Institutions and Transboundary Water Resources Management in Southern Africa

Reniko Gondo and Oluwatoyin D. Kolawole


Institutions, governance, transboundary, southern Africa


Globally, water is critical for the survival of humans and biodiversity conservation. This natural resource is pertinent for the enhancement of social and economic development in southern Africa. However, studies have shown that water supplies continue to dwindle in the region because of resource depletion and pollution due to population growth and industrialisation, respectively. As the livelihoods of most people in southern Africa are dependent on the use of international rivers, this paper analyses the major water governing institutions in their regulatory roles of providing access to and use of transboundary water resource in the region. The paper uses critical review of literature to carry out institutional analyses in the management of water resources in southern African region. The need for collaboration in the management of trans-boundary rivers arises just as the activities in one country often have effects on neighbouring countries. This paper therefore analyses institutional regulations and principles for enhancing cooperation among southern African countries. Major findings show that water has the potential to engender warfare.

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