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Water and the Development of Africa

Past, Present, and Future

Kwadwo A. Sarfoh

This book examines Africa’s water resources from pre-historic times to the present, illustrating how Africans and their rulers formulated water management systems to support water-sector activities including irrigation, livestock raising, fishing, river transportation, industry, and the generation of hydropower so crucial to the continent’s socio-economic transformation of its communities.
The recent increasing demand for water by Africa’s growing population makes it clear that new water management strategies are necessary for the continent to benefit from sustained development. In the face of ongoing water shortages caused by reduced rainfall, frequent droughts, and global warming, new political and economic arrangements are essential to ensure cooperative use of available water resources. Kwadwo A. Sarfoh argues that such arrangements will inevitably bring peace to countries that share river basins.
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While writing this book, I benefited from the advice, guidance and deep understanding of Africa offered by a host of colleagues. First and foremost, Dr. Marcel Kitissou of Cornell University provided sound advice and useful feedback. Dr. Gariba Abdul-Korah of The College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York, reviewed the entire manuscript, offering fresh insight into the content of the book. My sincere gratitude is extended to these and other fine colleagues.

I am also indebted to Professor Emeritus Jogindar Uppal and Dr. Marcia E. Sutherland, both of the State University at Albany, Albany, New York, for their encouragement and support. Each offered helpful comments and suggestions regarding the book’s content and presentation.

This book has also benefited from the steady hand of Ms. Judith Hehir, who carefully edited the manuscript. Finally, the book you are reading would not have been possible without Ms. Ronaline Saunders and her tireless work typing the manuscript.

Lastly, I am infinitely grateful to my family for their interest in and support of this book. To my wife, Comfort Sarfoh, I extend deepest thanks for her patience and undying support. To my children I wish to express profound appreciation for their inspiration.

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