Last week, FLUSH was at the AfWA Conference! The conference was in Kampala, Uganda called the pearl of Africa and a great place to have a conference with thousands of sector professionals from across the continent.
We also attended the 29th SuSanA meeting before the conference, where we discussed private financing and creating systems change in the sector. We met more regional experts working on sanitation and, of course, made more friends.
Some of our key takeaways from the conference:
-Business Models: Sanitation needs to work on innovating and rethinking our business models if we want to foster an environment where private financiers (like impact investors, commercial banks, etc.) are interested in and actively funding the sector with different kinds of finance products - either debt or equity.
-Make It Fun: When we talk about toilets and sanitation solutions, it would benefit everyone if we could find the "hooks" to generate more interest from stakeholders. That means, the sector needs to improve our communications about our work and speak with less jargon that gets in the way of the messaging. FLUSH can help with this challenge - our recently published blog posts and edutainment classes are available for interested partners' use.
-Be Bilingual: Many of the conference's attendees were from francophone countries in Africa, and we were impressed by how many interesting projects were happening in those places. The key challenge - many of them struggled with sharing their work in English. We also had a handful of Mozambiquans (who speak Portuguese) there who would have benefited from sharing more with everyone. If we're going to collaborate and learn from each other in the continent, maybe we could all take more language classes.
We look forward to attending more conferences and continuing our relationships with new partners.