Senegal River Basin Leads the World
August 11, 2015

The launch of the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) report "Water Cooperation Quotient" took place at the OMVS headquarters in Dakar, Senegal on August 11, 2015. The launch was attended by Mohamed Salem Béchir, Mauritanian Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Mines, also President of the Council of Ministers of OMVS; Mansour Faye, Senegalese Minister Water and Sanitation; Kabine Komara, High Commissioner of OMVS and Former Prime Minister of Guinea and Madine Ba, Secretary General of OMVS . Also present was a delegation brought together by SFG of water stakeholders, journalists and scholars from the Middle East.

OMVS is leading the world ranking of the Water Cooperation Quotient, a tool developed by SFG that measures the degree of cooperation in transboundary water resources. OMVS shares this prestigious position with ICPR (International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine), the Organization of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty and Development Community of Southern Africa (SADC).

The Water Cooperation Quotient is the first measure in the world that compares the quality of cooperation within transboundary river basins on every continent. The report covers 84 transboundary water management organizations and 205 transboundary river basins in 148 countries. The scientific criteria used by SFG to develop the Quotient include ten technical, economic and political parameters, which range from the existence of a commission to the frequency of interdepartmental consultation, through the design and management of joint technical projects, monitoring and control of the common resource, and a strong political will and integration.

During his speech, Minister Mohamed Salem Béchir, the President of the Council of Ministers thanked SFG for this high distinction given to OMVS. He recalled that OMVS owes much of its success as an organization to the avant-garde vision of the founding fathers, "who built on a single legal base, making our organization a rare model of sub-regional integration and shared management of water resources."

Minister Mansour Faye echoed the same sentiments, while stressing the openness and availability of OMVS to share its experience, but also to learn from others. "We will spare no effort to inform you about our texts, our methods, know-how we have developed over time, our joint achievements that are the bedrock of our success as an envied organization" the minister said.

The President of SFG, Sundeep Waslekar, thanked OMVS authorities for their warm welcome, and expressed his admiration for the sub-regional organisation. He pointed out that in many transboundary basins of the world, water management is discussed in terms of potential losses, whereas in the OMVS countries it has been addressed in terms of potential benefits. The shift from the psychology of losses to the psychology of benefits requires a change in the mind-set. Such a shift can transform water from a source of crisis to an instrument of peace. Finally Mr. Waslekar advised OMVS to consider the creation of a Centre of Excellence, a historic initiative that would allow them to inspire and assist countries with shared river basins to achieve development, cooperation and peace.

The High Commissioner of OMVS, Kabine Komara, recalled that this desire for integration requires the strategic guidance of Heads of State and consistency in vision. He insisted "We must thank all Ministers and former High Commissioners, all executives who have made every effort to send us the torch symbol of cooperation, integration and brotherhood of our four peoples.”

See SFG interview with the High Commissioner of OMVS, Kabine Komara: