New thinking on the governance of water and river basins in Africa: Lessons from the SADC Region

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While Africa is well endowed with mineral resources, water remains a fundamental constraint to future economic growth and development. This report presents the current state of the art with respect to our knowledge of these complex linkages. It summarises a large quantity of diverse work and is presented in a way that is designed to help the reader who is a non-technical specialist to understand the need for joint management of the continent's shared water resources. Given the wide variety of historic, social, cultural, climatic and biophysical differences that collectively exist across the continent of Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region will be used as a case study. This does not imply that other regions of the continent are less important. The SADC region has a rich history of river basin management from which many lessons can be distilled and it is for this reason alone that it has been selected. The most comprehensive work has been presented in two unpublished reports. The objective of this thematic commissioned report is to make well-grounded policy recommendations leading to the enhanced development of Africa's natural resource endowment. This is biassed specifically towards the avoidance of conflict and the maximisation of utilisation of the shared resource to the collective benefit of the citizens of the continent.

Series Title:
Governance of Africa's Resources Programme
Series Number:
Research Report
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