Tete, 20th February 2017 – The Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM)’s top governing body, the Council of Ministers is scheduled to meet in ordinary session in Tete, Mozambique on 23 February, 2017 to provide policy guidance in the context of promoting the cooperative management and development of the Zambezi river Basin; receive updates; approve annual accounts of the Commission; approve work plans and budgets; and consider recommendations from the ZAMCOM Technical Committee (ZAMTEC). In doing that, the Council will also take stock of what the river basin organization shared by eight Southern African countries has achieved, two years after the establishment of its permanent Secretariat in Harare, Zimbabwe.
The meeting will be preceded by that of the ZAMCOM Technical Committee (ZAMTEC) on Tuesday, 21 and Wednesday 22 February, 2017.
ZAMCOM is a river basin organization set up through the ZAMCOM Agreement by the eight Riparian States that share the Zambezi River Basin. ZAMCOM promotes and coordinates the cooperative management and development of the Zambezi Watercourse in a sustainable, climate resilient manner. The eight Riparian States are Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The ZAMCOM agreement was signed in 2004 at Kasane in Botswana and came into force in 2011. The ZAMCOM Secretariat is hosted by Zimbabwe.
The ZAMCOM Council of Ministers is the supreme body of the organization while the ZAMTEC is tasked with implementing policies and decisions of the Council and the ZAMCOM Secretariat (ZAMSEC) provides technical and administrative services to the council under the supervision of ZAMTEC.
The Secretariat is expected to operationalise the key provisions of the ZAMCOM Agreement. Some of the key provisions include:
– rules of notification and prior consultation on planned measures/projects;
– procedures for information and data exchange;
– the collection and dissemination of information and data in support of improved planning and decision making for the sustainable management and development of the basin; and,
– fostering greater awareness among the inhabitants of the Zambezi Watercourse on the equitable and reasonable utilisation and the efficient management and sustainable development of the resources of the basin.
Some of ZAMCOM’s achievements todate include:
– development of rules and procedures for sharing of data and information related to the management and development of the Zambezi Watercourse, adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2016;
– development of procedures for notification of planned measures expected to be considered and adopted by the Ministers during the forthcoming meeting;
– development and establishment of the Zambezi Water Resources Information System (ZAMWIS). ZAMWIS provides a sound basis for operationalizing one of the key functions of ZAMCOM related to the collection, evaluation and dissemination of basin-wide data and information in order to inform sound, cooperative planning, development and decision making.
Another major achievement is the commencement of the development of the Strategic Plan for the Zambezi Watercourse, which signals the beginning of a new era in cooperation among the eight Zambezi Riparian States. The plan is expected to provide a basis for informed, coordinated and cooperative management and development of the Zambezi Watercourse in the context of basin-wide socio-economic development.
ZAMCOM is financially supported by the Riparian States and a number of International Cooperating Partners including the Danish Government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Development Cooperation (DANIDA), GIZ, and the World Bank.
For more information, you may call the ZAMCOM Secretariat, 128 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare; Tel: +263 4 253361/2/3; Voip: 08677000313 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the Information, Communication and Partnerships Manager Ms. Leonissah Abwino-Munjoma (Leonissah@zambezicommission.org) or ask for the Head of Institution, The Executive Secretary. Also visit the ZAMCOM website: www.zambezicommission.org.