Special Nile Day 2022: Women in water diplomacy network in the Nile and beyond
In this editorial, Dr Zodwa Dlamini lays the vision for the Women in Water Diplomacy Leadership Council for 2022 and beyond.
Compliments of the New Year to all the Women in Water Diplomacy Network members in the Nile Basin and Central Asia-Afghanistan, women engaged in transboundary water management and governance, and all the various Women in Water Networks on the African continent, the Americas, Europe, globally and our development partners. The close of year 2021 heralded an innovative phase for the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and its newly established first Women in Water Diplomacy Leadership Council with our first virtual Council workshop hosted by SIWI. Through this workshop we laid a solid foundation and a vision for the Network through the Nile and Beyond Global Strategy.
It is essential to note that the Nile and Beyond Strategy seeks to empower our Nile Basin Network Members and Beyond with our vision and focus on empowerment and joint learning among our members. Like any other strategy, ours too, is a living document that will evolve and remain flexible so as to address and respond to various challenges faced by the diversity of country contexts encountered by our members. It is our quest that our stead-fast development partners who have been with us since the beginning, as well as potential new partners will together with us continue to promote and grow the base of women experts and leaders in Water Diplomacy and transboundary matters globally.
As the Council, the ‘Beyond’ aspect of the strategy is truly exciting! ‘Beyond’ speaks to the inclusivity of all other regions ranging from the African continent, our Central Asia-Afghanistan sisters, the Americas, Europe, and elsewhere – and opens the doors for exchange of knowledge and experiences as we share and learn from each other. Most importantly, the strategy already lays the blueprint for those women in water diplomacy that still mull the idea of establishing their own basin network. It is our express hope that our Nile Basin Women in Water Diplomacy members, will continue in earnest to engage with the Nile and Beyond Strategy with the support of both the Council and the Women in Water Diplomacy Process Support Team at SIWI.
For us 2022 is the year of rigorous implementation of the Nile and Beyond Strategy while building connections with development partners and sister networks globally. The fact that the relaunch of the Women in Water Diplomacy Nile and Beyond Newsletter coincides with the special Nile Day 2022, speaks to our commitment to ensuring that voices of various members beyond the Nile will be afforded a platform to express their views and share their activities from which we will also learn.
On behalf of the Women in Water Diplomacy Leadership Council I would like to thank SIWI’s Africa Regional Center (ARC) and all members of the Women in Water Diplomacy Process Support Team at SIWI, Mr. Håkan Juholt, Swedish Ambassador to South Africa and his staff for hosting the launch of the Nile Basin and Beyond Strategy in December 2021, the development and implementation partners who joined us, and all the various Network members that participated and offered valuable inputs in the enhancement of the strategy thus far. We further thank all development partners that have pledged their support going forward as we forge ahead to grow Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile and Beyond.
I would like to reiterate to our young professionals and all interested parties that we stand ready with our broad shoulders to lift you up, for you to learn as much as you can in this field of Water Diplomacy. As the Women in Water Diplomacy Leadership Council we have committed ourselves to serve you with diligence, honour, and integrity. May 2022 be the year of our excellence and achievement.
On behalf of the Women in Water Diplomacy Leadership Council,
Dr Zodwa Dlamini, Independent Consultant and Former Chief Delegate and Permanent Representative on the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission