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Water in Africa Symposium: Innovation and Challenges

April 16, 2019 - April 18, 2019

The “Water in Africa” symposium will be convened at Colorado State University, from April 16-18, 2019. This event will bring together key thinkers and practitioners from countries in Africa, Europe as well as from the US. Specifically, the event will:

  • feature international guest speakers sharing their insights
  • highlight scientific contributions to water and sustainability research in Africa
  • convene expert panels that will provide an opportunity for dialogue
  • provide a forum for graduate students working in this area to present research

The symposium will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and how they relate to water-related challenges throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The SDGs are broadly focused on sustainable development, with explicit goals related to climate change, biodiversity, and natural resources. Water is fundamental to many of the SDGs. As such, this symposium will take a broad view of how various SDG targets interact with water resources.

The central purpose of this symposium is to bring top scientists and thinkers together to develop a state-of-the-art understanding of Water in Africa. The symposium proceedings will be focused by three overarching themes that will structure the panels and discussion, as well as provide a framework for discussing complimentary innovations and challenges.

  1. Water, Land, and Conservation: Engaging land-use change, wildlife, and agriculture
  2. Water and Societal Change: Highlighting social changes such as urbanization, industrialization, and water management
  3. Water in Africa 2050: Envisioning how water issues will shape, and be shaped by, Africa 50 years in the future


Tuesday, April 16

4:00PM – Registration Opens
5:00PM – Welcome: Rick Miranda, Executive Vice President and Provost
Keynote Speaker: Coleen Vogel

Wednesday, April 17

8:30 AM – Coffee and Registration

9:00 AM – Welcome: Diana Wall, Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability
Keynote Speaker: Munira Anyonge Bashir

10:30 AM – Panel: Water and Land Conservation
Reagan Waskom – moderator
George Wittemyer – Wildlife, land-use planning, changing arid lands
Robin Reid – Community conservation, land use change
Matt Luizza – Marine protected areas, conservation capacity development, U.S. government support
Dan Zimmerle – Village electrification, small hydropower, rural development

12:30 PM – Lunch (on your own)

2:00 PM – Welcome: Kathleen Farifax, Vice Provost for International Affairs
Panel: Water and Societal Change
Peter Backlund – moderator
Melinda Laituri – Participatory mapping, urban areas, spatial justice
Melissa McHale – people//conservation, rural//urban, research//development
Hanson Nyantakayi-Frinpong – Climate change, gender politics, land and water grabbing
Heidi Hauserman – Mining, health, social reproduction

3:30 PM – Student Poster Session

Thursday April 18th

8:30 AM – Coffee and Registration

9:00 AM – Welcome: Alan Rudolph, Vice President for Research
Keynote Speaker: Line Gordon

10:30 AM – Panel: Water in Africa 2050
Discussion about the future of water in Africa
Kerri Wright Platais – moderator
Line Gordon
Munira Bashir
Peter McCornick
Coleen Vogel

12:15   Awards and Thank You

12:30   Symposium Ends



Colorado Water Center

The Africa Center

School of Global Environmental Sustainability

Vice President for Research


April 16, 2019
April 18, 2019
Event Category:


Laura Shaver
(970) 491-7583


Lory Student Center- Cherokee Park Ballroom
1101 Center Avenue Mall
Fort Collins, CO 80521 United States
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