Hydro-Politics of the Eastern Nile and Senegal River Basins: A Comparative Study

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Addis Ababa University


As part of this study, hydro-politics is not really confined to conflict; rather, it has more to d with cooperation in the upstream-downstream relations. The Eastern Nile and Senegal River basins have been tested in this regards within the frame work of comparison. Albeit plenty of studies used for the comparison between the Nile River and different other river basins than Senegal River, they don‟t consider that the hydro-politics and water flow of the Nile is concentrated on its Eastern sub-basin. For this reason, the Eastern Nile is chosen to compare with the Senegal River basin. The purpose of the study is to make comparative analysis of hydropolitics of the Eastern Nile and Senegal River basins. To meet its objective, the study explores the most different system design approach under the general qualitative methodology. In doing so, the study utilizes both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary sources were gathered from key informants based on their expertise and knowledge to the issue while the secondary sources from various books, journal articles, magazines and open sources like websites. The study, therefore, examines various hydro-political issues of the two basins within the frame work of comparison. As finding unit of analysis, issues such as imbalanced of water contribution and benefits from the water resource, the increasing level of upstream riparian to the utilization of their respective water resources, drought and poverty impact, non –contracting riparian countries to the UN Convention as well as non-water issues of cooperation are analyzed. Moreover, variables like unilateralism over cooperation, existence of strong vs weak institutional mechanism and basin vs sub-basin hydro-politics are discussed. In general, the Senegal River basin is better in line of cooperation compared to the Eastern Nile. Thus, countries of the Eastern Nile need to take a lesson from the Senegal River basin. Key words: Hydro-politics, Cooperation, Eastern Nile River, Senegal River, and Shared River basin



Hydro-Politics, Cooperation, Eastern Nile River, Senegal River, Shared River basin