A Continent
of Leaders

Last month, Water4’s local partners, trainers and business leaders from 12 different countries came together in Kigali, Rwanda for a week of training, development and team-building at the annual Water4 Leader’s Summit. The summit is a time each year when Water4 digs deep into vision, mission, core values, business & technical skills, and personal leadership development with our local partners to equip them with the tools they need to continue multiplying their impact. Water4 CEO, Matt Hangen, shares some of the highlights from the week in the Q&A below:

Tell us about the Water4 Leader’s Summit in your own words.

The Leader’s Summit is one of our most important events of the year as leaders from Water4 partner enterprises gather for a time of: learning, sharing a high level look at the exciting developments occurring around the world in their enterprises, going deep into annual planning, reorienting around a shared vision, and reimagining together. The 2019 summit focused on trainers from the 12 countries represented, who work to develop the competency of their enterprises in everything from water well drilling, piped water installation and management, financial stewardship, impact and quality, health and hygiene, leadership, discipleship and more.

Benjamin Liringa Koli (AEDR Managing Director, Democratic Republic of Congo) and Joseph Agali (Water4 International Discipleship Training Manager)


How does the summit advance Water4’s mission?

Water4 works with our local partners to help them develop 10 different areas of competency needed for sustainably addressing the water crisis. Having all of the trainers together for a week gave us the opportunity to work on short term, intermediate and long term goals. The alignment and synergy from having experts in each of those 10 competencies all together in one room, sharing where they’re taking their enterprises and communities was powerful and will continue to ripple out into our programs for years to come.

Yidana Mahami (Water4/Access Development National Director, Ghana)


What was the goal of this year’s summit?

Our main goal was to dig deep into where we’re going 5-10 years from now and envision the details of that as a leadership team. It’s always been important for Water4 to do this together with our local partners so we can all move forward in lock step together toward our shared purpose.

Water4 Core Competency Matrix


What was your favorite part of the summit?

My favorite part of the summit was the big blocks of time we took each day in individual and corporate prayer. It was such a good reminder that, even though we had the best minds in the world together in that one place, the best use of our time was to come together and pray for each nation, each leader and each aspect we’re trying to influence. As a “doer” it’s so hard for me to not just jump into strategy sessions sometimes but this year we really did a good job remembering who’s giving us the increase we’re seeing.

What’s one takeaway for you as you look back on the 2019 Leader’s Summit?

Water4 is passionate about empowerment but it isn’t hands off. We’re a team of creative rebels spread across the globe looking carefully at the line between the impossible and improbable unafraid to attempt the latter for the sake of others. Our local partners, trainers, and business leaders are all doing things that have never been done before and we can attempt the extraordinary because of the power of being “one.”

Benjamin Liringa Koli (AEDR Managing Director), Christelle Kwizera (Water Access Rwanda Managing Director) and Matt Hangen (Water4 CEO). Photobomb by Yidana Mahami (Water4/Access Development Ghana National Director)

Want to learn more about Water4? Curious how you can empower local heroes to solve their water crisis? Shoot us an email at hello@water4.org.

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