By Nuru Saadun

The World Water Day (WWD) is marked on 22 March every year. It is a day to celebrate water, make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues.

 It is also a day to prepare for how people will manage water in the future. Senegal Government has already booked to host 2021 world water forum.

The world water forum would take place in Dakar, Senegalese capital between 22 – 27 March, 2021.The theme dubbed; “Water Security for Peace and Development”.

Senegal would host the event in partnership with African Development Bank. More than 20,000 participants from more than 170 countries are expected to attend.

His Excellency Serigne Mbaya Thiam, Minister for Water and Sanitation in Senegal, briefed the African Development Bank on Senegal’s preparations to host the World Water Forum.

Mr Thiam met with Jennifer Blanke, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development and her senior management team on 8 October,2019, to discuss the Bank’s participation in the event’s organization and delivery.

Ms Blanke said: “The forum is a great opportunity for the Bank to showcase and advance its water and sanitation agenda, and we commend the government of Senegal for the preparatory work they have done so far.”

Mr Thiam acknowledged the Bank for assistance of funding women and youth delegates to the forum preparation meeting in June 2019.

“Our government is counting on the African Development Bank to help mobilize the enormous resources that will be needed to make this first sub-Saharan-hosted World Water Forum a great success,” Mr Thiam noted.

Mr Abdoulaye Sene, a bank staff and also the  Executive Secretary of the forum’s organizing committee, offered a detailed presentation of event preparations and took questions about the forum known as the “world’s largest event on water.”

Ms Wambui Gichuri, Director of the Bank’s Water Development and Sanitation Department said: “The Bank, as a leader in supporting water sector development in Africa, will play an important role in supporting delivery of the forum.”

Mr Sene stated to the Bank officials that ‘Dakar is expecting more than 20,000 participants from more than 170 countries.

“Awarding the hosting of this forum to Senegal is a testament to the urgency of water issue for Africa and to the country’s commitment to the water agenda,”Mr Sene said.

The Executive Secretary said the forum will be “a focused, inclusive, integrated, open-ended multi-stakeholder process, interactive and synergizing with international events.”

He further explained that the Dakar 2021 forum would address the present and future global issues for man and nature, serving as a catalyst and accelerator of universal access to water and sanitation. In addition, it will be a boost to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Senegal, Africa and the world.

The theme of the forum aligns with the Bank’s ten year strategy for 2013-2022. It authorizes the significance of water security for Africa’s quality social and economic advancement. The strategy states that investments in integrated water development and management, are central to sustainable water, food and energy security for green and inclusive growth.