Nepad short-term action plan (stap)




НазваниеNepad short-term action plan (stap)
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4. STRATEGIC GOAL




4.1 Issues to be Addressed



4.1.1 Assessment of the existing situation in the seven transboundary river basins have shown that most of the water sector issues that are applicable at continental level are equally relevant though the degree of severity of the problem might differ to some extent in each of the basins. Poverty is an overarching issue and development and action plans in the respective basins have objectives of poverty alleviation and socio-economic growth.


4.1.2 With respect to sector goals, the main issues comprise of meeting basic needs, ensuring water security, establishing or strengthening cooperative frameworks, improving water wisdom and strengthening human resources capacities.


4.1.3 The STAP-TWR would thus address the specific issues related to the management of transboundary water resources through implementation of action plans specific to each river basin. Meeting these challenges would result in strengthening the enabling environment for further cooperation and also pave the way to implement priority projects and joint investments that generate win-win benefits.

4.2 Stages and Processes Towards Effective River Basin Management



4.2.1 Assessment of existing transboundary basin management systems on the continent as well as international experience show that though there is no blueprint for the development of effective river basin management systems, there are a number of processes and activities that are regarded as applicable or common. The process leading to a fully operational and sustainable transboundary basin management system involves a number of key activities as follows:


  • Initiation Stage – involving identification of key stakeholders, establishment of rules and procedures for the process.

  • Shared Vision Process – activities for the identification and adoption of a common vision

  • Establishment of Institutional and Legal Framework – establishment of legal framework, followed by establishment and development of the river basin organization.

  • Information Collection, Processing and Sharing – building up a water resources information base for joint planning and development of common water resources.

  • Development Planning of investment projects.

  • Implementation of Infrastructure Development at national and basin levels.

  • Operation, Maintenance and Management of Infrastructure.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation.


4.2.2 Effective river basin management system would require parallel development at both national and international (river basin) levels, as they are interdependent. The stages or activities towards effective river basin management at both national and international (river basin) levels are outlined in Chart 1. The time needed to achieve effective management is dependant on the circumstances in each river basin. Chart 2 provides the status of the seven river basins with respect to these stages of development of effective river basin management institutions.


4.2.3 The ultimate goal of the institutional development process is the establishment of a fully functioning viable institution for joint management of a transboundary basin. Information available from the seven transboundary basins indicates that the processes followed towards an effective institutional arrangement have varied considerably. However, it is possible to identify three model processes: the Senegal/Niger/Lake Chad model, the SADC model, and the Nile model.


4.2.4 The Senegal/Niger/Lake Chad institutional development process involved the initial establishment of a river basin organization with limited mandate (initially, river transport), and subsequent development to an institution for basin-wide management of water resources and joint ownership water infrastructure. In the case of the Senegal, the fully fledged river basin organization was reached with the adoption of the Water Charter in may 2002. The SADC model involved a process of adoption of a legal and policy framework (the SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses) followed by the establishment of a river basin organization (ZAMCOM). The Nile model, on the other hand, has opted for confidence building measures and investment projects to move the riparian states towards cooperation before the establishment of a river basin framework. Chart 3 indicates the processes and time frame as reconstructed from available information. A number of lessons may be deduced from this analysis; the most important being:


  • The establishment of transboundary basin institutions is a complex process that is deeply influenced by the cooperative environment among the riparian states. The timing can only be facilitated, but not easily predictable.




  • There is no blue print or standard approach applicable to all situations.




  • Existence of an overall cooperative climate may facilitate institutional development. For the Zambezi Basin, negotiations for a river basin organization took place within the framework of a regional treaty (SADC Treaty) with specific cooperative instrument for water resources management, the SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses. ZAMCOM negotiations were concluded in a time period of only two years. This is in contrast to the Nile Basin negotiation process that was initiated in 1997, but is still far from conclusion. For Senegal Basin, it has been 30 years from the establishment of the RBO to a comprehensive institution anchored by the Water Charter.




  • Cooperation in establishing a cooperative framework is likely to be stronger and sustainable when it is home grown rather than being driven by external forces. However there is some value in strategic inputs from parties external to the region/basin.




  • The institutional development process requires an institution to drive it forward. In the case of the Nile, it is the Nile Basin Initiative, while in the Zambezi Basin it is the SADC Water Sector.


4.2.5 The role of NEPAD STAP for transboundary water resources would be to contribute to the development of effective management of the river basins through the implementation of catalytic activities that pave the way towards enhanced cooperation along the general process outlined in Chart 1. Activities in each river basin would thus need to be selected depending on the need and stage of cooperative development in each river basin and would be of a continuous nature, completion of one set of activities triggering further activities or projects to move the cooperation to the next higher stage. As the STAP would be carried to 2007, some activities would roll-on into the NEPAD MLTSF.

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