A statement from AMCOW said the development followed the endorsement of the nomination of the Nigerian Minister currently the AMCOW Vice President (West Africa) to act in that position in place of the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Arab Republic of Egypt following the recent suspension of Egypt from the membership of the African Union.
AMCOW is a Specialized Technical arm of the AU.
In a letter conveying the AMCOW Executive Committee decision, the AMCOW Executive Secretary, Mr Bai Mass Taal said that the decision was in consonance with the provisions of the AMCOW Governance that where the AMCOW President is unable to function in that office for any reason, the AMCOW Executive Committee shall designate one of the AMCOW Vice Presidents to act in that office.
“We are proud of the (AMCOW) Ministers’ decision recognizing your leadership acumen as an invaluable asset in providing strong global representation and voice for Africa especially as the continent strives to meet the MDG targets on water and sanitation, and the avowed quest of the global water community to have universal access to water and sanitation as a distinct goal in the post 2015 development agenda.” Mr Taal said.
Ochekpe would lead African Ministers responsible for water resources management and sanitation in the continent in articulating policy issues and leading global awareness and advocacy on the management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development in the continent.
Speaking on the issue, Ochekpe told Daily Trust that she would bring her wealth of experience from the Nigerian water sector to bear in her new responsibility.
She said the body would continue to push for the inclusion of water as a stand a lone in the post 2015 MDG discussion as well as ensure that women and youth issues are given necessary attention in the sector.
“As the leader of AMCOW, I will encourage member states to consider Nigeria’s water sector funding model to ensure that we deliver on our made of increasing access to water on the continent,” she added.
AMCOW which was created in 2002 is recognised as a specialized Technical Committee for Water and Sanitation in the African Union. It provides political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems.