Participation at 16th African Water Congress in Marrakech
In Marrakech, the fairy tale city from 1001 Nights and at the same time boom town of North Africa, the 16th African Water Congress (AFWA 2012) took place from Feb 20th till Feb 23rd. The AFWA, which takes place every two or three years, is the main event of the African water sector. In 2012 the motto was "Collaborative mechanisms and innovations for sustainable development water and sanitation sectors in Africa”.
Nearly all the African countries were represented at the congress, both by participants of the governments’ water authorities and by representatives of the most important consultants, universities, NGOs (like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and financing institutions, amongst others also the African Development Bank and the World Bank. Germany also was well represented, for instance, with a representative booth of German Water Partnership.
The congress also gives Dorsch Gruppe the opportunity to meet our current and potential contractors and partners in Africa and to exchange information and experiences. Our water experts Dr. Laure Nicolet-Misslbeck and Daphne Voss gave speeches in this excellent event. Both speeches, titled "Energy Optimization and Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Wastewater Treatment Plants" (L. Nicolet-Misslbeck) and "Innovative technologies for wastewater collection, treatment and reuse – solutions for touristic areas" (D. Voss), very successfully aroused interest in the expert audience.
The lectures and expert meetings were a great opportunity for expert talk and discussions. Especially the great diversity of the African continent and its countries’ different levels of development were reaccentuated. We have also learned that some countries have in the meantime got on their way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of the UNO, among them Morocco itself.
The Millennium Goals were decided by 198 UNO members, led by Kofi Annan in 2000. They define the eight most important development goals for the year 2015 for the fields of peace, security and demobilisation, development and combating poverty, protection of the environment, human rights, democracy and integer government.
In the plenum Daphne Voss asked if water supply resp. waste water disposal and treatment should take place one after the other or at the same time. Dr. Glen Daigger, president of the International Water Association, clearly answered that both development goals were equally important and thus should take place at the same time.
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