G8, African Leaders Agree To Strengthen Water Access Partnership

G8 and leaders from Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and the African Union on Friday announced an agreement to strengthen their partnership to improve access to water in Africa, Ennahar Online reports (Oudina, 7/10).

The increasing lack of water resources and low sustainable access to water and sanitation in several African countries significantly slows development, wealth creation and the eradication of poverty, according to a statement released by the leaders, Xinhua reports.  “Through the joint political weight of the G8 and the [African Union (AU)], we will ensure adequate momentum and commitment on water and sanitation improvements at national and international levels, for concrete results on the ground,” the document said. It added that African countries, led by the AU, would continue working to make water-related Millennium Development Goals a “top development priority,” according to Xinhua.

G8 countries will assist African countries with the development and implementation of national water and sanitation plans, the document said. “The countries pledged to continue working to consolidate and develop their cooperation with a view to present a strengthened Africa-G8 Partnership on Water and Sanitation by the end of 2009,” Xinhua writes. “The Africa Water Week due to take place in November in South Africa might provide an opportunity for tangible progress toward our common goal of meeting our water and sanitation challenges,” according to the statement (7/10).