Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Entretien avec Patrick Apoya

Africa Water Week has been a tremendous opportunity to network! I love hearing directly from people about their work and their motivation.

Below a quick interview with Patrick Apoya, Former Executive Secretary of CONIWAS and former board member of ANEW

You resigned from your position at CONIWAS and ANEW? So what brings you to AWW?

I resigned from CONIWAS to leave some time for entrepreneurial initiatives. I now split my time sector – 40% for private sector and 60% for NGO work – I work part time for Community Partnership for Health and Development (CPHD) in Accra.

So you are still fully invested in water and sanitation and health?

Yes, definitely. I mostly work through CPHD and CONIWAS – but I still support ANEW and the ANEW board with other things – reviewing documents and case studies and for events like this when they want to galvanize the most support. They call on me and I do not hesitate.

Why do you think ANEW is important?

For me, ANEW is a credible bridge between citizens at the grassroots and policy-makers at very high-levels – building trust t between citizens and their governments, clarifying the things that both sides do understand about each other etc. This is critical in building the mutual respect, trust and cooperation for sustainable development. 

ANEW’s connections with civil groups, formal NGOs and community groups which enable them to distill best practice and innovation and share these with policy-makers is an incredible role and integral to the development process in all sectors.  

Also, the global framework provided by the Freshwater Action Network (FAN) of which ANEW is a key part gives us many opportunities to connect with colleagues on other continents, give each other peer support, share what we are learning and influence each other laterally and vertically. By being a part of FAN, we learn what community groups in rural Central America and urban India are doing and this informs our work greatly because we can share our successes and challenges and solve these global problems in solidarity. Networked in this way, with the support of the FAN Secretariat, we are also able to better influence bringing local expertise to the global level.

What do you think is the next step for ANEW?

ANEW’s focus should not be about building new relationships at the moment per say, but to increasingly utilize the space within the relationships that it has – proving its value by continuing to raise the voices of the community all the way to the global policy level.  

Below, Patrick Apoya, left shares his copy of the FAN Activist Handbook on Rights to Water and Sanitation. 


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