Water in Africa: Hydro-Pessimism or Hydro-Optimism?
Centre of African Studies - Porto, Portugal
2-3 October 2008
How are water resources being managed in Africa? What are the main challenges concerning access, distribution and allocation of freshwater resources in the continent? What are the driving forces that shape current and future demand for water? What are the solutions being developed by communities, policy-makers, private sector and environmental activists? What are water scientists and international donor organisations contributing?
Pessimists highlight water scarcity and insecurity, water inequity and the conflict potential at local and regional levels. They forecast a gloomy future for Africa. Can they be wrong?
Optimists emphasise the potential of improved water management practices, water policy reforms and socially, economically and environmentally sustainable policies. They argue that local adaptive capacities can be enhanced and regional hydropolitical cooperation can be established. Water optimists believe in windows of opportunity to improve water resources management and that Africa's water crises can be addressed. Can they be right?
The Centre of African Studies invites researchers and practitioners to contribute with water management experiences and case-studies from the diverse regions of Africa, and to participate in a wide debate on hydro-pessimism and hydro-optimism in the African context.
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