Improving Drought Resilience of Sub-Saharan Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges in Irrigation and Water Governance

27.06.2017 | Bonn

Event series „Research Meets Development: Drought Resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa” from 06.04.2017 to 13.07.2017

The agricultural sector of many sub-Saharan (SSA) countries is already now strongly affected by climate change and increasing climate variability and drought conditions. Irrigation is one way to adapt and to reduce reliance of agricultural production on erratic rainfall and droughts. However, in SSA experiences with public investments in irrigation have been mixed, at best. This raises the question what models exist for sustainable irrigation investments and management in SSA, and what are the implications of land-use change on more traditional livelihoods of smallholders, fishermen and herders which heavily rely on traditional common pool resource governance regimes. In a context where countries opt for the expansion of irrigated areas and where at the same time water demand is increasing from outside the agricultural sector, effective, flexible water allocation regimes and effective implementing institutions are key in order to react to changing hydrological circumstances, and competing water demands. This, however, can be a challenge if existing water regimes are characterized by historical rights, preferences and usage patterns, and vested interests.

Zambia is a case where both trends and challenges can be studied: (i) The Zambian government has set up an ambitious program aiming at commercializing its agricultural sector by means of opening up new areas for irrigated agriculture, and developed an inclusive approach to integrate smallholders. (ii) Since the enactment of the new Water Resources Management Act in 2011, Zambia is in the process of setting up a new water governance regime including new management institutions and a new allocation regime, a process supported by the German government.

Waltina Scheumann (DIE)
Christof Sonderegger (GIZ)
Tobias Haller (University of Bern)

UNCCD, BMZ, Universität Bonn, DW, DIE, GIZ, KfW, ZEF

The event series will be held in English language.

The lectures in detail:

06.04.2017 – Opening Event: Drought resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa and its relevance for food security, conflict and migration

24.04.2017 – Enhancing Drought Resilience through Comprehensive Early Warning Systems

11.05.2017 – Drought Resilience Crops: Unapt Techno-mix or Key indeed to Drought Resilience?

31.05.2017 – Social Protection – A Main Pillar in Drought Resilience? Practical Experiences and Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

27.06.2017 – Improving Drought Resilience of Sub-Saharan Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges in Irrigation and Water Governance

06.07.2017 – Interventions in Rural Dynamics - Research and Development Work in the Context of Pastoral Societies in Afar/Ethiopia

13.07.2017 – Closing Event: Drought Resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa - Lessons Learned for Cooperative Action

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tulpenfeld 6
53113 Bonn

Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 17:30 till 20:00


Ina Klemke (DIE)


Further information and registration: