The Stakeholders Meeting of the 9th World Water Forum was held on 14 and 15 October 2021 at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Centre (CICAD) in Diamniadio. Under the effective chairmanship of Mr Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Water and Sanitation of Senegal, and co-organised by the Executive Secretariat of the Forum and the World Water Council, the meeting allowed for the stabilisation of the thematic process, an update on the Dakar 2022 initiative and the sharing of logistical information.
In terms of participation, the meeting was a success because despite the constraints of the health situation, 430 people were present at CICAD, while 460 people were connected via the digital platform to follow the meeting remotely. Overall, it brought together political actors, civil society, youth, women, academics and researchers, the private sector, etc.
The meeting allowed to establish links and synergies between the different stakeholders, especially between the thematic stream and the political segments (ministerial, parliamentary, local/territorial authorities, basin organisations). The core and cross-cutting themes were also stabilised to provide meaningful inputs for the development of the final Forum programme by the International Steering Committee.
Informative parallel sessions on the Forum priorities were held to present the selected sessions, and to discuss and amend the key policy messages proposed by the steering groups of each priority concerned. In total, 92 sessions were validated by the International Steering Committee, of which 21 for the "water security and sanitation" priority, 22 for the "water for rural development" priority, 23 for the "cooperation" priority and 26 for the "means and tools" priority.
In each of the parallel sessions, the participants analysed the messages proposed to the different categories of actors targeted for each priority, using the framework proposed by the scientific steering committee. These categories of actors are Heads of State, Ministers, Parliamentarians, Local Authorities, Basin Authorities, etc. The deliberations of the different sessions are being validated and will be presented in the report of the stakeholders' meeting.
The Stakeholders Meeting was also enhanced by high-level sessions on the one hand on the presentation of the key actions of the working groups by the co-chairs and on the other hand, on discussions on the political issues of the Forum. Meetings of the political segments were also organised on the fringes of the work, firstly for local and regional authorities and basin organisations, and secondly for parliamentarians. These meetings enabled the political segments to exchange on the strategies and modalities of their mobilisation towards Dakar 2022 and on their programme for the Forum.
During the meeting, an update was given on the "Dakar 2022 Initiative", which represents a major innovation of the 9th World Water Forum and the materialisation of the vision "from commitments to concrete actions on the ground". To date, 71 relevant projects have been labelled through an evaluation and selection process by an international jury. The labelled projects will benefit from the promotion actions implemented in the framework of the Forum. The collection of applications for labelling will continue until 30 November 2021.
The international partners (ADB, World Bank, UNESCO, Arab League, France, Japan, Morocco, etc.) reaffirmed during the meeting their commitment to support Senegal for the success of the Forum in order to contribute to the improvement of access to water and sanitation throughout the world. Abdoulaye Sène, Executive Secretary of the Forum, expressed his satisfaction that the Stakeholders' Meeting had achieved its objectives thanks to the high level of participation and the results of the parallel sessions, which will help to structure the thematic content of the Forum. He also reassured the stakeholders from all over the world that Senegal is already ready to welcome them in March 2022 for a historic and effective Forum.