African Ministers Council on Water announce new Executive Secretary

Dr Rashid Mbaziira, new Executive Secretary of AMCOW

Ugandan native, Dr. Rashid Mbaziira, has been named Executive Secretary of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW).

Mbaziira’s appointment was announced by Mr Carl Schlettwein, President of the AMCOW Council of Ministers, at the close of an Extra-Ordinary session of the AMCOW Executive Committee on Thursday.

The appointment will take effect on November 8, 2021.

Mbaziira received his PhD from St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, in 2007. Water Sciences, Policy, and Management was the focus of his research.

He has a first-class BSc in Agricultural Engineering from Makerere University in Kampala, as well as a Stage 1 qualification from the Association of Chartered Certifiers.

He has 20 years experience, 15 of which have been in providing policy development leadership in the water and sanitation sector in Africa.

His expertise includes formulation and operationalisation of strategic continental initiatives to implement the Sharm-el-Sheikh Declaration on accelerating the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa.

The new executive secretary’s technical knowledge and practical disposition to addressing challenges related to water management, sanitation and hygiene services provision have made him a highly sought-after-professional.

This is reflected by his robust track record of coordinating multi-stakeholder interventions to strengthen Africa’s water management function at both regional and sub-regional levels.

A key highlight is the formulation of the African Water Resources Management Priority Action Programme 2016 – 2025 that informs the AMCOW Strategy 2018 -2030.

He similarly provided technical facilitation to prepare the AMCOW Governance Framework and Management Strategy.

“I am humbled by the trust placed in me by the Council of Ministers to serve the water community in Africa,” Mbaziira said of his appointment.

“I pledge to fully apply myself to consolidate AMCOW’s function as an effective mandated organ of the African Union’s efforts to assure water security in Africa. Effective water management is vital to ensure human and environmental health; economic production; and climate resilience.

“In this context, AMCOW has to be at the forefront of initiatives to achieve the goals of African Union Agenda 2063. Of particular relevance to AMCOW’s mandate is Aspiration 1 of Agenda 2063, namely: to realise a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

Congratulating him on his appointment Hon. Schlettwein said, “I have no doubt that Mbaziira’s expertise will be brought to bear to revitalise AMCOW’s status as a trusted facilitator of action to achieve water and sanitation goals in Africa.”

He charged the new Executive Secretary to demonstrate AMCOW’s relevance to the Member States, the African Union and AMCOW partners through Thought-Leadership.

“Given the slow vaccine roll-out in Africa, improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services holds the promise for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.

“The expectations on AMCOW to accelerate action to get Member States on track to achieve SDG 6 cannot, therefore, be over-emphasised.”

Mbaziira takes over from Dr Canisius Kanangire who left AMCOW in May this year.

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