I am Yaw Asante Sarkodie, working with the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing in Ghana. I represent that Anglophone (Africa) on the Steering Committee of SWA. I have been part of SWA since 2009.
I am so glad to be here at this first ever SWA Partnership Meeting and I especially enjoyed the debates on the first day after the proposed new SWA framework was presented by the Vice Chair. It appears that the majority of contributors did not favour the proposal for expansion to many countries. I hope that the debate will continue until a clear way forward has been agreed by all.
Personally, I believe in wider consultations on issues of water and sanitation across the globe. But at the same time we should also bear in mind the limits we can go. We have already achieved a lot of success. This is a fact. For instance, in Ghana SWA has triggered a renewed sense of urgency on the part of the government for the WASH sector. Through the SWA Compact, the WASH has been recognized as one of the essential services in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda. The government has also made unprecedented funding commitments to the WASH sector due to the commitments made in the compact.
But the question is: do we focus on consolidating the gains so far of do we expand our territories and dare to do more. I hope discussions during the days ahead will help make decision that will interest every member in the partnership.
What I see as more challenging for the Partnership include being able to sustain the interest of all Partners and also being able to manage expectations in a more fulfilling way. Another challenge is being able to sustain fruitful sector engagement at the country level such that governments will fulfil their commitments made at the various High Level Meetings.
Though we cannot talk about consensus yet, I believe this Partnership Meeting has already succeeded in triggering more in-depth discussions on the way to go with the future of the Partnership.