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1 Water and Health In Africa Dr. Narciso Matos, Executive Director, Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique Keynote address at the Third Annual.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Water and Health In Africa Dr. Narciso Matos, Executive Director, Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique Keynote address at the Third Annual."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Water and Health In Africa Dr. Narciso Matos, Executive Director, Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique Keynote address at the Third Annual International Conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative, Dakar, Senegal, November , 2007

2 Outline Water, Health and the MDGs Role of Science in Setting Priorities for Good Governance The Role of Academies of Science 2

3 3 Millennium Development Goals By 2015… Goal 1: Eradicate poverty & hunger - halve proportion of people living on < $1 a day Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education Goal 3: Promote gender equity – eliminate gender disparity in...all levels of education

4 4 Millennium Development Goals By 2015… Goal 4: Reduce child mortality - reduce by 2/3 under-five mortality rate. Goal 5: Improve maternal health - reduce by ¾ maternal mortality ratio. Goal 6: Combat disease – halt and begin to reverse spread of HIV/AIDS.

5 5 Millennium Development Goals By 2015… Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability – … halve proportion of people without …access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Goal 8: Develop global partnership – …. make debt sustainable in the long term.

6 Place of Water in the MDGs 5 of the 8 MDGs deal explicitly with issues of access to food and improvement of health Hereby the central place of water cannot be overemphasized Hunger, malnutrition and water-born diseases remain the top challengers of the lives and well-being, especially of rural communities Time spent and distances covered to fetch drinking water also impact directly in the ability of children to go to school 6

7 Place of Water in the MDGs Water is also determinant for the establishment of human settlements To be close to water-sources communities wage wars; conflicts between humans and animals (elephants and other) are in the increase The centrality of water explains and justifies the theme and subthemes of this conference 7

8 Theme: Water and Health in Africa Subthemes 1 - Access to water 2 - Water and related diseases 3 - Water disasters and catastrophes 4 - Water resources management and governance 8

9 Role of Science in Setting Priorities for Good Governance Role of science begins with careful identification of priorities as seen and set by peoples and communities: –is it expanding access to water? –Is it the availability of gainful employment? –Is it building more schools for the children? –Is it building new health centers? 9

10 Role of Science in Setting Priorities for Good Governance Role of science is to research, value and promote the use of effective indigenous knowledge, beliefs and practices to produce and store food, understand and treat disease, etc. Role of science is to bridge the divide between western-centric knowledge and indigenous-African knowledge 10

11 Role of Science in Setting Priorities for Good Governance Role of Science is to help us do things differently, not just to do more of the same, to enable us to achieve MDGs and promote the well-being of communities Role of science is to help increase agricultural yields, combat crops diseases, establish effective agricultural extension, design reliable and effective systems of food marketing, storage and distribution 11

12 Role of Science in Setting Priorities for Good Governance Role of science is to equip people with knowledge and information to make and implement science-based decisions Role of science is to promote the understanding, deference and respect for knowledge The latter role, leads directly to the rational and role of African Academies of Science 12

13 The Role of Academies of Science Science becomes useful if translated in a language that people and policymakers understand and use Science becomes useful and accepted if it is unequivocally based on research and evidence, if it is reviewed and vetted by the best experts in the field 13

14 The Role of Academies of Science Science becomes useful, accepted, looked after and integrated into policy if it is: –independent from political influence –independent from the influence of markets and other interests –not political and not aligned with government of political parties –only subjected to the rules and procedures of the scientific process 14

15 The Role of Academies of Science What I described to you is the role of academies of science: –To take or accept to deal with key issues facing society –To set up transparent and independent processes of review of scientific evidence –To prepare and publish thoroughly reviewed and completely independent reports on those issues 15

16 The Role of Academies of Science I therefore salute and support the African Science Academy Development Initiative for its goals of: –Building African academies capacity and enabling them to make science more relevant for policy making than it has been the case in the past –Developing a pan-African and global network of academies 16

17 The Role of Academies of Science I urge you all to make this conference an opportunity to –Reflect upon and deepen our service and participation in the work of Academies –Reflect upon the models that fit national traditions but add service to the honor of being academy members I wish us all a very successful conference and thank you for your attention! 17


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