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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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Appendix: Water: Conflict Chronology in Africa


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Water: Conflict Chronology in Africa

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NOTES Conflicts may stem from the drive to possess or control another nation’s water resources, thus making water systems and resources a political or military goal. Inequitable distribution and use of water resources, sometimes arising from a water development, may lead to development disputes, heighten the importance of water as a strategic goal or may lead to a degradation of another’s source of water. Conflicts may also arise when water systems are used as instruments of war, either as targets or tools. These distinctions are described in detail in Gleick (1993, 1998). Extracted from Water Conflict Chronology, September 2000. Version compiled by Peter Gleick.

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