A process that is open to the contribution of all

IUCN believes that the dialogue can be enriched and the highest level of consensus reached by involving the various segments of the society that can add value to the approval process of major hydraulic infrastructures projects.

Therefore the contribution of the different following groups is desirable:

  • The civil society

IUCN calls on the civil society to get involved in the dialogue so as to gather as many viewpoints and experiences as possible with the purpose of enriching the components of the consensus on major hydraulic infrastructures projects in West Africa.

  • The Parliamentarians

They are responsible for conveying the aspirations of the people to development and therefore can translate their recommendations to increased incorporation of their views in the conclusions stemming from the dialogue. They are represented at ECOWAS in the form of an ECOWAS Parliament. In addition to parliamentarians, the members of the Executive Secretariat, the Council, the Secretary General of the Parliament, staff members, the parliament has experts in all development fields to guide the parliamentarians in the debates and decisions during the sessions...

  • The users

The various users (irrigation, hydro-power, recreation, fishermen, pastoralists, river transporters,…) are also urged to give their viewpoints on the identification and implementation processes of major hydraulic infrastructures

A multi-actor process of interest to all sectors

The pilot ECOWAS

The ECOWAS Water Resource Coordination Centre (ECOWAS/WRCC) is the owner of the study and contracting authority.

A panel of experts is put in place as a WRCC consultative body

The activities of the panel are placed under the supervision of the Director of the Centre. Only WRCC is responsible for publishing the reports of the panel. The high level consultant experts are duty-bound to observe confidentiality. The panel is made up of  a wide range of expertises:

  1. A water resources specialist as the coordinator.
  2. An environmental sciences specialist.
  3. A social scientist, specialist in the participatory approach.
  4. An economist.
  5. A specialized agricultural engineer specialized in irrigation.
  6. A dam specialist with hydro-power skills.
  7. A legal expert, specialist in international water and environmental law

The International Office of the Water ( OIEau) is appointed by the ECOWAS as the consultant


The States and basin organisations are requested to review decision-making processes




ECOWAS calls on IUCN, WWF and GWP  to contribute their expertise  

The technical partners members of the Steering Committee will contribute each in their respective field of competence.




Studies in the pipeline

  • Study on the identification of existing infrastructures and those in the pipeline and analysis of consultation frameworks
  • Analysis of the decision-making process and drafting of recommendations of decision-making mechanisms
  • Analysis of the impacts of the main works in project and their impacts on the regional integration
  • Investment schemes of basin organisations
  • Analysis of the impacts of priority infrastructures on regional integration

The major stages in the process in West Africa

  • Holding on 26th and 27th May, 2008 in Ouagadougou of a meeting to launch the project. During this meeting, the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the project were validated as well as those of the consultancy on the first phase of the project. The International Water Office (OIEau) was mandated to spearhead this phase. At the end of the meeting, a steering committee was put in place.
  • Holding on 16th January 2009 in Ouagadougou of the first meeting of the steering committee with the admission of IUCN as a member of the steering committee. During this meeting, the ToRs of the panel of experts were amended.
  • Holding on April 7th, 2009 in Ouagadougou of the second meeting of the steering committee for the project.
  • Holding from June 30th to July 2nd, 2009 in Ouagadougou of the first meeting of the panel of experts.
  • Holding from October 19th to November 15th, 2009, in Ouagadougou, of the electronic forum about four themes (see the synthesis in the part Documents).
  • Holding from February 1st to February 5th, 2010, in Ouagadougou, of the second meeting of the panel of experts and presentation of their recommendations to the basin authorities.
  • Holding from March 30th to April 2nd, 2010, in Ouagadougou of the last meeting of the panel of experts to finalize the report and the recommendations.
  • Holding from May 24th to 26th in Nouakchott (Mauritania) and from June 7th to 9th in Sélingué (Mali), 2010, of the two forums of the civil society of the Senegal and Niger basins.
  • Holding from January 17th to 19th, 2010, in Ouagadougou of a workshop for preparation/training for civil society representatives from the Senegal, Niger, Volta and Mano Rivers basins to provide them with the skills needed to better make their concerns heard in the following Water Resources Coordination Centre (WRCC/ECOWAS) meetings.
  • Holding on January 20th and 21st, 2010, in Ouagadougou for the Volta river basin, 24th and 25th  in Niamey for the Niger river basin, and 27th and 28th in Dakar for the Gambia and Senegal rivers basins, of three forums organized by WRCC with representatives of States, basin organizations and civil society, to present the panel work and generate recommendations approved by all.