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  • Bill Twyman

ESAWAS urban and rural WSS regulation in 54 African countries.

A well-functioning regulatory system is a key driver in delivering safe, equitable and reliable water supply and sanitation (WSS) services. However, there is limited up-to-date reference material on the different regulatory setups across Africa. This lack of information limits the understanding of common challenges and trends as well as the determination of good practices to serve as models for replication in countries looking to improve WSS regulation or institute necessary reforms.

Within this context, Aguaconsult (in partnership with Athena Infonomics and Emanti Management) recently led a large landscaping study for the Eastern and Southern African Water and Sanitation (ESAWAS) Regulators Association, detailing the status of urban and rural WSS regulation in 54 African countries. The continent-wide and regional (Northern, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern) reports present a wide range of country-specific information on the status of WSS regulation on a region-by-region and continent-wide basis along with a series of good practice and illustrative case studies. Key topics and findings detailed include:

  • The diversity of regulatory frameworks for WSS service delivery, and how most African countries have mixed frameworks comprising multiple regulatory forms.

  • How WSS regulation has recently started receiving more concerted attention in several countries but strengthening WSS regulation is typically an iterative and evolutionary process occurring over many years and even decades.

  • How regulatory activities focus on the primary WSS service providers such as national and regional utilities, with deconcentrated service providers such as vacuum tanker operators and water committees generally receiving limited (if any) oversight.

  • How considerable variations exist in the development and application of regulatory mechanisms between countries and regions.

  • How many best practices in WSS regulation have been developed across Africa, providing rich opportunities for learning and replication.

  • How regulation by agency generally performs better than other regulatory forms.

  • How the regulation of water supply services consistently fares better than sanitation.

An online webinar also provide an overview of the current status of WSS regulation across Africa.



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