Mapping of regulatory and monitoring arrangements for water and sanitation across Africa

January 15, 2022

First the good news. Important progress has been made across Africa in expanding access to water supply and sanitation services over the last decades. The percentage of households accessing at least a basic water supply service has risen from 48% in 2000 to 76% in 2020. Progress on the sanitation side has been slower, with the percentage of households accessing at least a basic sanitation service increasing from 25% in 2000 to 35% in 2020. However, transforming first time access into reliable and sustainable services and reaching all segments of society is the challenge and a fundamental element of service provision is addressed by regulation.

To investigate this challenge, the Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation (ESAWAS) Regulators Association - a regional network of water supply and sanitation regulators - has commissioned Aguaconsult to lead a continent-wide study supported by partners from Athena Infonomics and Emanti. ESAWAS recognises that regulation impacts society, and that a strong regulatory environment is one that balances social, environmental and economic interests, and increases public confidence and trust in government institutions, regulators and their decision-making process. This six-month study has the ambitious aim of researching and providing a snap-shot of the regulatory set up in all 55 countries as defined by the African Union. The study is due to be completed by April 2022 and good progress is being made in the country-level assessments which will be further analysed to identify regional and then continent-wide trends and gaps. Ultimately, the research seeks to assess the demand for a wider network of regulators and the need for training.

For further information about this study, contact the project manager, Bill Twyman.

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