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Publish What You Pay for Water! An innovative approach to water transparency in Togo

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Natural resources constitute a key asset in the development of many countries, especially in Africa. The concept of “resource curse” stigmatizes a paradoxical impoverishment of countries where natural resources abound. Oil, uranium and gold are among natural resources the exploitation of which is more and more under scrutiny. However more attention should be paid to water governance transparency: more than any other natural resources water constitutes a key condition for development and may constitute a major source of conflicts.

In Togo, a unique opportunity was given by the Government to start a dialogue on water governance with civil society. For the first time, a State participating in the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) has listed water among natural resources under economic transparency. Together with the adoption of a Water Code, such an initiative constituted a major step towards good water governance.

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Promoting Governance through civil society participation

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Through long (and continuing) advocacy campaigns, the Fresh Water Action Network Central America (FANCA) and partner NGOs have been successful in reformulating the legal and institutional frameworks for integrated water resources management in several countries. These campaigns have promoted dialogue and negotiations among local actors and national organizations involved in water management – the private sector, state institutions, civil society and universities.

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