dws-a4a-my-water-event-opening-770px'My water, my business' was the title of the conference organised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 19 and 20 March on the occasion of World Water Day. Thirty local businesses in water supply and sanitation showcased their products and services.

Dutch organisations Aqua for All and IRC Wash supported the event that focused on the supply to households.

Pioneering new approach
Ethiopia is pioneering new approaches in water, sanitation and hygiene (WasH) that draw upon the resources of local people, communities and entrepreneurs to further improve water security, food security and wealth. The conference in Addis Ababa included two events that tapped into these new efforts and connected sector policy-makers, development partners and professionals.

The key message: households can do a lot themselves to improve their water and sanitation facilities and related hygiene practices, which are underpinned by the efforts of utilities, governments and other traditional service providers.

Acceleration of self-supply
Dutch organisations Aqua for All and IRC Wash are currently involved in a Self-Supply Acceleration program with US-based Millennium Water Alliance (MWA). Self-supply is about households taking the lead in investing in their own water and sanitation services.

Aqua for All’s specific contribution in this program is to support local private sector development to deliver those goods and services to meet household demands.

dws-a4a-my-water-fair-350px Entrepeneurs showcased their products and participated in a matchmaking event.

Matchmaking event
As part of this programme, Aqua for all - together with Ministry of Water (Ethiopia), JICA (Japan), MWA (USA) , IRC (Netherlands) and Water.org (USA) co-organised a self-supply business fair and a matchmaking event.

At the fair/exhibition more than 30 entrepreneurs showcased their products and services, targeting urban and rural household markets.

During an exciting afternoon session, five ambitious WASH-related entrepreneurs pitched their business cases to an experienced panel of experts, chaired by Aqua for All's director Sjef Ernes.

The panel provided feedback and offered links to potential new partners, customers or funders to improve and accelerate the business opportunities. This kind of matchmaking between entrepreneurs and potential partners appeared to be very new to the Ethiopian context – but was clearly received with great enthusiasm.

This news item was originally published on the website of Aqua for All.

Also read on this website
Selling not telling approach boosts lasting hygiene and sanitation behaviour in Bangladesh, 29 December 2014
IRC and Aqua for All to support Millennium Water Alliance in second phase Ethiopia WASH program, 13 October 2014
Stockholm Water Week: Joint water-energy supplies in poor areas not as obvious as it seems, 8 September 2014
Dutch WASH partners launch WaterCompass for selection of appropriate water technology, 27 February 2014
Local enterprises hold key to low cost water supply in developing countries, 18 December 2011

More information
Aqua for All
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 3519 725