Development of the Strategic Plan for the Zambezi Watercourse which started in January this year, is progressing well with the second round of stakeholder consultations now underway in all the Riparian States. The consultations are held under the auspices of National Stakeholders’ Coordination Committees (NASCs) established in each of the eight countries that share the Zambezi River Basin.
NASCs are stakeholder platforms that ensure that there is effective engagement of key stakeholders in the Riparian States for the Zambezi Basin. Representation on NASCs is drawn from major relevant stakeholder institutions and bodies in each Riparian State including government, non-governmental organisations, academia, civil society, traditional leadership and other groups.
Development of the Strategic Plan for the Zambezi is one of ZAMCOM’s core projects and input from stakeholders is considered as key to its success. Implementation for this two-year project started in January this year and is expected to end in January 2019. Stakeholder consultation at various levels is one of the methodologies being applied. Consultation will continue to take place at NASC, Basin-wide Stakeholders’ Coordination Committee (BASC), Joint Project Steering Committee (JPSP) and ZAMTEC levels.
The first round of consultations with NASCs were conducted in April 2017. At this stage, stakeholders made input into the second output – the situation analysis and strategic directions. And the second round of consultations is aimed at getting input into the fourth output – basin development of scenarios. It is expected that by the end of November, all Riparian States would have been consulted at NASC level.
In the context of the ZAMCOM Agreement, the Strategic Plan for the Zambezi Watercourse is defined as “…… a development plan comprising a general planning tool and process for the identification, categorization and prioritization of projects and programmes for the efficient management and sustainable development of the Zambezi Watercourse”.
The ZSP is expected to contribute to providing a basis for harmonized, basin-wide cooperation in the management and development of the water resources of the Zambezi watercourse.