Abderrahim El Hafidi, AfWA President and Director General ONEE

Dear Colleagues,

The 20th African Water Association International Congress and Exhibition 2020 under the theme: Breaking new grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa, will be the highlight of the water and sanitation sector in Africa in 2020. The Congress will also coincide with the celebration of the 40 years existence of the African Water Association (AfWA) and the launch of the African Water and Sanitation Academy.

At the congress we will have a full professional program consisting of more than 80 technical and poster sessions, several workshops, pre- congress seminars, and special forums. The technical program will offer space for 600-800 papers. We expect more than 2,500 participants from over 100 countries to attend. Thus there is no doubt that AfWA ICE2020 will be the biggest water and sanitation event in Africa in 2020 - and the place for all water and sanitation professionals to be.

From the professional program I want to highlight the grand style opening ceremony, the four plenary sessions focusing on the ‘hot’ issues related to water and sanitation on the regional agenda.

As novelties at the congress we will introduce Special Forums for the Ministers, Chief Executive Officers and Mayors, and a special seminar on digital water and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the first time at an AfWA Congress we will offer the opportunity for presenting both peer review and non-peer review papers. We expect that this will guarantee increasing quality of the papers and also offer academics a more attractive way to participate in the AfWA Congress.

The high-level professional program will offer an unbeatable reason to visit Kampala. This will also include the opportunity to meet with water and sanitation experts, who are contributing both to the technical program and making introductions during the exciting technical tours. I would also like to mention the exhibition, which will be the biggest in the AfWA’s history and a major attraction.

AfWA ICE2020 will be a very special and rare window of opportunity to meet fellow professionals from the region and other parts of the world, to hear their issues first hand, and to reflect on solutions and breakthroughs in accelerating access to water and sanitation for all in Africa. As you might have realized, our issues are surprisingly similar, as are our challenges; therefore the solutions are also likely to have a degree of commonality. Much more than this, the AfWA ICE2020 congress will also be a time to look at the bigger picture, reflect on the progress made with SDG), what lies ahead for AfWA, the key role the African Water and Sanitation Academy is going to play and how Africa fits into the global picture.

 I know from my personal experience through several visits to Kampala that the Local Organizing Committee will provide a first-class congress with the special “African” hospitality – something not to be missed.


I look forward to meeting you all in Kampala

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