Dams, decisions, discourses and developments in Nile Basin Countries

The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) and the University of Iceland will co-host the workshop on 2 November in the Nordic House: "Dams, decisions, discourses and developments in Nile Basin Countries". Dr. Pétur Waldorff, UNU-GEST Senior researcher will participate in the workshop´s round table discussion.

Dams and irrigation systems are gaining renewed political and development priority across many countries in Africa. The reasons for this are multiple. African countries have been struggling to 1) supply nutritious, healthy and sufficient foods to its citizens, and 2) provide energy to industrialization and the rapid urban growth. Moreover, global processes such as climate change impacts are also requiring changes in agricultural systems. In this regard, climate resilient and green-growth strategies are championed as Africa’s main policy alternatives. As a result, African countries that aspire to accelerate their economies are heavily investing in water infrastructures. Large-scale and multipurpose dams and irrigation systems are being built across the continent. The aim of this workshop is 1) to deepen the understanding of the role of dams in development strategies in Africa and 2) to address some of the key gaps in knowledge in these areas and why some dams are implemented while others are not, and the rationale in the decision-making process when choosing irrigation, hydropower or multi-purpose dams. The workshop brings together researchers working on dams from theoretical perspectives and from different Nile Basin countries with a rich experience in large-scale dam and irrigation infrastructures.

The workshop will commence at 9:00 in the Nordic House meeting hall with opening remarks by the Permanent Secretary of State, Mr. Sturla Sigurjónsson and by Iina Soiri, Director of the Nordic Africa Institute. Kjell Havnevik, Terje Oestigaard, Atakilte Beyene and Helga Ögmundardóttir will present on issues within the thematic area.

In the afternoon, starting at 13:30, the event venue will move to the Conference Hall of the National Museum. Round table discussions commence at 15:00 with the participation of Dr. Pétur Skúlason Waldorff, Senior researcher at UNU-GEST, Dr. Jón Geir Pétursson, associated scholar at UNU-GEST, Dr. Sanna Ojalammi and Dr. Shilpa Asokan.

The event is free and open to all. Event program can be found here.