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The Africa Water Vision for 2025: Equitable and Sustainable Use of Water for Socioeconomic Development

Author: Prof. Albert Wright, Dr. Stephen Donkor, Mr. Shehu Yahaya, Mr. Tefera Woudeneh
Organisation: Economic Commission for Africa, African Union, African Development Bank
Publish Date: July 2004
Country: Africa
Sector: Development
Method: Forecasting
Theme: Water
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Africa, Water, Development, Sustainability

At the dawn of the new millennium Africa faces a number of serious socio-economic problems that call for urgent remedial action if current trends towards endemic poverty and pervasive underdevelopment are to be turned around. The crucial role of water in accomplishing the needed socio-economic development goals is widely recognized. On the face of it, water should not pose a constraint to such development for Africa appears to have abundant water resources. It has large rivers, big lakes; vast water lands and limited, but widespread ground water resources. Moreover, it has a high potential for the development of hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, however, the sustainability of these water resources cannot be taken for granted for it is threatened by certain natural phenomena and human factors.

These threats pose challenges to the management of water resources on the continent and to the satisfaction of competing demands for basic water supply and sanitation, food security, economic development, and the environment.

It is widely recognized that the threats cannot be successfully addressed by adherence to business as usual in water resources management at national and regional levels. Such an approach would lead to disastrous consequences. It would lead to a future where available water resources would become inadequate to support competing demands for sustaining life, economic development and the environment. Addressing the threats calls for a new vision for water together with a framework for action designed to ensure that we are able to achieve the vision.

The Africa Water Vision for 2025 is thus designed to avoid the disastrous consequences of these threats and lead to a future where the full potential of Africa’s water resources can be readily unleashed to stimulate and sustain growth in the region’s economic development and social well-being.
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