GWP and AfWASA strengthen their cooperation at IFAT Munich 2024

Fatim-Hélène Traoré, Delegate, AfWASA, at the reception hosted by Messe München and the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection © GWP.

In view of population growth and urbanization, Africa’s growing economy presents both challenges and opportunities for the water-, wastewater- and circular economy. Against this background, German Water Partnership e.V. (GWP) was pleased to welcome its long-standing partner association African Water and Sanitation Association (AfWASA) again at the GWP joint booth at IFAT Munich from May 13-17, 2024.

Common activities, common concerns

The joint appearance of the two associations at the world’s leading trade fair for environmental technologies went even further, as two delegations were organized to promote exchange between African and German stakeholders in the sector.

Delegation participants visiting a wastewater treatment plant © GWP.

Participants included stakeholders from the two partnership projects African-German Training Initiative in Water and Sanitation (AGTIWAS) and German-African Partnership for Water and Sanitation (GAPWAS) from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mali, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

The delegation program had numerous highlights in store, with the guided booth visits, various events, receptions and excursions focusing on exchanging ideas and building relationships with GWP members. In addition to technical issues of climate-resilient drinking water supply and wastewater disposal, the focus of interest was on structural challenges of innovation management and the training of skilled workers, especially young and female talent for specialist, management and top positions. AfWASA and GWP also organized two dialogue events in the IFAT framework programme.

Dr. Papa Samba Diop (AfWASA), Dr. Rose Kaggwa (AfWASA), Dr.-Ing. Manuel Krauß (GWP, FiW), Dr. Siméon Kenfack (AfWASA), Amos Shyaka Kazora (AfWASA), Abdoulaye Diop (AfWASA) and Larika Waldmann (GWP) (from left to right) explain the structure of AWASA.

On the Blue Stage, the progress made in establishing an African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA) was discussed. “The intensive cooperation in the project across so many different countries to create a structure that supports the African water and sanitation sector in the long term in the further training of its specialists is unique,” explained panelist Dr.-Ing. Manuel Krauß, Head of the Africa Regional Forum at GWP and Head of International Cooperation at FiW – Research Institute for Water Management and Climate Future at RWTH Aachen University, the project of the two associations. In line with the pan-African approach, the panel was made up of representatives from various African countries. Dr. Siméon Kenfack, AfWASA, Dr. Rose Kaggwa, National Water and Sewerage Corporation Uganda (NWSC), Amos Shyaka Kazora, Water and Sanitation Corporation Rwanda (WASAC), Dr. Papa Samba Diop, Office Nationale de l’Assainissement du Senegal (ONAS), and Abdoulaye Diop, Eau du Senegal (SEN’EAU) contributed their expertise.

The second session on the Blue Stage was dedicated to the promotion of women and youth. Fatim-Hélène Traoré, representative of AfWASA’s Young Water Professionals, is convinced: “We need a qualified generation of women and young workers to achieve the implementation of SDG6.” This also became clear in the exchange on stage and in many subsequent conversations at the trade fair.

Micheline Lawson, Events and Marketing Manager, AfWASA, with Moussa Seck, Director of Member Services, AfWASA, at the GWP joint booth © GWP.

Impact and future prospects

When asked how he would summarize his impressions, Amos Kazora says: “At IFAT, you could feel the rhythm of water and wastewater technologies, as well as get an insight into the mindset and realities of the global market.” GWP and AfWASA will continue to carry this rhythm into their projects and activities in order to keep their finger on the pulse and jointly develop sustainable solutions for pressing issues in the sector.

You can read about AfWASA’s experience at IFAT Munich 2024 in a guest article by Micheline Lawson, Events and Marketing Manager at AfWASA.

If you are interested in the association partnership with AfWASA or the activities of the Regional Section Africa, please contact Marie-Louise Chagnaud at the GWP office. If you are interested in the development of AWASA and the partner Africa project AGTIWAS, please contact Larika Waldmann.