|The Global Water Partnership- West Africa, Green Cross International, the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, and WWF embarked on an initiative to promote the entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention by facilitating dialogue and raising awareness among governments, UN bodies, NGOs, and other actors across West Africa. As part of this initiative, the above organizations commissioned a regional assessment that analyzes the benefits and implications for basin countries of adopting the Convention, in light of existing watercourse agreements or arrangements or of their absence.
The assessment focuses on the following West African states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.To date four West African states have become party to the UN Watercourses Convention (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria); the Ivory Coast is also a signatory, but never completed the ratification process. During the Convention’s adoption at the UN General Assembly, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone voted in favor. Ghana and Mali abstained from voting. Benin, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal were absent during the voting procedures. No West African state voted against the Convention. The voting records contain no reference to the position of three other states in the region: Togo, The Gambia, and Guinea Bissau, which most likely had no representative participating in the session of the UN General Assembly that adopted the Convention.The study concludes that the UN Watercourses Convention is of relevance to West Africa because, if states were to widely adopt it and implement it in the region:
The UN Watercourses Convention can thus govern, reinforce, foment, and inform interstate cooperation on the peaceful management and sustainable use of international watercourses in West Africa. Widespread support for the Convention among states in the region is thus of great importance.