WASH Leadership Summit
Eastern and Southern Africa

14 – 15 November 2023 | Addis Ababa | Ethiopia How to attend

While the world is progressing towards SDG6, Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where number of people without access to water, sanitation and hygiene(WASH) is increasing.

In the last two decades, 37 million more people in Sub-Saharan Africa are without basic water supply, and 247 million more are without basic sanitation. Despite all efforts being made, these gaps are growing.

The implications of limited access to basic WSS and a strategy to move away from business as usual in the sector were discussed at previous events, such as the UN (United Nations) Water Conference in March 2023 and the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings in April 2023.

During these high-level events, the African Ministers of Water and of Finance already embraced a strategy of “Systems Change” as a pathway to universal WASH access and committed to establishing and monitoring regional and country platforms to track progress.

About The Leadership Summit 2023

WASH Leadership Summit will build on previous discussions and advance the dialogue to accelerate access to WASH.

It will provide an opportunity for in-depth discussions to understand the implications of implementing Systems Change and serve as an interactive platform for stakeholders such as water sector ministers, finance ministers, development partners, and private sector leaders to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

The two-day event will primarily focus on Private Capital Enabling and Mobilization. It will promote critical, tangible inputs on strategies, actions, and policy reforms to boost private sector financing and participation.

This meeting will help identify and seize opportunities to increase private and public funding and implement the necessary sector reforms to serve all Eastern and Southern African residents still lacking access to WASH.

In addition, discussions at the Summit will center around four additional strategic actions of Systems Change:

  • Addressing sector governance bottlenecks;
  • Re-aligning sector wide incentives
  • Designing WASH systems resilient to climate change and increasing demands for water
  • Establishing country and regional financing platforms.

Expected Outcome

A Joint Commitment/Communique from Ministers of Water and of Finance to accelerate universal access to WASH in their countries.

Who is attending

  • Ministers of Water and of Finance from 23 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and their associates
  • Development Partner representatives
  • Private Sector representatives
  • World Bank Group representatives

Confirmed Country Participants


Tuesday - 14 Nov 2023

Wednesday - 15 Nov 2023


Registration and Networking


Welcome and Introductions

  • Welcome Address


Keynote Speeches

  • What will it take for the private sector to invest in Africa’s Water?
  • Improving efficiency in WASH to achieve credit worthiness by utilities


Coffee Break


Bridging the WASH Access and Financing Gap


Tapping into private finance. Examples of Success

  • Role of Microfinance in Achieving Universal Access – Example from Bangladesh
  • The Pathway towards Creditworthiness. The case of NWSC in Uganda
  • Establishing PPPs to Scale Up Access – The case of Senegal




Moderated Ministerial Roundtable

Reflections from Development Partners


Bilateral Meetings




Business Unusual – Looking Forward


Creating an Enabling Environment for Achieving Universal Access to WASH


Coffee Break


Sector Ministers Roundtable - Reflections and Way Forward




Closing Remarks


Lunch and Vote of Thanks


Bilateral Meetings