Weak or non-existent institutions are often cited as a major constraint facing management of many lake basins in Africa. By their nature lake basins cut across many sectoral and jurisdictional interests and therefore it is always the case that management of the basins is affected by actions within the various sectors and jurisdictions. Because of the complex nature of issues within lake basins, authority over management of lake basins is dispersed among several institutions, with no single institution having overall authority. Under these circumstances, a major challenge in lake basin management is how to ensure effective coordination among the various players. This paper reviews the situation of lake basin management at eight African lake basins and draws important lessons about lake basin management institutions. It is noted that fragmented approaches, lack of coordination across sectors, and lack of monitoring and enforcement are major institutional weaknesses. Also, it is observed that political will and commitment are essential for the management of African lake basins.

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