be presented in a single document in the form of a programme called “Joint Programme CILSS-GWP / WA”.
It is also expected that each organisation designates a framework for monitoring the implementation of the agreement.

With respect to the second MOU with WAEMU, which was signed in the afternoon by Mr. Diallo for GWP-AO and Soumaila Cisse, President of the WAEMU Commission, the document commits GWP-WA to provide “technical support to WAEMU and assist in implementing any project or activity related to IWRM” and WAEMU to “participate in the various programmes of GWP-WA.

It is expected to bring its political and institutional support, whenever it becomes necessary for the implementation of such programmes.

It is further envisaged that there will be the establishment of a coordinating committee to monitor the implementation of the Agreement.

Commenting after the signing ceremony, the President of the WAEMU Commission, Soumaila Cisse, stated that “The fact that today, West African Water Partnership and WAEMU decide to develop the necessary synergies to make the most of their comparative advantages, is beyond the symbol, the sign of maturity and leadership of our two institutions.”

The Chairman of GWP-WA, Mr. Hama Arba Diallo also recalled some of the major actions of GWP in the development of IWRM plans, studies on governance, dialogues on climate change among others.

He added that “these are experiences and expertise acquired over the years by GWP West Africa that we, together with WAEMU, want to serve the member states”.

CILSS is a regional intergovernmental organisation that includes nine (9) countries of the Sahel, while WAEMU is a regional economic intergovernmental organisation which includes eight (8) countries that share the CFA franc in the region.

Global Water Partnership (GWP), with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, is a network that was established in 1996 with the mission to support countries in the sustainable management of their water resources and a vision for a water secure world. On the other hand, GWP in West Africa, the sub-regional body, is a partnership of public, private water sector organisations and associations officially established in March 2002.

GWP- WA is a civil society regional institution that acts on the sixteen (16) countries of West Africa (ECOWAS-Economic Community of West African States- plus Mauritania). These three institutions share a common vision for the better management of water resources for the development needs of the sub-region.

GWP-WA has already signed a protocol agreement with the ECOWAS Commission in November 2007.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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