Africa is endowed with vast water resources including but not limited to lakes, rivers, swamps and underground aquifers. However, the way of life in Africa does not reflect this kind of wealth owing majorly to degradation and underutilization of these water resources. This review discusses the centrality of water resources in Africa's pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Following the Sustainable Development Model, the paper thematically examines and synthesizes the importance and potentials of water resources to Africa's development through exploring their contributions and limitations to the various economic sectors namely; agricultural and livestock production, energy, manufacturing and processing, tourism, health, fisheries, trade and other institutional mechanisms such as payment for ecosystem services (PES), mutual cooperation and economic cooperation. Data were collected by review of online peer-reviewed and grey literature published between the year 2000 and 2015. It is observed that sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6) will be central to the attainment of all the other SDGs (particularly SDG 1 (No poverty), 2 (No hunger), 3 (Good health), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land)) across Africa. African states should therefore increase their commitment to water conservation and management as this will significantly decide Africa's future development paths.
Mugagga, F., & Nabaasa, B. B. (2016, September 1). The centrality of water resources to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). A review of potentials and constraints on the African continent. International Soil and Water Conservation Research. International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation and China Water and Power Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iswcr.2016.05.004