Gender Water & Development Conference Announces -New dates
The inaugural Gender Water & Development Conference originally planned to take place from 7-11 July 2014, in East London South Africa has been postponed till 3-7 November 2014. While the organisers acknowledge the considerable inconvenience that may result from the change in dates, all partners and hosts have committed to making the event a success and using the extended timeframe to strengthen the conference objectives.
While the conference agenda will continue to be guided by the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) Gender Strategy, several opportunities exist to consolidate and build on the existing programme. As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, the conference will act as a barometer for assessing how the world has performed on Goal 3, while also considering how gender equality is being considered in the Post 2015 agenda.
The postponement has proved unavoidable given the recently held elections in South Africa that has resulted in a new Cabinet. As one of the primary hosts of the conference, the Department of Water Affairs has recently undergone a strategic change that will see its mandate being expanded to not only manage the country’s national water resources but to also include sanitation. Incoming Minister for Water & Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane has expressed her commitment to meeting the basic needs of South Africa’s poorest people and has shown a geniuine sensitivity for how women and children remain the most vulnerable citizens despite 20 years of democracy.
By the time of the postponement, more than 320 delegates from 30 countries had registered to attend. The organisers deeply regret the financial implications that may result from changing flight arrangements but can confirm that they have received overwhelming support from local hotels and business to accommodate the new dates without any additional penalty.
“The success of our conference is dependent on the diverse participation of stakeholders across cultures, sectors and traditional boundaries to ensure that we deliver outcomes that are truly representative and participatory. To this end, we appeal to all our existing delegates to support the new dates and help us host a successful event.” Says Barbara Schreiner, Conference Chair.
East London, is regarded as South Africa’s fifth largest economy, based largely around its proximity the coast and deep port access, is situated in the Eastern Cape Province. Historically the poorest province in the country and the birthplace of former President Nelson Mandela, the Eastern Cape represents some of the most pristine natural landscapes and ecotourism destinations boasting five river mouths and the opportunity to see the Big 7 from its national parks.
Delegates, sponsors and exhibitors are encouraged to contact the Conference Secretariat for additional information or advice on how to manage their travel arrangements or to consult the conference website for updates at www.global-water-conference1.com