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President Masisi at the helm of global programme

22 Mar 2023

 President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has been appointed chairperson of the Global ChangeMaker  Awards Programme.

President Masisi's chairperson role will run for a period of three years.

In his acceptance speech in New York, Unites States today (March 22), President Masisi said Botswana had placed the provision of water and sanitation services as well as the attendant infrastructure at the forefront of its national development agenda. 

He said 300 million Africans did not have access to drinking water and more than 700 million lived without good sanitation.

Therefore, ‘Botswana supports the noble objective of the Africa Investment Programme of transforming the outlook for water investments in Africa, which currently stands below the US$30 billion per annum target’.

President Masisi said Botswana’s vision was to increase water security and provide adequate as well as equitable sanitation for all citizens, which would open more economic opportunities as the country embarked on key priorities, such as export led growth, building human capital, provision of appropriate infrastructure and efficient financing.

He said it was important to ensure that the existing and future infrastructure was capable and resilient to convey bulk water supply and sanitation services to high demand centres that included local and international water transfer schemes and storage infrastructure.

He said Botswana had over the years made tremendous progress in the provision of potable water to citizens.

President Masisi said the country’s budget allocation towards water and sanitation infrastructure stood at 29 per cent of the annual national budget, adding that this had increased access to potable water by 98 per cent at the national level.

He said this had been possible through the development of appropriate policies and strategies.

He said the investment in water and sanitation infrastructure and services could not be left to government alone, adding the private sector should also play its part in supporting efforts aimed at addressing water and sanitation challenges in Africa.

He said the participation of the private sector in the provision of water and sanitation services would contribute immensely to the noble work of the Africa Water Investment Programme of mobilising US$30 billion for supporting Sustainable Development Goals 6 investments, which would create five million jobs by 2030, amongst other things.

He encouraged other heads of state to prioritise investment in water and sanitation services.

He said countries needed to develop water investment programmes to improve water security as already demonstrated by Zanzibar and Zambia.

Dr Masisi promised to work closely with the African Investment Programme High Level Panel in finding practical solutions pertaining to climate change, water and sanitation challenges.

He  also promised to use his position as the second vice chairperson of the African Union to pursue water and sanitation services infrastructure development in Africa.

Meanwhile President Masisi presented four awards to the co-chairs of the International High Level Panel on water investment being President Dr Hage Geingob of Namibia, President Macky Sail of Senegal, Prime Minister of Netherlands, Mr Mark Rutte and former president of Tanzania, Mr Jakaya Kikwete.

He also presented two awards for local country leadership on launch of water investment programme to President of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema for the country's water investment programmes and President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi for water investment programme. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Tshireletso Stoffel

Location : NEW YORK

Event : International High Level Panel on water investment for Africa

Date : 22 Mar 2023