The WCD report is a milestone in the evolution of dams as a development option. The debate about dams is a debate about the very meaning, purpose and pathways for achieving development. Through its Global Review of the performance of dams, the Commission presents an integrated assessment of when, how and why dams succeed or fail in meeting development objectives. This provides the rationale for a fundamental shift in options assessment and in the planning and project cycles for water and energy resources development."
The Uganda State minister of Environment and water
Conservation Union, representatives of diverse interests met in Gland,
Switzerland, in light of a recent World Bank report, to discuss highly
controversial issues associated with large dams. The workshop brought
together 39 participants from governments, the private sector, international
financial institutions, civil society organisations and affected people. One
proposal that came out of the meeting was for all parties to work together in
establishing the World Commission on Dams (WCD) with a mandate to:
• review the development effectiveness of large dams and
assess alternatives for water resources and energy
• develop internationally acceptable criteria, guidelines and
standards, where appropriate, for the planning, design,
appraisal, construction, operation, monitoring and
decommissioning of dams
The WCD began its work in May 1998 under the Chairmanship of Prof.
Kader Asmal, who was then South Africa's Minister of Water Affairs and
Forestry; its members were chosen to reflect regional diversity, expertise
and stakeholder perspectives.
• The WCD was independent, with each member serving in
an individual capacity and none representing an institution
or a country
• The Commission conducted the first comprehensive global
and independent review of the performance and impacts of
large dams, and the options available for water and energy
• Public consultation and access to the Commission was a
key component of the process. The WCD Forum, with 68
members representing a cross-section of interests, views
and institutions, was consulted throughout the
• The WCD pioneered a new funding model involving all
interest groups in the debate: 53 public, private and civil
society organisations pledged funds to the WCD process
The final report of the World Commission on Dams, Dams and
Development: A New Framework for Decision-Making, was released in
This overview document provides a highly condensed summary of Dams
and Development. We urge readers to refer to the relevant sections in the
full report to capture both context and nuances of the findings and
University of London
South Africa in the World
Friday and Saturday, 23-24 April 2010
Five university publishers in South Africa are sharing a joint stand at the London Book Fair - Wits University , UKZN, UNISA, UCT and HSRC Presses. The Book Fair has a special focus on South Africa this year, and the publishers, as well as the British Council, have invited authors to give talks at a series of seminars in Oxford and London .
South Africa in the World aims to promote research and academic publication in South Africa to a wider audience. We plan to explore how knowledge produced in the global South circulates and intersects with research conducted in the North. Since the aim is to provide a platform for dialogue, speakers from UK institutions with an interest in African Studies will chair and join the panels. Books will be on sale throughout the day.
23 April 2010
13.00 – 14.30: Thinking from the South (Chair: Isabel Hofmeyr, University of the Witwatersrand ) A number of leading South African academics and writers will be in attendance at LBF. This open forum will allow a platform for conversations about everything from politics to literature, contemporary culture to knowledge production and research in South Africa .
Wits: Sarah Nuttall, Achille Mbembe
BC: Njabulo Ndebele
HSRC: Omano Edigheji
15.00 – 16.30: Skin, Invictus, District 9: South Africa in 2010 (Chair: Sarah Nuttall, University of the Witwatersrand )
Three recent films styled for international consumption give us a series of ideas about the shifting parameters of South Africa as a global signifier. They reframe the always compelling question: what are the stories that the world wants to tell about South Africa – and how do South Africans respond to these stories? A round-table discussion.
17.00 – 18.30 Book launch (Brunei Suite):
UKZN Alison Jones, Iron Cages: Paradigms, Ideologies and the Crisis of the Postcolonial State (Guest speaker: ?)
24 April 2010
Room G2, SOAS
13.00 – 14.30: Knowledge and Power: Supporting Research in Africa (Chair: Graham Furniss, SOAS)
Research in the humanities and social sciences across Africa is in urgent need of support and the 2009 Nairobi report identified opportunities to develop new partnerships between English and African universities to revitalise research. What does the future look like when it comes to collaboration between English and African universities? How can oppositions be broken down, and what steps are necessary to ensure that knowledge produced in the global South circulates and intersects with research conducted in the North?
Wits: Achille Mbembe, Belinda Bozzoli (tbc)
UKZN: Philippe Denis
HSRC: Sharlene Swartz
15.00 – 16.30: Identity in Post-apartheid South Africa (Chair: Carli Coetzee, SOAS)
Fifteen years after the first democratic elections, does a common South African identity exist? If not, how do we set about forging one? In fact, should we? Does a common national identity allow for other, different ‘sub- identities’? And how would it manifest itself?
Wits: Pumla Gqola, Bheki Peterson
UKZN: Siphiwo Mahala, Wayne Dooling
UNISA: Darren Newbury
17.00 – 19.00: Film screening: Zulu Love Letter (Chair: Lindiwe Dovey, SOAS)
Following a screening of the film, script-writer Bheki Peterson will be in conversation with Pumla Dineo Gqola.